Thin, delicate and crispy, these chocolate-dipped almond Florentines are the perfect tiny cookies for any special occasion.
I can’t believe it took me more than 5 years to share with you one of my very favorite cookie recipe of all times. Florentines are not your regular cookies though: no chocolate chips, no classic cookie dough, no butter… Halfway between a cookie and a candy, they are incredibly thin and nutty, with a subtle chocolate coating.
Back from the time when I lived in France, I used to enjoy Florentines with a cup of coffee after a meal. I originally got introduced to these little delicacies through a good friend of mine. Still today, the souvenir of these prolonged coffee breaks together remains strong. We would speak for hours and hours, grabbing Florentines one after another, until they would all be gone.
Years after, I would keep the tradition alive, enjoying Florentines once in a while, either for myself or for a special occasion with friends. Strangely enough, it never really came to my mind to bake them myself. I would purchase the finest quality Florentines and that would be it. When I think about it today, it sounds a bit silly. They are so easy to prepare, with just a few ingredients.
So what are these Florentines are made of?
- Slivered almonds
- Candied orange
- Chocolate, either dark or milk
The traditional recipe calls for the main ingredients only, consisting of a slivered almonds and candied orange that stick together through a honey-cream syrup heated to the temperature of 118°C (245°F). If you do not have a thermometer, heat the mixture until bubbling, making sure the syrup is not turning dark-brown yet. You can purchase candied orange or prepare your own by simply peeling an orange or mandarin and dice it thinly.
The tricky part is make sure your Florentines keep their shape. Here you have two options: spoon the slivered almonds in small amounts on a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper or place in the bottom of a non-stick muffins form. This last option will insure a regular shape to all your cookies while the other one will insure they remain flat although they might spread out a little bit. Once cooled, dip the Florentines in chocolate, invert them and let cool.
The recipe I suggest today is the classic one, although you could debate the choice of chocolate, dark or milk. There is also a variant to this recipe consisting on a base of almond tuiles to which you add the almond-orange topping before dipping them in chocolate. I am personally crazy about this version that tastes even more like a thin crispy cookie. Maybe I should share the recipe with you next time! As for now, I leave you with the authentic Florentines, that will make a lovely edible gift for the holidays!
- ⅔ cup (130g) sugar
- ¼ cup (70g) honey
- ¼ cup (70g) heavy cream
- 2.5 ounces (70g) candied orange or mandarin
- 5.3 ounces (150g) slivered almonds
- 4.2 (120g) milk chocolate
- Heat honey, cream and sugar in a small saucepan until the temperature reaches 245°F (118°C). If you don't have a cooking thermometer, simmer for about 5 minutes but do not let the mixture turn brown.
- Remove from the heat and add the candied orange/mandarin and the slivered almonds. Stir gently until coated.
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C).
- Spoon one teaspoon of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or ideally in a silicone muffin cup so that the cookie keeps its shape.
- Bake for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Let cool, then invert the cookies.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave and stir every 20 seconds until melted and smooth.
- Dip the bottom of each florentine in the melted chocolate, or use a spoon for coating if easier. Invert and allow the chocolate to set. Let cool and enjoy!