Vegan & Gluten-Free Florentines (almond lace cookies)

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on December 10, 2012

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Vegan Florentines (almond lace cookies)

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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.

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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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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

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Ben December 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

These look delicious. And great pics, too! Thanks, Angela.


Lindsey December 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

These are incredible! I made them with the slivered blanched almonds (that all i could find on hand at the time)so i roughly ground them in a food processor and used plain soymilk i had on hand instead of coconut milk. Even with these changes they were fantastic. Not at all as hard nor time consuming as they appear. These will be on my list of “go to’s” for their simplicity and how beautiful they look. I did add a drop of orange extract to the melted chocolate which brought them up a notch! So good!! Thank you again for another amazing recipe…you have never let me down!!!


Amber from Slim Pickin's Kitchen December 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

These look so tasty and crispy, and the combination of chocolate and orange can’t be beat. I’m also glad to know that I’m not the only one with chicken scratched recipes overflowing around my desk! ;)


caren @ voodies December 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I nominated you for a leibster award!! Happy holidays!!



Lindsay December 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Wow, Angela! How did you ever hang on to this recipe for a whole year? I’m going to have to give these a try.


Jaclyn T December 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I JUST made these, albeit non-vegan. I used butter and whipped cream in place of the non-dairy butter and coconut milk, as I had them on hand. Also, I omitted the orange zest as 1. I don’t have any oranges in the kitchen and 2. I need to buy a tiny grater/zester.

With my modifications, these cookies were still yummy! I am popping them in the freezer and bringing them to a family gathering this Saturday.

Thanks for the delicious recipe! :)


Mrs G December 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I would like to make this recipe, however I am unable to find earth balance spread. Would be a good idea to substitute with solid coconut oil? In other recipes, this trick worked, but it was for 1-2 tbsp of butter, while here there is a larger quantity.
Does anybody have a suggestion? Thx a lot.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2012 at 9:36 am

I find coconut oil can make cookies a bit greasy at times (and these cookies are already a tad greasy coming out of the oven which is why I dabbed them with paper towel.) If you try coconut oil, maybe try using only 3 tbsp instead of 4? Let me know if you try it out!


Mrs G December 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Thank you very much!
I’ve just made these cookies and they are delicious.
I used 3 scant tbsp of solid coconut oil and it worked very well. I baked the cookies for 30 minutes and I used honey instead of rice syrup (I didn’t have it).
I don’t know if my longer baking time is due to the coconut oil or not. It doesn’t matter, what counts is the result and it was a good one.
Thank you again.


Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe December 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I can almost taste this delightfully crisp cookie…cannot wait to make them myself!


Rachel L December 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm

When you say to use “2 tbsp full-fat canned coconut milk,” did you use the technique where you put in in the refrigerator upside down? And if so, did you let the cream cool down to room temperature? I have some in my refrigerator, but am wondering if the cold will make the cream too thick for this recipe.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Hey Rachel, I think I just opened a can straight from the fridge if I remember correctly. Im sure room temp or chilled would be fine.


Alex December 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm

AHHHHH those look amazing!!!
O.K., all of your recipes are amazing. I just got coconut milk, so I’ll use some for this recipe and then maybe top the cookies with Coconut Cream….yum :)


Amber December 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Can I use the Silpat sheet for these instead of using parchment paper? Or did you use the parchment paper for a reason? Thanks! Amber : )


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

Yes I think a Silpay would work just fine…might slightly increase the baking time though but just keep an eye on it


Sally Haldorson December 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Well, I think I found my answer in the above posts, but I made these last night and they didn’t spread at all. The taste was terrific and we certainly don’t mind eating tasty almond clusters, but no spreading. The only thing different I did was use almond milk instead of coconut because my coconut milk was frozen hard from forgetting it in the freezer (whipped topping attempt.) Perhaps chopping the nuts and turning up the heat would help as another commenter suggested. Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

I’m sorry to hear that Sally, Im not sure why it didn’t spread for you! Maybe a longer bake time would have helped?


Catherine December 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I made 2 batches of these so far (one more to go) as cookie gifts… they are AMAZING. Everyone loves them. Every single recipe I try of yours just comes out amazing, Angela. Thank you thank you!! I feel like a baking goddess! Haha :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 18, 2012 at 9:11 am

hah thank you Catherine, you are a baking goddess!!


Erika December 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hi Angela! Thanks so much for this awesome recipe–I made them last night and they were a-mazing. Just one question for you–did you purposely chop the almonds by hand instead of putting them in a food processor? I put them in a food processor, but I’m wondering if the texture was different than it was supposed to be. When I baked my cookies, they really spread a lot so that there were some holes, but yours look like they stuck together really well. But I also subbed honey for the brown rice syrup and boiled the butter, syrup and cream for maybe 30 seconds after it came to a low boil (instead of taking it off right away). So I’m not sure why they looked the way they did!

In any case, they tasted great and were so pretty. I loved them!


Jaclyn T December 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

Mmm… here are a pic of my version with a link back here!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

I’m so happy you enjoyed the cookies! Thanks for letting me know :)


Rhea December 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

These are so yummy! I used agave nectar instead of the brown rice syrup. The first pan did not spread out much, so I flattened with a water dipped fork near the end of the baking. Worked great this way! Will definitely make again!


Munchie December 22, 2012 at 9:40 am

These are now my favorite cookie recipe! They are in my freezer calling to me, but I will save them to share for Christmas Eve. Thank you, Angela, for presenting such wonderful recipes. I know you must spend hours perfecting them before presenting them and I so appreciate your hard work.


Dutchgirlsam December 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Wow, these cookies are amazing. I adapted them slightly because a friend of ours can’t have coconut butter and I can’t get Earth Balance in the Netherlands. That’s why I replaced it with a little bit oatly cream. That seems to work just fine and they look and taste wonderful. I loooove the way my house smells too, so …Christmas :). Thanks Angela!


Needful Things December 27, 2012 at 12:26 am

These look amazing & I can’t wait to try them out. One question – could I use almond flour/meal for this recipe? Would I need to make any adjustments in the recipe if I do?
By the way I stumbled across your blog just today & I love it!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thank you :) Im not sure about the almond flour…it could work? Let me know if you try it out!


jess January 13, 2013 at 7:22 pm

hi- thx for the great recipe! at 275 my cookies didn’t spread at all- not evan after 10 + 7 minutes so had to flatten them with a bottom of a glass (dipped in water or it stuck to glass) and then i upped it to 300 and baked for 8 more minutes and that did it! nothing better than toasted almonds- such a great treat xoxo


manna February 21, 2013 at 9:13 pm

yea! hope this signs me up for your emails!
thanks for all the substitution work ;)


sandy March 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Oh my gosh…these are really delicious. My daughter is a vegan and it is passover next week so thought I would try them. I didn’t have blanched almonds so I used slivered and ground them in the processor. I can only imagine how much lovelier they would be with the larger pieces of sliced almonds but even without, they are chewy and just the right amount of sweetness! Thank you for posting these winners!!!


Dee March 22, 2013 at 8:42 am

question, do these just spead out flat on their own? also how brittle are they? If I need to transport these would I be able to just take them in a plastic baggie? I was thinking of making these for the church bake sale.

Thank you.


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 23, 2013 at 8:01 am

Hey Dee, Yes they spread out on their own. They are quite brittle and I wouldn’t think they would transport very well without a lot of TLC.


Amanda April 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

These are absolutely delicious. Thank you so much! Littler cookies = you can have more in one sitting, right?!


Margarita June 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm

How many cookies total does this recipe make (if made out of 1/2 TB balls)?


Stephanie July 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Hi! I just made these and while the dough/batter was delicious, they didn’t flatten out at all! Just stayed in the round ball shapes…any idea where I went wrong? I didn’t make any substitutions. Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 23, 2013 at 8:27 am

Hey Stephanie, I’m not sure – I’ve made these a few times and they always spread out a ton! Sorry yours didn’t…what kind of flour did you use? Im wondering if that was it.


Brooke Lazor December 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm

I used spelt, skipped the choc + icing sugar and accidentally just ate FLORENTINES for dinner! Woops :s ha ha.. The orange zest just brings this recipe to a whole new level!

Would like to sub out the butter for something a little cleaner/leaner, any suggestions? Would coconut oil work or no?

THANK YOU for the recipe, will definitely share :-)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hey Brooke, Glad you enjoyed them! I haven’t tried this recipe with coconut oil so I can’t say for sure. I would guess that it would be fine though. Enjoy!


Persnickety January 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

A great recipe I can’t wait to try out. I love Almond Lace Cookies and those brave enough to try them! I wish more would.

I came up with my own version of a Almond Lace Cookies, or as I sometimes call them, Broomstick cookies. While different from your own, I think mine is a unique take on the dish. I’m new to the Food Blog scene and would love some feedback from a pro like you. Check out my recipe if have time.


Olivia April 20, 2014 at 7:44 am

I must make these! I’m accustomed to seeing them with slices of red glace cherries in them, it adds colour and a bit more sweetness so I’m going to add them to mine when I make these :) Thanks for the beautiful recipe


Allison January 3, 2015 at 10:00 am

Going to try these today. Off to market and thank you for sharing.


Laura P. November 10, 2015 at 10:33 pm

So I know I’m late to the game, but… I made these tonight as a treat to go with brunch tomorrow and can’t wait to have these on hand with some coffee and fruit. I substituted 1.5 tbsp of maple syrup and a pinch of brown sugar for the brown rice syrup and they seemed to do just fine! Looking forward to having the prettiest, winteriest treats to bring to brunch tomorrow. Thanks Angela!


Diana April 27, 2016 at 8:00 am


How many does one batch make?

Thanks Angela!


Angela Liddon April 27, 2016 at 9:24 am

Hi Diana, one batch should make about 27 cookies. If you make them, I hope you enjoy! :)


Jay August 7, 2017 at 7:40 pm

My cookies didn’t come out crispy – they were soft and chew. Any suggestions as to how to get a crispy cookie?


Angela Liddon August 14, 2017 at 9:10 am

Hey Jay, My guess is that the cookies might benefit from a bit more bake time. Ovens can vary greatly. I would try just a bit longer, while keeping an eye on them, if you make them again.


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