Although a European classic and found in Italian and French cuisines, these Florentine Cookies found their way into a Polish Cookbook as “Florentynki” and have become a Christmas classic in many homes in the Coal Region. Light, crispy and graced with a thin coating of chocolate, they are fairly easy to make. It is believed the cookie was created by King Louis XIV’s master pastry chefs at the Palace of Versailles for the Medici of Florence.
When placing them on sheets to bake, make sure to leave plenty of room between them as the cookie will SPREAD when baking. If you have chocolate left over after coating the bottom of the cookies, you can drizzle some thin ribbons across the top of the cookies to jazz them up some.
If you do not want to coat the bottoms, you can simply drizzle melted chocolate ribbons over the tops, let harden, and store as directed in the recipe. Delicate, impressive, and tasty, these are a great addition to your holiday cookie list or perfect any time of the year.
Polish Florentine Cookies (Florentynki)Course: DessertCuisine: Eastern European, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate
5 ounces almonds (blanched, skinless, finely chopped)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied orange peel or zest
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick mat.
- In a bowl, stir together the finely chopped almonds, the all-purpose flour and the candied orange peel or zest.
- In a saucepan, mix the white sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup and butter. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally until sugar is fully dissolved and mix comes to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until combined.
- Pour the sugar syrup into almond mix and stir until just well combined. Cool 30 to 40 minutes.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes then remove to rack to finish cooling. Finish baking remaining dough as directed.
- Melt 1/2 pound of candy melt wafers (Merckens, Wilton, etc,) in your choice of dark, milk, or white according to package directions. You can use melted baking chips, too, but the candy melts make a nice finish and the cookies store better. They do not store as well if using regular chocolate (that needs to be tempered).
- With a spatula, spread a light coating of melted chocolate on the bottom of each fully cooled cookie.
- Place on cooling rack, chocolate coated side up, to harden.
- Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers.