Day 1-Almond Lace Cookies, Florentines (Italy)
Florentines (Italy) From Food Network Kitchens
By Sugar Lopez
These Tuscan cookies are a Christmas classic. They're nutty,
lacy and crisp, as well as deceptively simple to make.
Drizzling them with chocolate turns them into the perfect
1 3/4 cups sliced, blanched almonds (about 5 ounces)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Topping, optional:
2 to 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350
degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or
Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped,
but not pasty. Stir together the nuts, flour, zest and salt in
a large bowl.
Put the sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter in a small
saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until
mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely
dissolved. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and
stir in the vanilla, then pour mixture into almond mixture and
stir just to combine. Set aside until cool enough to handle,
Scoop rounded teaspoons (for 3-inch cookies) or rounded
tablespoons (for 6-inch cookies) of batter and roll into
balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 to 4
inches between each cookie since they spread.
Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even
golden brown color throughout, rotating pans halfway through
baking time, about 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for
5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with
remaining batter. Serve.
Optional chocolate topping:
Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan
filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very low simmer; set
the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate
occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the
chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent
power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and
continue heat until completely melted, about 1 to 2 minutes
For sandwiches: Drop about 1/2 teaspoon chocolate onto on the
flat side of half of the cookies and press together with
remaining halves. Return to rack and let chocolate set.
For chocolate decor: Drizzle melted chocolate over Florentines
as desired. Set aside at room temperature until chocolate is
Busy baker's tips: Store baked cookies carefully, separated by
parchment or waxed paper, in an air-tight container for up to
3 days. Florentines are best stored separated from moist
cookies and cakes.
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