Love and Olive Oil

Almond Lace Sandwich Cookies

Almond Lace (Florentine) Cookies

I originally planned to send something else for this year’s big cookie swap; 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.

Chocolate-Filled Almond Lace Sandwich Cookies

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 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

Almond Lace Sandwich Cookies


  • 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


  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.
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  1. Rating: 4

    I used Black Walnuts instead of Almonds ,I ground them fine in the food processor and they were Amazing 

  2. I’m having the worse time with these lace cookies. First off it took 10 minutes of stirring before I could get the butter incorporated into a paste. By that time I had burned butter but at least it was together. I put the extract in and it separated again. Now I have a hard bunch of goo. I love these cookies and I’m determined to get this right. I live in Mexico and I have to beg my friends to bring them. Can my hard goo be salvaged. What the heck am I doing wrong for the 4th time now. Almond flour is expensive here.  I do have an electric stove which I absolutely HATE! I had a professional Viking in the US but now I love on the water in Cozumel. Could it be a low altitude problem. I’m completely frustrated!!!!

    • I have an electric stove and have never had an issue, and my altitude is 500ft so also don’t see how that would be a problem. Did you end up swapping in brown sugar instead of white? That would definitely affect how the cookie comes together. Also try using the lowest heat setting so the butter doesn’t burn.

  3. Two questions: Would brown sugar provide a better flavor? Can I sub real vanilla extract for almond extract? I live in Mexico and can’t find almond extract. 

  4. These turned out delicious. Thanks for the recipe

  5. I tried this recipe using almond meal and it came out delicious!! I am happy to say that this will be a recipe I make OFTEN!! Thank you for sharing it :)

  6. I tried these 6 times and the butter remains separated even after adding all the ingredients what am I doing wrong??

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

  8. 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?

  9. Loved this recipe!

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

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

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

  16. 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.  :)

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  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 are gorgeous! love love love!

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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!  

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

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

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

  29. 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!

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

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

  32. Such an unreal cookie! Super pretty too!

  33. 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!

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

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

  36. 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 :)

  37. 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! :)

  38. 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!

  39. 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!!

  40. 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.

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

    Thank you! And- happy holidays!!!

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