12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Week 12 ~ Florentines

Florentines by Bakewell Junction

Florentines by Bakewell Junction

Florentines2 by Bakewell Junction

It’s the twelfth and last week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com.  If you’d like to join us this week, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

This week I’m sharing a recipe that I’ve been making for several years.  They’re always a hit for Christmas or any time.  These look similar to the lace cookies that have been on the internet recently but I think they are sufficiently different that you should give them a try.

My sister and I have made these crisp Italian cookies to bring to several parties and we always get requests for more.  There is a bit of knack to getting these cookies to turn out well, so this week I’m adding some additional pictures so you can get the same results we do.

Next week is the week before Christmas and it’s the week I normally take vacation to do all my baking.  I’ve been doing this for many years now and it’s a little different than everyone else who takes vacation between Christmas and New Year’s Day but it works for me.  When I started my Christmas baking I wrote down a list so I would know approximately how much of each ingredient I would need.  This my list.  You can see that I’ve crossed off some things and make others that aren’t even on the list but at least I have an idea of what ingredients I need in total.

Baking List by Bakewell Junction

Here’s the second page.

Baking List2 by Bakewell Junction

When heating the flour and wet ingredients to boiling, let it bubble up a bit,

Florentines3 by Bakewell Junction

After taking the mixture off the heat, add in the dry mixture and stir until completely combined.  Stir occasionally during cooling.

Florentines4 by Bakewell Junction

After at least an hour of cooling time, begin portioning the dough for baking.

Florentines5 by Bakewell Junction

A full baking sheet ready for the oven.

Florentines6 by Bakewell Junction

Hot out of the oven.

Florentines7 by Bakewell Junction

Once the cookies are filled and cooled, store layered between wax paper.

Florentines8 by Bakewell Junction

Enjoy.

Florentines

Yield:  35 – 45 sandwich cookies                  Cook Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced and blanched almonds, chopped in the mini chopper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (I use dried orange peel)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup to 1 3/4 semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Step 1:  Place the oven rack in the middle or top of the oven.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Cautions:  Do not use a dark pan or one that is non-stick coated, as these can make the cookies burn; do not skip using the parchment paper, as you will not be able to remove the cookies from the pan without it.

Step 2:  Combine almonds, flour and orange zest in a medium bowl.  Stir until well mixed and set aside.  Combine sugar, butter, cream and honey in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  I let it froth up a little as I believe this will help it hold together better.  Let the batter cool for at least 1 hour.  Be sure to stir occasionally.

Step 3:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using one of the cookie sheets you’d set aside earlier, place 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons of the batter for each cookie for 8 cookies.  I use a large cookie sheet and only make 8 cookies at a time because these spread quite a lot.  The cookies are are about 4 or 5 inches apart.

Step 4:  Bake one pan of cookies at a time for 10 minutes on the middle or top rack (they will burn on the bottom rack) until they are lacy and golden.  Begin checking the cookies at nine minutes – the cookies can go from undercooked to burnt in an instant.

Step 5:  Carefully slide the parchment paper and cookies onto a cooling rack.  When cooled, transfer the cookies to paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining batter, alternating cookie sheets for each batch until batter is finished.  If the cookie sheet doesn’t cool quickly enough, I put it in the refrigerator to speed the cooling.

Step 6:  Pair like sized and shaped cookies together.  Melt about 1/3 of the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water or a double boiler.  Melt additional portions of the chocolate as needed in the assembly process – this will help prevent overheating and reheating the chocolate.  Spread the melted chocolate on the bottom of one cookie and quickly top with the other cookie in the pair, bottom side down.  Both cookies in the pair should have the smooth bottoms towards the center and the lacy tops towards the outside.  Repeat for the remaining paired cookies.

Tips:  You can substitute milk chocolate, if you prefer.  You can drizzle tops with additional chocolate and add sprinkles if desired.  The cookies are thin and crisp, so be careful not to burn yourself when filling with the melted chocolate.  The number of cookies this recipe makes can vary widely depending on the size of the cookies.  If the cookies run together or get too large, you can break them into smaller pieces – similar to brittle with chocolate filling.  This bears repeating…Do not use a dark pan or one that is non-stick coated, as these can/will make the cookies burn; do not skip using the parchment paper, as you will not be able to remove the cookies from the pan without it.

Storing:  Store cookies with wax paper between layers (the cookies will stick together if not layered with wax paper) on a platter and covered with aluminum foil in a cool place but does not need refrigeration.  The cookies are fine for many days when stored this way.  If you’re making them ahead, the cookies can be stored before filling with chocolate in the freezer.  Be sure to layer with wax paper and carefully store them in a container that will prevent them from breaking.  Let the cookies return to room temperature before filling with chocolate in this case.

Enjoy!!!

Adapted from Florentines courtesy of Giada De Laurentis on FoodNetwork.com.

Have a look at the other great cookies in the blog hop by clicking on the Linky Tools link below.  Sorry my blog doesn’t support the blog hop participant icons directly.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 12, December 13, 2012

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I’ve seen some of the other bloggers that participate in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats listing their submissions from the prior weeks.  I like this idea, so I’ve incorporated it into this week’s post.  If you’ve missed my posts for the prior weeks, here’s a reminder:

This post may also be entered in the following linky parties.  Click the buttons below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

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6 thoughts on “12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Week 12 ~ Florentines

  1. What a marvelous Florentine recipe! It’s been years since I’ve made any….and you’ve put me in the mood for them :) I do that sort of list for parties…tally up all the eggs, cream, chocolate…it’s a good system!

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