Chocolate Florentine Cookies

Chocolate Florentine cookies, also known as Italian lace cookies, are nutty, toffee-flavored cookies with a crispy texture. We sandwich ours with a thin chocolate layer. Perfect with coffee or tea!

Chocolate Florentine Cookies
Irvin Lin

There are a number of cookies that I try not to make too often. This is not because they are difficult or time-consuming, but because they get consumed way too fast in our household!

Florentines fall into this category. These nutty, toffee-like cookies sandwiched with a layer of dark chocolate are basically everything my partner and I look for in a cookie. Thus, they disappear like magic once made. A total danger for our waistline.

Florentines are not only one of our own favorites but they're also the favorites of many of my friends as well. And as long as I have a purpose and friends to give them to, I’m happy to head into the kitchen to bake away.

Chocolate Florentine Cookies
Irvin Lin

Chocolate Florentine Cookies: Tips for Success

These cookies have a reputation for being persnickety and difficult to make but there are some tips and tricks that I've developed that make them easier to create:

  • When melting the butter and sugar to make the cookie "batter," you really only need to melt them together. No need to bring to a boil or a specific temperature. Baking the cookies in the oven will bring them to their crunchy, brittle state.
  • Florentines tend to lump up in the middle and bake unevenly if you don't spread them out. Dip your finger in water and spread the batter into a round circle, with the nuts in a single layer on the pan. (The batter can be sticky to work with, so dipping your fingers in water first helps with this step.)
  • If you have a silicone baking mat (like a Silpat) this is the perfect recipe for it. The silicon mat insulates the Florentines, helping them to bake more evenly. But don't worry if you don’t have one. Just bake it on parchment paper and keep a close eye on them. They tend to cook a little faster on the parchment and can go from golden brown to burnt quickly.
  • Once you bake them, fix any wonky Florentines that aren't perfect circles. You can do this by lightly nudging them into a round shape with a spatula. They firm up quickly as they cool, so work fast!
Chocolate Florentine Cookies
Irvin Lin

Also, be forewarned that you – and your kitchen – will likely get a little messy with the melted chocolate. It’s just inevitable! I highly recommend wearing either an apron or old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

In the end, these cookies are worth the effort! Bits of almonds crunch in your mouth between bits of toffee caramel and dark chocolate. It’s almost like candy in cookie form.

Which is why they disappear so fast in our home. And why I always need a friend around to give them away to.

Chocolate Florentine Cookies Recipe
Irvin Lin

Where do Florentine Cookies Come From?

As with many recipes, it's difficult to know the true origin of Florentine cookies. These cookies go back hundreds of years, perhaps to the kitchens of Florence, Italy. It's also thought that maybe French royalty created them in order to celebrate their relatives that lived in Florence. Whether they come from Italy, France, or your own kitchen, they're delicious.

Other Nuts to Use in Florentines

Traditional Florentines call for almonds, and they are certainly what people expect when they reach for the cookie. However, you can switch up the nuts if you want — just make sure to chop whatever nut you're using into uniform sizes. Experiment with these nuts.

  • Peanuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans

More Italian Desserts to Try!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Chocolate Florentine Cookies

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 30 cookies

Florentine cookies are crisp almond toffee-like cookies that are sandwiched with a layer of chocolate and then drizzled with more chocolate. They have a reputation for being difficult to make but I’ve given some hints and tips on making them easier for you. Just make sure to watch them bake, as they can go from done to burnt fairly quickly.

Making these cookies goes more quickly if you have at least two baking sheets so that you can prep the next batch while the previous batch is in the oven.

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups (290g) slivered almonds

  • 1/4 cup (35g) all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional but recommended)

  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To finish:

  • 8 to 10 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Method

  1. Chop the almonds:

    Place the slivered almonds in a food processor. Pulse until the almonds are broken down into smaller bits, about 1/4 inch in size. They should be the size of the chopped nuts you would sprinkle over an ice cream sundae.

    If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the nuts by hand or place them in a ziplock bag and crush them with a wooden rolling pin until they are the right size.

    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  2. Add the flour and cocoa powder to the food processor bowl:

    Pulse a couple of times to blend together.

    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  3. Make the cookie "batter" on the stovetop:

    In a medium-sized saucepan, place the sugar, butter, cream, and honey. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

    Add the dry almond mixture and stir until incorporated. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  4. Preheat the oven:

    While the "batter" is cooling, preheat the oven to 325ºF.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

  5. Spoon out the cookies:

    Once the batter has cooled (it will still be warm), use a teaspoon measure to spoon out the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet (1 teaspoon per cookie). Space the cookies about 3 inches apart; they will spread a lot during baking. (On a 12 x 18 -inch sheet, I found 6 cookies fit comfortably.)

  6. Flatten the cookies:

    Dip your finger in some water, then use it to spread the batter into a round circle, with the nuts in a single layer on the pan. This will encourage the batter to spread evenly in a circle.

    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  7. Bake the cookies:

    Bake the cookies in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes. If you are using parchment paper, the cookies will bake faster. If you are using a silicon baking sheet, the silicon insulates the heat and it takes a little long to bake (but they will bake more evenly).

    Remove the pan from the oven once the edges of the cookies start to darken and brown and transfer to a cooling rack. Be careful as the cookies go from done to burnt fairly fast.

    While the cookies are still warm from the oven, take a look at them and see if any of them are not quite round. If they are not as nicely shaped as you would like, use a spatula to carefully nudge the sides of the cookie into a round circle. You will have to work fairly quickly as the cookies firm up as they cool.

    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  8. Cool the cookies:

    Let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 to 20 minutes, until they are set. It's fine if they're still a little soft, but they should be able to be transferred in one piece without tearing or creating ripples in the cookie.

    It helps to use a very thin, flat spatula so you can easily slide under each cookie. Also, if you have a wire rack that has crisscross wires, this is ideal for cookies like this since any under-baked cookie will slump a little bit on racks with more widely-spaced wires. Let the cookies cool completely.

  9. Continue baking in batches:

    Repeat Steps 5 to 8 until all the batter has been used.

  10. Sandwich the cookies with chocolate:

    Once the cookies have all been baked and cooled, melt dark chocolate by placing it in a microwave-safe bowl and cooking it in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment. (You can also melt the chocolate on a double boiler, if you prefer.)

    Once the chocolate has melted, pick two cookies that are roughly the same size and smear a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of one of them. Place the matching cookie bottom on top and set the cookie sandwich on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a wire rack.

    Repeat with the remaining cookies. Drizzle any remaining chocolate over the Florentines.

    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
    Chocolate Florentine Cookies
    Irvin Lin
  11. Wait for the chocolate to firm up and harden before serving or packaging:

    Stored in an airtight container, these cookies will keep at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
173 Calories
12g Fat
15g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Calories 173
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 127mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.