Almond Lace (Florentine) Cookies

The 4th Annual Great Food Blogger cookie Swap saw 566 participants ship over 20,000 cookies around the world, all while managing to raise a whopping $12,335 for Cookies For Kids’ Cancer. Of course we couldn’t have reached that impressive total without the help of our four generous brand partners: OXO, Dixie Crystals, Brownie Brittle, and California Olive Ranch, who each matched the donations we raised dollar for dollar.

I can’t say it enough how much this event means to me; that a seed of an idea could have grown to such a scale, with bloggers from around the world sharing cookies with one another, all for a good cause. It makes my heart flutter. So truly, thank you to everyone who participated and made this years’ event the best yet!

Chocolate-Filled Almond Lace Sandwich Cookies

I originally planned to send something else to my swap matches; but severe procrastination and a lack of proper planning on my part (WHY everything isn’t available on Amazon Prime I have no idea) led to a frenzied plan B. It worked out in the end, but let this be a lesson to all of you (and to my future self): check that you have all the ingredients a good week before you plan on baking. Don’t assume anything.

Granted, these were probably the most fragile cookies I could possibly choose to make the cross country trek, short of maybe macarons. But with plenty of padding and proper packaging they made it safely to their destinations (in Minnesota, New York, and Michigan, respectively) in near-perfect condition.

Also known as Florentines, these crisp and caramelized cookies have a hint of almond and orange zest. Despite their fragility, they were actually perfect cookies for shipping. Unlike most cookies which dry out and get harder as they age, these do the opposite: they are delightfully crunchy the day they are made, and then slowly soften into a chewy texture that’s different but equally as good.

Almond Lace (Florentine) Cookies

The delicate lace cookies are sandwiched with a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate; the melted chocolate bubbling through the lacy eyelets, an effect that’s both alien and beautiful at the same time.

How to Make Almond Florentine Cookies

The batter is quite different from normal cookie batters, coming together more like a pâte à choux than a cookie dough. When you first mix the sugar and flour in with the melted butter, the batter will appear separated, with a clear, oil slick layer on top. Keep stirring until the batter homogenizes into a smooth, opaque paste before adding the almond flour, extract, and orange zest.

How to Make Almond Florentine Cookies

Once removed from heat, the batter it will cool into a smooth, silly putty-like paste. You should be able to scoop the dough into balls that relax into soft domes; if the batter spreads too flat, let the dough cool a few minutes more.

Be sure to keep a close eye on these cookies while they are baking, as they’ll go from pale blond to golden brown to overcooked in a matter of 30 seconds. Baking time will also depend greatly on your baking sheet and baking surface; I used a thick, heavy baking sheet with a silpat. If you use parchment paper and/or thinner, darker baking sheets, your baking time will likely be much less. Watch the first batch closely to know exactly how long they need to bake in your specific circumstances.

How to Make Almond Lace Sandwich Cookies filled with chocolate

Once cooled, melt a few ounces of high-quality dark chocolate (I used some of the amazing 68% French Broad Chocolate I brought home from Asheville). Since the chocolate is really 75% of flavor of the final product, I highly recommend splurging on the good stuff; a thin layer goes a long way and you want to be sure the taste reflects that.

Almond Lace (Florentine) Cookies

These are a dead ringer for Trader Joe’s Chocolate Almond Lacey cookies, if you’ve ever tried those you’ll know just how amazing they are. I know my mom is the one who first turned me on to them; she stores them in her freezer and savors them as long as they’ll last (how she makes them last longer than a day, though, I have no idea). But this homemade version, with bittersweet chocolate, fragrant almond, and just a hint of orange zest, is near identical in flavor, taste, and texture.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

The cookies I received this year were nothing short of incredible. From top left: Nutella Hazelnut Blossoms from Simmer and Shoot, Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtle Cookies from Sifting Focus, and Cocoa Brown Butter Cookies from The Sassy Life.

Finally, if you are a food blogger interested in participating in next year’s swap, be sure to sign up for our notifications list. We will send an email blast to this list when sign ups open next October. And after seeing the amazing things that have come out of this year’s swap, who knows what’s in store for next year!

Almond Lace Sandwich Cookies

Yield: 20 sandwiches

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup ground blanched almonds or almond meal

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted


Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line baking sheets with silicone mats.

  2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add sugar, flour, and salt and whisk until sugar is dissolved and butter no longer appears separated, about 3 minutes. Whisk in almonds and milk and stir until smooth and slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest and almond extract. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Drop batter by scant teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 3 inches of space between cookies. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges, rotating the baking sheets half-way through baking. Let cool 3 minutes until no longer flexible, then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack with a thin spatula. Repeat with remaining batter.

  4. Using an offset spatula, spread melted chocolate on bottom of half the cookies, then top with remaining cookies to form sandwiches. Let sit or refrigerate until chocolate is set.


Did you make this recipe?

Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.

That's My Jam: Winter edition Now Available!

37 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. I had the pleasure of eating these cookies and they were AMAZING!!!! 

    Thank you! And- happy holidays!!!

  2. These look so amazing!  I’ve never tried the TJ version, but you can’t go wrong with almond, orange, and chocolate.  So pretty, too.

  3. These look amazing. I love sandwich cookies, but I don’t make them often enough. I need to change that.

    I started my blog a little too late to participate in the swap this year, but I’m  already planning to take part next year. Thanks for all you do!!

  4. I love seeing the different swap posts! I attempted florentines years ago, but was too scarred to try again (let’s just say, I wasn’t very patient with the “let cool completely” part). You’re inspiring me to try again!

  5. Thank you so much for organizing the cookie swap! I had an absolute blast and can’t wait until next year! And these lace cookies? Definitely going on my cookie-baking list! :)

  6. These cookies are gorgeous! I definitely need to try these ones out at home. And thanks so much for organizing this event – I had a blast and really enjoyed all of the cookie mail from my swap partners :)

  7. Gorgeous looking cookies. AND a big thanks for being such an awesome host and organizer!

  8. I really need to participate in the swap next year, how fun!

  9. Thank you for hosting this year and for helping me with the mess I made!! And your cookies look amazing! I’m totally going to make them!

  10. Such an unreal cookie! Super pretty too!

  11. florentine cookies are one of my all time favorites, these look fantastic!

  12. Okay, I need to try my hand at these cookies!! Yours are gorgeous!! :)

  13. I would have NEVER guessed these were Plan B if you hadn’t mentioned it, Lindsay. They are so beautiful in such an odd way (which is a compliment). Thanks so much for all your hard work organizing the swap. It was really fun!

  14. Sandwich cookies FTW – I can’t even fathom how awesome these must taste with that French Broad chocolate you used!

  15. I always love almond lace cookies and your recipients were very special to have received these! You make these look so easy to prepare!!

  16. I always love almond lace cookies and your recipients were very special to have received these! You make these look so easy to prepare!!

  17. These look great and remind me of the cookies I ate at my dad’s house growing up. Thanks so much for organizing the cookie swap. I had a great time checking out other blogger’s sites. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!  

  18. I love the looks of these cookies — simply amazing!  And thank you for all of your efforts organizing the cookie swap!  Great cause, and lots of fun.

  19. Thank you for organizing the cookie swap again this year! I had a blast participating!

  20. these are gorgeous! love love love!

  21. I love lace cookies, but I’ve never thought to try making them myself. Yours look and sound delicious! Now they’re going on my list. :) Thank you so much for organizing this swap. It was my first time participating, and I had so much fun baking and meeting new blogger friends!

  22. These looks amazing. I am hooked on the Trader Joe’s version, so now I can make them at home. Thanks so much for organizing the cookie swap. It was my first year participating, and it was so much fun to get different cookies in the mail while supporting Kids with Cancer at the same time. Happy Holidays!

  23. I made a very similar cookie this year for the swap! I was also nervous about how they’d stand up to shipping across the country, but they were surprisingly sturdy (especially with good packaging)! They were just too delicious not to share!

  24. Thanks for organizing the cookie swap – it was such a delicious idea for a great cause! I love love love these cookies too – with their crispness,  they look just up my alley!

  25. Thank you for organizing the swap, was one of the loveliest things on the internet! X Helen

    http://honeyplate.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-great-food-blogger-cookie-swap-2014.html

  26. I’ve always loved eating the Trader Joe’s “Lacy’s” cookies, but wondered how they are made. Thanks for sharing your recipe, it looks amazing.  :)

  27. Oh. My. Goodness. I’ve never made these before but now I will!

  28. These look incredible — with the countdown to Christmas in the single digits – I’m going to get busy making these to gift to family!   Thanks for the recipe — and for organizing this incredible event!  I had so much fun doing it!

  29. These are the most beautiful lace cookies I’ve ever seen. Lucky cookie swap recipients! :) I’m so glad I participated in the swap this year, thanks so much for organizing!

  30. They look beautiful! Perfect for Christmas – thanks for sharing the recipe!

  31. Thank you for the recipe.
    I knew I had to make these the moment I saw them. I am so happy with the results. This will definitely be a part of my baking going forward.

  32. YUM YUM YUM. Looks sooooo good. Just posted a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’m sure you’ll adore!
    xxElizabeth 

  33. Loved this recipe!

  34. This looks so gorgeous. I love the fact that your recipe has the option to use almond meal, which save prep time. I plan to bake these cookies for our office’s annual bake-off competition. Since we are required to bring more than 30 cookies, can this recipe be easily doubled?

  35. Would wax or parchment paper work instead of silicone mats?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *