I wanted to bake a light cookie for the Christmas holidays, and the Florentine Lace Cookies fit the bill. This recipe is from An Edible Mosaic which was adapted from Food Network Kitchens. I made a few changes also. For one thing, I used agave liquid instead of corn syrup. There are only three tablespoons of flour in the whole recipe, so almost gluten-free, if that matters to you. I love the nutty orange taste combination, and the kitchen smells deliciously of nuts and citrus for several days after. Besides, they are so lacey thin, how could they have many calories!?
Please note: Only place 9 cookies on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, or else they will run together. It’s highly suggested that you just bake one pan at a time, which keeps you in the kitchen longer, but well worth the effort.
Florentine Lace Cookies: 6 dozen (3-inch) cookies
- 1 3/4 Cups sliced blanched almonds or pecans (5 oz), finely chopped
- 3 TBL all-purpose flour
- 1 orange zest, finely grated (about 2 TBL)
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 3/4 C white sugar
- 2 TBL heavy cream
- 2 TBL light corn syrup (I use agave as I do not use corn syrup).
- 5 TBL unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2-4 oz semisweet chocolate (I use ghirardelli)
Place a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 F; line a baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In food processor, pulse almonds until ‘finely’ chopped but not pasty.
PHOTO #1: In separate bowl, stir together the nuts, flour, zest, and salt.
PHOTO #2: In small saucepan, add the sugar, cream, liquid agave, and butter. Cook over medium heat (stirring occasionally) until sugar dissolves and comes to a rolling boil; continue to boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat and add vanilla.
Then pour liquid into almond mixture and stir just to combine. Set aside until cool enough to handle, but do not let it cool as it will harden!
NOTE: (I’ve read that the dough must be dropped onto cookie sheets while it is still warm. Once it cools, it crumbles and becomes unworkable. So, you may need to place cookie balls onto many pieces of parchment paper, while dough is warm. They will then be ready for the oven, as soon as one pan comes out. If cookie dough gets too cold, try adding 1/3 C water, so it is workable, NOT crumbly).
PHOTO #3: Scoop 1/2 teaspoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheet. 9 to a sheet. (Cookie balls should be smaller than a quarter). Cookies will end up being about 3 inches in diameter, as they spread a lot.
Bake one pan at a time until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown color throughout, about 8-10 minutes, rotating the pan after 5 minutes. Set the timer as they can burn easily. Once cookies are out of the oven, slide the parchment paper off the cookie tray, and allow cookies to cool completely before removing from parchment.
PHOTO #4: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or place chocolate inside a smaller pan, that fits into a larger pot with boiling water. You can drizzle chocolate on top of cookies or sandwich it between two cookies. Or add chocolate into a sandwich bag, then place the bag in a pan of barely simmering water to melt. Remove bag when chocolate is melted and snip off the corner of bag to squeeze chocolate squiggles onto cookies. Allow chocolate to set on cookies before storing.
Store in an air tight container at room temperature. They freeze well also.
Enjoy your holidays! Buon Natale! Merry Christmas. May your cookies fill your house with sweetness.
Let me know how your Florentine Lace cookies turn out.
You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.