Vegan & Gluten-Free Florentines (almond lace cookies)

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vegan florentine cookies lace 8499 thumb2   Vegan & Gluten Free Florentines (almond lace cookies)

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for almost a full year. How does that even happen? The truth is, I made these cookies on January 1st 2012 (I know, what killer timing to make cookies), but I figured posting a cookie recipe on the first day of the year was akin to posting a salad on Halloween Day. 

Well, maybe I was wrong because we certainly enjoyed these, January 1st or not! Now that these cookies are back “in season”, I decided to dig up the recipe and photography. Only I couldn’t find the recipe and was less than thrilled with my photography, so I almost started the whole thing from scratch. Luckily, I found the recipe buried deep in a stack of chicken scratch recipe trials in some random drawer of my desk. Yesssss.

Eric, this is proof that your crazy wife is much more organized than you think. So there.

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Never one to resist playing around with a recipe, I ended up tweaking the ingredients slightly, swapping the cane sugar for coconut sugar and reducing the amount of sugar and vegan butter overall. The oven temp was also scaled back from 325F to 275F because I had problems with the edges browning too quickly in my January batch. A low heat and slightly longer bake time solved this problem.

Even with all these changes, they still turned out just as good as I remembered – crispy, refreshing, and nutty with a hint of orange and chocolate which is just so nice this time of the year.

vegan florentine cookies lace 8461 thumb   Vegan & Gluten Free Florentines (almond lace cookies)

How to make:

I used sliced blanched almonds from the bulk food section.

Finely chop the almonds, but it’s ok if some big pieces remain. Mix the chopped almonds with the rest of the dry ingredients.

vegan florentine cookies lace 8463 thumb   Vegan & Gluten Free Florentines (almond lace cookies)

Now heat the wet ingredients in a pot and bring it to a low boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the dry ingredients until well combined.

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Now we’re going to let this mixture sit for 10-15 minutes to cool off.

Once it’s cool to touch, shape the dough into tiny 1/2 tablespoon balls, spacing them at least 3 inches apart on the baking sheet because they spread a lot. I fit 10 cookies on my baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 275F, rotate the pan, and bake for another 7-9 minutes until golden. For my first batch, I didn’t shape the balls very well, so the cookies came out quite uneven. If you want more uniform cookies, be sure to really roll the balls into a nice even shape. It helps to wet your fingers too!

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After cooling the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, transfer them to a cooking rack. Now you can decorate the cookies with melted chocolate and icing sugar if you wish. They really are a beautiful holiday cookie, aren’t they?

vegan florentine cookies lace 8493 thumb   Vegan & Gluten Free Florentines (almond lace cookies)

Vegan Florentines (almond lace cookies)

Email, text, or print this recipe

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.

  • 1 & 3/4 cup (190g) sliced blanched almonds
  • 3 tbsp (25g) gluten-free all-purpose flour (or other flour)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (85g) coconut sugar (or cane sugar or Sucanat)
  • 1/4 cup (40g) non-dairy buttery spread (I used soy-free Earth balance)
  • 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 2 tbsp full-fat canned coconut milk (use the cream from the top of the can)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/3 cup dark chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • Confectioner’s sugar/icing sugar, to garnish

 

1. Preheat oven to 275F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Finely chop sliced almonds and place in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, orange zest, salt, sugar).

3. In a medium-sized pot, add the wet ingredients (non-dairy butter, brown rice syrup, coconut cream) and stir until combined. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Set aside to cool for about 10-15 minutes.

5. Wet fingers and shape dough into tiny 1/2 tablespoon balls. Roll with hands into a uniform ball and place on baking sheet, at least 3 inches apart. Repeat until you can’t fit anymore on the baking sheet.

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 275F, rotate the pan, and bake for another 7-9 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then carefully transfer to cooling rack. Repeat baking process for the rest of the dough. When cookies are cool, place on paper towel and press lightly to absorb any butter on the bottom of the cookie.

7. Melt chocolate and coconut oil over low heat. Drizzle cookies with melted chocolate (a fork works fine for this) and sift with icing sugar. Chill in the freezer until hardened, Cookies also freeze well.

For nutritional info, see bottom of recipage entry.

Substitution Questions: 1) you can substitute the coconut sugar for cane sugar or even Sucanat sugar. 2) I have not tried subbing the coconut cream, but you might be able to replace it with non-dairy creamer or even a splash of almond milk. I wouldn’t add much because you don’t want the batter to be too wet. 3) I have not subbed the brown rice syrup, but if you eat honey you can sub it with that (vegans try Bee-Free Honee) or even coconut nectar. I don’t know how maple syrup or agave would turn out. If you try it please leave a comment and let us know. 4) I used an orange flavoured chocolate for this cookie and it paired nicely with the orange zest. If you aren’t an orange fan, feel free to leave out the zest or try subbing it with a touch of lemon or lime zest or even with a bit of almond extract instead of zest. 5) I used gluten-free all-purpose flour in this recipe, but you can also use whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose, spelt, etc. 6) Since I could only bake 10 cookies at one time, this process took some time. You might be able to bake two cookie sheets at once, just be sure to rotate the pans accordingly and adjust the baking time if necessary.

vegan florentine cookies lace 5943 thumb   Vegan & Gluten Free Florentines (almond lace cookies)

If you’re looking to pair it with something for dessert, they go quite nicely with coconut ice cream! Traditionally, they can be served with tea/coffee, crumbled over pudding, or served as sandwich cookies filled with ice cream, whipped cream, or jam. If you are looking for a way to use up coconut cream, this may be a good option. Our favourite way to enjoy them seems to be with a hot cup of tea for a snack. You can never go wrong with that. They also freeze well and are fantastic straight out of the freezer (actually we might have preferred them that way).

Happy baking!

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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 10, 2012

I just realized how many recipes I’ve been sitting on for way too long. There’s just to much good food in the world!

Love Florentines. And for me this was perfectly timed. I’m going to a cookie swap this weekend and needed a sects cookie to bring!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 10, 2012

Second not sect. Silly autocorrect.

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } December 11, 2012

Lol, awesome autocorrect!

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh December 10, 2012

I just made cookies for others yesterday (12 hours of baking…ugh!) but lucky for us I do my baking for US this weekend! Thanks for the recipe. The Mr would totally love this as a sundae decoration!

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Jill December 10, 2012

Ooooh! These look so good!

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Alex @ Healthy Life Happy Wife December 10, 2012

Ohhh these look good! Maybe for Christmas Eve! Thanks for the recipe!

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Stefanie @ Thin Vegetarian December 10, 2012

They look great!

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan December 10, 2012

What beautiful cookies! I love the picture in the ice cream, so wonderful.

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Ali December 10, 2012

These look so good! Any thoughts on a nut that I can replace the almonds with? I’m allergic. :(

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 10, 2012

That’s a toughie…chopped sunflower seeds? Not sure how the flavour would be though.

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Jordan December 10, 2012

I have a similar recipe that uses macadamia nuts… chop em up and they are light subtle and buttery :)

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kaity @ kaityscooking December 10, 2012

these look so good and so easy!

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Malgorzata December 10, 2012

One more substitution question – is it possible to use more rice syrup instead of sugar?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 10, 2012

My guess is that the batter would be too sticky with more liquid sweetener, so you’d probably have to increase the dry ingredients. Adapt at your own risk ;)

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Sarah @ Yogi in Action December 10, 2012

Wow- these look amazing! Your photography is always so beautiful. Makes the cookies seem even more appealing

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 10, 2012

Thank you Sarah! I appreciate it :)

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Herbivore Triathlete December 10, 2012

Yummy! I hear ya on sitting on recipes. I’ve got binders full of recipes I want to make, plus loose sheets in piles, and a notebook full. Some day I will get to each one, maybe!

Adding these cookies to my ever growing list, glad they freeze well because I’ve got so many cookies I want to make, and now they won’t all be eaten before they’re past their prime.

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Lori @ Forkful of Freedom December 10, 2012

I was looking for a simple cookie recipe to make this week. Looks like I found it!! :)

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Suzanne Poldon December 10, 2012

Oh Angela! I’ve been searching for a vegan florentine recipe FOREVER! I used to enjoy them all the time before I was vegan, since they made them at the cafe I worked at. The cafe made them with dried cranberries, so I will be adding them to my batch!

Love your blog, can’t wait for the cookbook!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 11, 2012

Goodluck, I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for your kind words Suzanne. :)

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} December 10, 2012

Yum! I will totally be making these. Sitting on recipes is inevitable… I’m so glad you ended up sharing these!

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goreti Tada December 10, 2012

I’ve been making a lot of your recipes lately and they have all been a hit with my husband. I totally trust your cooking talent. You have such a sense of creativity. I look forward to more and more OH SHE GLOWS recipes. Keep cooking and have an awesome holiday season.

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Fit Missy December 10, 2012

Looks delicious!!

Will have to put on my to do list for weekend!

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Saguna December 10, 2012

These are so pretty! They’d make lovely gifts too; just wondering, would it work with coconut oil instead of butter?

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Highball Emy December 10, 2012

Ooh, these looks good! I’m going to a party at a gluten-free household for New Year, so I’ve added these to my list of things I might make to take along!

I added you to my blogroll, so hopefully you’ll get a little traffic from me. Maybe you could have a look at my blog and follow me if you like some of the recipes? Sorry for the self-promotion!

Love,

Emy
xxx

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Miche December 10, 2012

These look absolutely delicious, as usual! Looking forward to adding these to my Christmas cookie menu :)

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Kari@Loaves n Dishes December 10, 2012

I don’t need an excuse to eat Florentines! Coconut sugar is an ingredient I’ve never used; does it taste like coconut?

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Christie M. December 10, 2012

about how many cookies does this recipe make?

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 10, 2012

These look so pretty Ange! I didn’t even know what Florentines were but when I saw the photos, I knew instantly. I love the thin crispiness of these cookies. Might have to make them for our work potluck/bake sale!

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Amber December 10, 2012

These look amazing! I usually make fudge for my coworkers for Christmas. I’ve been thinking about what vegan alternative I want to make them this year. This may be the winner! Hopefully I don’t eat them all before I can get them to work! YUM!

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luv what you do December 10, 2012

These are gorgeous!!!
I love the addition of the powdered sugar!

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Lisa December 10, 2012

Holy Schneikes. My husband will want to hug you after I make these for him. He never remembers how much he loves florentine cookies until he sees them at a bakery. Then he drools until we get them. Now that we’re vegan, this will certainly hit the spot. Thanks so much for the recipe.

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Ashley December 10, 2012

Gorgeous! My sister loves lace cookies- I’m sure she’ll love this recipe too!

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Hannah December 10, 2012

I will definitely be making these for the holidays! Did you use coconut sugar in syrup form or granulated form?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 11, 2012

Hi Hannah, I used it in granulated form for this recipe.

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Radhika Sarohia December 10, 2012

These look freakin awesome!!!!!!!! :-)

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Radhika Sarohia December 10, 2012

Looks like there is not too much flour in the recipe, wonder if I can make a low-carb version so I can have these on my diet, I will try

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jodye @ chocolate & chou fleur December 10, 2012

These sound fantastic! I’ve had the idea to make Florentines in the back of my mind for a long while, but this recipe certainly brought it to the forefront. I do always seem to have a can of coconut milk lying around just waiting to be used, so this looks like the perfect pairing!

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Kristin December 10, 2012

ZOMG!! Ever since having a cookie like this from Trader Joe’s that isn’t in the gluten free vegan diet now I have dreamt about these. I will have to make these this weekend!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers December 11, 2012

Glad you decided to share this recipe with us! It’s so creative and looks mighty delish! I have to give this one a try!!

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Molly @ RDexposed December 11, 2012

I am trying to think of an excuse to make these…. I need these!

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Lia December 11, 2012

These are just perfect! I’m a fan of thin and crispy, and am actually looking for cookies to send over to my boyfriend’s mom’s house. What a great, versatile cookie you have here. Thanks!

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Nicole December 11, 2012

They look delish!! Where can I find coconut sugar? Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 12, 2012

Hey Nicole, I buy mine at Costco. You can also find it at Whole Foods or other natural grocery stores/sections.

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning December 11, 2012

I love thin, crispy “lace” style cookies. I made some last year from a recipe on Whole Foods site that were delicious! I’ll have to try these out. :)

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Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit December 11, 2012

Haha, love your analogy of posting a cookie recipe on Jan. 1st being like posting a salad recipe on Halloween. :D These cookies look delightful!

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Senator December 11, 2012

OK, I just HAD to try this recipe out yesterday when I got home from work and I noticed a few things (also, I had to do substitutions up the wahzoo). They turned out great, and are super delicious!

Here are my changes as follows:

1 & 3/4 cup (190g) FINELY CHOPED slivered almonds
3 tbsp (25g) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup (85g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (40g) non-dairy butter (Earth balance)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp soy creamer
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4-1/3 cup dark chocolate, melted
1/2 tsp non-dairy butter (Earth balance)

1. Preheat oven to 300F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 7 minutes and turn pan. Bake for 5-10 more, or until golden and flattened.

Everything else in the same.

THANK YOU for helping me find my christmas cookie!!!

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Senator December 11, 2012

*head desk*

The two major things I noticed were that I had to really finely chop the almonds, or the cookies wouldn’t spread.

And then of course the oven change. My oven is pretty accurate, so I’m guessing this has something to do with location. I’m in Southern California, so I don’t know if that affected it at all, but at 275, the cookies also didn’t seem to want to spread or bake properly, but at 300 they were happy as clams!

A word of precaution at 300, however, those suckers bake quickly! So the end time might not be a set 5 min.

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Angela December 11, 2012

You. Are. A Genius! These have been my favorite Christmas cookies since I was a kid! I was going to try to create a vegan version this season, but since you’ve already done the hard part I am going to try yours. I will follow up with the results.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 12, 2012

I hope you enjoy them Angela!

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Angela @ AnotherBitePlease December 11, 2012

wow these look so good…can’t wait to share with my sister who is vegan – she will be so happy we are making a Christmas cookie she can eat up!

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Karen December 3, 2013

These are delicious..Watch the baking time, cause in my opinion they are much better if they have a bit of a chewiness rather than so crispy..Try catching them just before they start to darken. They will still harden up but won’t be so rigid to the bite. I Love them because although I find sugars quite toxic, it is the flours that I find really hard on the system. I used brown rice flour for the 3 T the recipe calls for. Enjoy everyone! and Thanks!

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