Florentine cookies are a beloved classic known for their delicate, deeply caramelized, and addictive nature. Chopped almonds are usually combined with butter, sugar, and corn syrup – before being baked to a lacey crisp. We’ve opted for a more wholesome spin, by substituting the usual refined sugar for coconut sugar and honey. We’ve also snuck in our dried figs and kishmish raisins, offering an unexpected pop of brightness and a pleasant pop of chewy texture to counterbalance the crunch. These cookies are delicious as they are, but are unbearably more-ish when adorned with melted dark chocolate. You’ll likely find yourself eating one, then two, then…
1 cup raw almonds
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup honey
¼ all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
⅓ cup chopped dried figs
⅓ cup chopped Kishmish raisins
1 cup dark chocolate chips, optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
Pulse the almonds in a food processor until they’re thoroughly chopped but not pulverized.
In a saucepan set to medium-high heat, combine the butter, coconut sugar and honey. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved, and allow the mixture to come to the gentlest boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and sift in the flour, salt, and cardamom. Whisk thoroughly to combine, making sure no lumps of flour remain. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped almonds, dried figs and raisins.
Grease the parchment paper with a bit of butter or cooking spray.
Place teaspoon sized balls of the cookie dough on the prepared sheet tray, making sure to leave a generous amount of space between them. One sheet tray can comfortably fit 8 cookies.
Bake for 10 minutes, until deeply golden and caramelized around the edges. Keep a watchful eye around the 9 minute mark, as every oven is different and these cookies will burn in a blink. Remove the sheet tray from the oven. The cookies tend to spread a bit haphazardly during baking; you can neaten them into more proper circles by nudging the edges with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon – just be sure to act fast, as they are the most malleable straight out of the oven. Slide the parchment paper onto the counter to allow the cookies to cool.
Repeat with the remaining cookies.
If you plan to adorn your florentines with chocolate, set up a makeshift double boiler by bringing a small pot of water to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pot, and make sure that the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Add the chocolate to the bowl, and gently stir until it’s melted. Place the cooled cookies upside down on a wire rack set over a sheet tray. Add a small dollop of melted chocolate to the bottom of each cookie, and use the back of a spoon to evenly distribute it. Set aside to cool until the chocolate is set.
I find that these cookies keep best in the fridge, as any level of humidity can tamper with the integrity of their crunch. They’ll keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge, though I guarantee they’ll never make it that long.