More cookies coming at you this week with these easy Florentines Biscuits. Light and crunchy, with a chocolate covered base, Florentines are loved all over the world for good reason.
What are they?
Florentines are a combination of flaked or sliced nuts, dried fruits and a caramel coating and while you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re an Italian cookie, the origin is not really known however they are believed to actually be a French creation.
The basic but classic recipe always contains thinly sliced almonds, glace cherries and sultanas coated with a mixture of melted butter, flour and sugar that are baked until golden. The base is then covered in dark chocolate.
These almond cookies make a perfect Christmas cookie too. The bright red cherries and the orange zest make these a perfect festive treat.
As with many much-loved recipes, over time the ingredients in Florentines have changed and adapted to suit those making them. This is great for those who want a little creative license, like me.
Florentines with Corn Flakes are a more modern take on the recipe and mine also includes Corn Flakes since it adds a crunch factor you can’t get with almonds alone. Traditionalists, feel free to make your florentines only with almonds. Along with the other traditional ingredients, I also added orange zest which takes them to the next level and a little honey or golden syrup.
See the substitutions below for how you can make these cookies your own too.
How To Make Florentines
- Start by greasing and lining a muffin tray (see below for the different ways to prepare tins and shape your Florentines).
- Mix together the almonds, cornflakes, glace cherries, sultanas and orange zest in a large bowl.
- To a medium saucepan add the coating ingredients: butter, sugar, flour and honey or golden syrup. Melt them together over low heat.
- Pour the caramel coating over the almond mixture and stir it up well.
- Use two spoons to drop spoonfuls of the mix into your prepared tray.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden in amber gold in colour.
- You’ll need to allow them to cool completely in the trays, then use the tabs to gently unstick and pull them out. If they need it, once they’re firm you can lightly press and twist as well to release them.
Different ways to shape them
Tips and Tricks
- I tried using cupcake cases but the sticky Florentines stick to them and they don’t peel off cleanly.
- Make sure to grease your muffin tin well, then lay a thin strip of baking paper into each hole with the ends sticking out. You can use two strips to be super safe.
- If you prefer a rustic look or don’t want the hassle of greasing and lining muffin tins, then just line a 2 cookie trays with baking paper and dollop spoonfuls of the mixture directly onto the paper. Make sure to leave a 2 inch gap between them as they may spread a little. As soon as they come out of the oven use a spoon to gently push any escaping caramel back towards the cookies.
- Be aware! These are molten hot when they come out of the oven so don’t touch them. They will seem loose when they first come out, but as they cool they will harden and stick together.
- Cornflakes – if you don’t like the idea of cornflakes, just use more almonds in place of them.
- Dried fruits – the only limit is your imagination. Try dried blueberries, figs, apricots, cranberries – I even saw some bright red dried paw paw in the shop today that would look gorgeous. Make sure the fruit is chopped no larger than a raisin.
- Tropical – try a tropical version with coconut flakes, lime zest and dried mango and dip them in white chocolate. Yum
So, so simple these festive-looking cookies are a delight to make and devour. Light and crunchy, Florentines cookies are perfect as a gift for the upcoming holidays too.
More Easy Cookies
- Garibaldi Biscuits
- Easy Anzac Biscuits
- Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
- Pistachio Chocolate Biscotti
- Pecan Sandies (Pecan Shortbread)
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- 12 hole non-stick muffin tin
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease the holes of a 12 hole muffin tin with butter, then place a strip of non-stick baking paper about 1 inch wide into each with the ends sticking out.
- Place the almonds, cornflakes, cherries, sultanas and orange zest in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix together the butter, sugar, honey and flour in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour the sauce all over the almond mixture and mix well. It will be sticky but keep mixing until everything is coated.
- Dollop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan without pressing it down. This will make 10 cookies.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, turning at the halfway mark, until golden in colour.
- Allow them to cool completely in the tin, then use the ends of the overhanging baking paper to lift them out.
- Melt the chocolate and dip the bases of the cookies in, then sit them upside down on a tray in the fridge to set.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (=4 teaspoons worldwide).
- Make sure your baking paper is non-stick or grease it a little before adding in your florentine mix.
- You can swap the sultanas for any dried fruit you like but make sure they are in small pieces, no larger than a sultana. (try figs, apricots, paw paw or currants).
- You can swap the cornflakes for more almonds or vice versa.
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