Are you looking for a recipe that is both healthy and delicious? Look no further than these gluten-free florentine cookies, also known as lacy Italian cookies. These thin, crispy almond lace cookies are made with almond flour and tapioca flour instead of traditional wheat flour, making them perfect for those who need or prefer a gluten-free diet. But don’t let that fool you – these cookies are absolutely scrumptious.
Not only are these cookies gluten-free, but they are also dairy-free and naturally sweetened with honey instead of refined sugar. The addition of orange zest adds a burst of fresh citrus flavor that perfectly complements the nutty taste of the almonds. And if you love chocolate, try dipping the edges in melted dark chocolate for an extra decadent treat.
But wait, there’s more! These cookies are also vegan-friendly, so you can enjoy them even if you avoid animal products. No matter your dietary restrictions or preferences, these florentines almond lace cookies are sure to become a new favorite in your household.
This recipe has been sitting in my recipe book for almost a full year now but I recently happened to make these on January 1st, 2012 and it was truly one of the best decisions I made all year – okay, that might be an exaggeration, but these cookies truly are amazing.
So let’s get started on making these delectable treats by following this step-by-step guide.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Friends, do you know what’s better than a regular cookie? A thin, crispy, delicate lace cookie. And now, do you know what’s even better than that? A gluten-free version of it!
Introducing to you, my gluten-free florentines (lacy Italian cookies) recipe. It’s an incredibly easy gluten-free recipe that yields some of the most addictive cookies you’ll ever taste.
But why will you love this recipe? For starters, these cookies are made with wholesome and natural ingredients. We use almond flour instead of wheat flour, honey instead of corn syrup, and butter instead of any unhealthy oils or margarine.
Moreover, the combination of orange zest and chopped almonds in each cookie adds a burst of flavors and crunch that will leave you wanting more. And if that’s not enough for ya’ll almond lovers out there, feel free to switch it up and use pistachios instead.
Not only is this recipe amazingly tasty, but it’s also gluten-free! No need to worry about any pesky stomach issues because our cookies are free from any gluten-containing ingredients.
Lastly, these florentines are such a crowd-pleaser! Perfect for potlucks, holidays, or even just as a treat for yourself. Trust me; I’ve made these cookies on January 1st 2012 and have been consistently making them every year since then. Once you make them too, they might even be in your yearly rotation list.
So go ahead and whip up a batch of these lacy Italian cookies; I promise you won’t regret it!
Here is a list of ingredients you’ll need to make these gluten-free florentines:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup packed light/dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- zest of one orange
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds (can substitute with pistachios)
- Optional: Dark chocolate for drizzling.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we’ve covered the ingredients, let’s dive into how to make these delicious gluten-free florentine lace cookies.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies
Step 1: Preheat Oven and Prep Parchment Paper
First things first, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, tapioca flour, and brown sugar until well combined.
Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients
Melt unsalted butter and mix it with honey and orange zest. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring until there are no lumps left in the mixture.
Step 4: Scoop the Mixture onto Baking Sheets
Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop small portions of your mixture onto your prepared baking sheets. Make sure you space them out enough as they will spread during baking.
Step 5: Bake to Perfection
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Be careful not to overbake them as they can quickly go from golden brown to burned.
Step 6: Cool Down and Serve or Store
Remove cookies from oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring them onto wire racks to cool completely. Cookies will become crispy as they cool down.
Once cooled, feel free to store these delicious treats in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for about a week.
And voila! You now have yourself some delicious Gluten-Free Florentine Lace Cookies that are perfect for any occasion. Enjoy them on their own or paired with a cup of tea or coffee.
Substitutions and Variations
Now, let’s talk about some substitutions and variations you can try with this gluten-free florentines recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own!
If you don’t have honey, you can use agave nectar or maple syrup instead. Substituting the unsalted butter with vegan butter or coconut oil should also work well for a vegan version of this recipe.
For a different flavor profile, you can add in some chopped pistachios to the batter or switch out the almond flour for hazelnut or even oatmeal flour. You can also dip the cookies in dark chocolate for an indulgent treat.
If you want to make this recipe without tapioca flour, arrowroot starch or potato starch are good substitutes.
If you prefer your florentines extra-crispy, reduce the oven temperature slightly and bake them a bit longer to achieve a beautiful golden color.
Lastly, if you’re feeling creative, try making a half-batch using orange zest instead of chopped almonds for a citrusy twist.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to customize a recipe. Sometimes the best dishes come from tweaking and adjusting until they reflect your unique preferences.
Serving and Pairing
After baking these gluten-free florentine cookies to a crispy perfection, it’s time to enjoy them. The thin and crispy almond lace cookies can be served as an elegant dessert or as a sweet treat with a hot cup of tea or coffee. They are also perfect for special occasions or if you want to indulge in some guilt-free snacking.
To pair the florentines, you can go for an array of options that complement their flavors. You could serve them with a citrus-infused fruit salad that complements the orange zest flavor in the cookies. Alternatively, you could enjoy them with a glass of red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, or a sweet white wine like Moscato or Riesling. The wine will balance the sweetness and the texture of the cookies.
For those who love pistachios, sprinkle some finely chopped pistachios on top of the florentines after baking. This simple addition creates a delightful contrast in taste and texture between the nuts and the cookie’s crisp.
Additionally, if you are looking to make your dessert more decadent, try dipping half of each cookie in melted dark chocolate. The combination creates a lusciously rich flavor balanced with a crunch.
Overall, these gluten-free florentine cookies are versatile and can be enjoyed both on their own or paired with other treats. Discover your favorite pairing and please share them and any other inspiration ideas you might have in the comments!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Once you have made these delicately crispy and fragrant gluten-free florentines, you will want to keep them fresh for as long as possible. The good news is that these cookies can be stored for up to one week in an airtight container at room temperature without losing their delicious, crunchy texture.
If you want to make these ahead of time, you could prepare the dough, shape them into small mounds and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze them for up to a month. If you decide to go with the latter option, be sure to let them thaw completely before baking.
Reheating these cookies is not necessary but if you prefer them warm, this can easily be done by placing them in a preheated oven for a few minutes.
To keep things interesting, experiment with adding different ingredients such as chopped almonds or pistachios in place of the almond flour for a unique twist on the classic florentine cookie. They also pair perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee or as an after-dinner treat.
Remember, when making florentines, it’s important to use quality ingredients such as honey, butter, and orange zest to elevate their flavors. These cookies are not only gluten-free and dairy-free but also perfect for anyone looking for a healthier dessert option that does not compromise on taste.
Tips for Perfect Results
Preparing the perfect gluten-free Florentines can be a challenge, but fear not! Following these tips will guarantee that your cookies are thin, crispy, and absolutely delicious.
First and foremost, it is important to have all of your ingredients thoroughly mixed together. Make sure to sift the almond flour prior to incorporating it into the recipe to avoid any lumps. Also, using high-quality honey is crucial in achieving the perfect taste and texture.
When melting the butter, be careful not to let it brown as this can negatively affect the flavor. It’s best to melt the butter on low heat and continue stirring until completely melted. Extra time spent watching over the stove can help prevent unwanted browning.
Another tip for perfect results is using parchment paper or a silicone baking mat when baking your cookies. This helps prevent sticking and ensures easy removal from the pan.
While your cookies are baking, keep an eye on them at all times since Florentines can quickly go from golden brown to burnt. If you see that they are browning too quickly, simply cover with aluminium foil for protection while continuing to bake.
Finally, when it comes time to dip your gluten-free Florentines in chocolate, be extra cautious when melting the chocolate to ensure it doesn’t burn or thicken too much. Using high-quality chocolate chips instead of chocolate bars is recommended for easier melting.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to create perfectly crispy and delightful gluten-free Florentines every time.
In conclusion, these gluten-free florentine cookies will bring delight to your taste buds while satisfying your dietary needs. The combination of honey, butter, orange zest, and almond flour creates a thin and crispy cookie with a deliciously sweet taste. This recipe is not only perfect for those who are gluten-free or dairy-free, but it’s also suitable for those who prefer vegan-friendly baked goods.
By using tapioca flour instead of regular flour, and brown sugar instead of refined white sugar, you’re choosing healthier ingredients without compromising on taste. Plus, this recipe is extremely versatile and can be easily adapted to suit your preferences.
Whether you serve them with a cup of tea or coffee, or enjoy them as a mid-day snack, these cookies will provide you with a little moment of bliss. So why not give this recipe a try? You won’t regret it!
Gluten Free Florentines (Lacy Italian Cookies) Recipe
- 2 cups planter's sliced almonds, chopped
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 8 ounces ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees positioning the rack in the center of the oven.
- Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix almonds, flour and zest.
- Heat a saucepan to medium heat and stir the sugar, butter, cream, and honey until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from heat.
- Stir in the almond mixture. Cool for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using 2 teaspoons of batter for each cookie (it will not seem like enough, but the cookies will spread while cooking), spoon 8 mounds of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten each one slightly with your finger.
- Bake the cookies about 10 minutes until they are lacy (holes in them) and golden brown.
- Slide parchment paper with cookies to a rack to cool completely. Then transfer the cookies to paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- FREEZING: Cool completely and put in an airtight container in your freezer for up to two months! (Imagine having your holiday cookies done in October!). Defrost before continuing with recipe.
- SANDWICH COOKIES: Stir the chocolate in a double boiler (or bowl set over simmering water) until the chocolate melts. Spread the melted chocolate over the bottom of 1 cookie and then sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies.