The Lace Cookie - Florentines

With the recent feast of Blesseds Zelie and Louis Martin I shared the connection to the lace and lace making. Lace is such a beautiful and delicate textile art and the look can translate to the kitchen to some degree.

July 13 is the anniversary date of Zelie and Louis Martin and follows their feast day by one day. So since we are still thinking about the Martins, I am adding an additional lace themed treat idea for today. The florentine is a a cookie commonly called lace cookie because of the natural lacy open hole appearance it gets while baking. There are variations on the cookie but the traditional one is almond or other nut based. Candied fruit, coconut, oats are sometimes used in the variations. Sometimes just a honey/sugar and butter base such as these here.


1 3/4 cups sliced, blanched almonds (about 5 ounces)
3 tablespoons flour
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, but not pasty. Stir together the almonds, flour, zest and salt in a bowl.

Put the sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely dissolved. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add sugar mixture to almond mixture and stir just to combine. Cool for 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoons (for 3-inch cookies) or rounded tablespoons (for 6-inch cookies) of batter and roll into balls. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving about 3 to 4 inches between each cookie. They will spread considerably in oven.

Place in preheated oven - 350 degrees. Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown color throughout, rotating pans halfway through baking time, about 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool.

You can serve plain or drizzle with chocolate. You can also put a filling (jam, cream, chocolate, ice cream) between two cookies for a sandwich style. 
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