eggnog florentines

Today, because we don’t have enough bronzed and crisp, sugary, buttery thoughts already circling our heads, we’re going to talk about two recipes in one, a thin and lacy nut-caramel cookie known as a florentine and a filling that tastes exactly like eggnog, as if either of these things alone weren’t enough reason to gallop into the kitchen with your mask, cape and sense of urgency.

the high-low pecan florentine lineup
grinding the pecans with flour and spice

Florentines are essentially nuts, usually almonds or hazelnuts, coarsely or finely chopped, that have been baked into a buttery caramel disc. They hail, like so many delicious things, from Italy although I’ve seen versions from many other places, because once you try them, you’re going to want to make them your own too. Here, in a recipe that was published last year in the Tasting Table newsletter, someone did, a chef named Aaron Vandemark or Panciuto restaurant in Hillsborough, NC, a place I’d like to go immediately to applaud him in person for his creativity. Instead of almonds or hazelnuts, he uses pecans and a touch of cinnamon. He doesn’t stop there.

ground pecans, flour, spice

all the caramel ingredients
a light caramel
mixing the florentine dough
florentines going into the oven
from the oven -- crispy splats!
lacy pecan florentines

While florentines are usually glued together with a smidge of melted chocolate, or dipped in it, he opts for an eggnog filling that I had deep, serious hesitations going into making. To begin with, I’m generally disappointed with filled cookies. The fillings are always too soft, and squeeze out when you take a bite, making a mess of everything and rarely giving you that cookie-cream-cookie taste you were hoping for. This one seemed especially suspect, requesting that you cream not one, not two, but four hard-boiled egg yolks (it’s a theme this week) with butter, powdered sugar, nutmeg, cloves, salt, a spoonful of milk, vanilla and rum, if you choose to make your eggnog filling appropriately boozy. I’ve made birthday cakes with fewer ingredients. But oh, silly Deb. This filling is, in fact, a revelation, firm enough not to excessively squish out (especially not between those featherweight florentine discs) and quintessentially eggnog-like (oh right: eggs will do that!), rich and spiced and so, so, so very December.

eggnog filling lineup. yes, i numbered my eggs.
four, yes four, egg yolks. don't fight it.
looks suspect going into the mixer
whips up like frosting
spreading the eggnog filling
this eggnog filling is ridiculous

I love them. I want you to have them too, but you’re going to have to make your own. Ours are going quickly.

pecan florentines with eggnog filling

Cookie Week! This week is all about the cookies. Monday, we talked about Cigarettes Russes (Piroulines), Tuesday, Sugared Pretzel Cookies (made, in part, with rye flour). Stay tuned for more as the week goes on.

More Cookies: There are over 85 cookie recipes in the archives. My favorite holiday-ish ones, as in, get these away from me or I’ll eat them all, are Austrian Raspberry Shortbread, Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies, Grasshopper Brownies, Seven-Layer Cookies, Tiny Pecan Sandies, Nutmeg-Maple Butter Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies. For a cookie ideal for gingerbread men, “ninja”-bread men or gingerbread tenements houses, try these Spicy Gingerbread Cookies. [All The Smitten Kitchen Cookies]

Eggnog Florentines
Adapted, just barely, from Aaron Vandemark via Tasting Table

So, this is a very unfair place to mention this (after spending 500-plus words extolling their awesomeness) but although I loved the florentine cookie part of this recipe, I worry that there is a better recipe out there — these feel almost excessively buttery. I was thisclose to auditioning two more yesterday when I ran out of time. Normally, I’d rather do full cookie auditions before posting, but the fact is that these cookies are: 1. delicious and 2. the recipe works, so they do still pass SK muster. But, if you have a florentine recipe you adore, feel free to use it instead here (swapping pecans, because they’re wonderful). And if I get to those auditions today or over the weekend and feel confident that another approach is better (or realize, as I often do, that the first recipe is the best one), I’ll update this recipe. For now, fret not: it works.

The filling, though, my goodness, the filling. Don’t even think about skipping it. Okay, fine, technically you could use this filling for another cookie or just make the florentines and dip them in chocolate, you could. But I won’t be.

Yield: 3 dozen

Pecan florentines
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons or 45 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (about 55 grams) pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I halved this, found it to be just-enough)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I recommend doubling this)
1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
2/3 cup (65, oops, sorry, it is 130 grams) granulated sugar (I would drop this by a tablespoon or two next time)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup, honey, or golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Eggnog filling
4 large eggs, hard-boiled
4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I halved this because I’m a spice wimp)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I halved this too)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons dark rum (can be skipped or reduced)

Make the florentines: Heat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the flour, pecans, cinnamon and salt and pulse until the nuts are very finely chopped, about 1 minute. Turn the nut mixture out into a large bowl.

In a small-medium saucepan set over high heat, combine the butter, sugar, heavy cream and syrup and bring it to a boil. Boil the mixture for one full minute, then turn off the heat and add the vanilla. Pour this caramel mixture over the nut mixture and stir to combine them. Set aside for at least 30 minutes, until it has cooled. Mixture will firm up and seem worrisome, but you should not be worried.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1/2 or 1 teaspoon measure (the original recipe recommends a 1/2 teaspoon measure to scoop the cookies but I misread this and used a full teaspoon scoop — mine became 2 1/2 inches in diameter on average, which felt like a good size), scoop the dough into small balls and place them 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are thin and golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. They will not crisp until they are cool, so don’t worry if they’re soft.

Let cool on baking sheets for 5 or so minutes (so they’ll set up a little) before using a thin metal spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to paper towels to blot excess oil for a couple minutes. After they’ve been blotted, transfer cookies to a cooling rack, though they should be pretty cool by now. If any butter is left puddled on the parchment, wipe that off too before repeating the process with the remaining cookie dough.

Make the eggnog filling: Peel the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Save the whites for another use. Press the egg yolks through a fine-mesh strainer so that they become mashed and powdery. Place in a large bowl with butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Beat together until smooth, then raise mixer speed and beat until mixture is thick and frosting-like, about three minutes. Stir in the rum by hand, if using.

Spread a dollop of eggnog filling on one cookie, then gently press a second one on top of it. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Place them in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving, to firm up the filling.

Do ahead: The dough and the icing can be refrigerated in an airtight container or up to 3 days before baking. The baked, unfilled florentines can be stored in a loosely covered container at room temperature for up to two (though I had them longer) before filling them. Humidity is their enemy, makes them stick together. The original recipe says that once filled, the florentines need to be eaten immediately but our held up crisp in the fridge in a loosely covered container (not airtight) for a couple days.

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198 comments on eggnog florentines

  1. Wow Deb. You’ve outdone yourself with these cookies. I’ve always wanted to make a version of these cookies and this is beyond tempting. Now I’m going to have to make them for my holiday party this weekend. You = the best!

  2. Hope

    Thank you so much for posting these! Florentines are my favorite cookie in the world and I’ve never tackled them simply because in my head they seemed far too complex and relegated to the realm of old-school Italian bakery cases. Growing up my grandfather always took me to Sorrento’s in Lodi, NJ to get some florentines for Christmas. I won’t get to make it down there this year, though, so you couldn’t have better timing :) Happy holidays!

  3. Yes! And this is making me want to sort the recipes folder in my gmail to search for all the Tasting Table recipes I’ve packed away. There’s still a maple and thyme pot d’creme from two falls ago that I’ve had my eye on. I can report to you that Betty Crocker’s, Gourmet’s Cookie Book,and Martha Stewart’s recipes all fall short. I will definitely be checking the comments if someone appears touting an even better recipe.

  4. Boy, I wonder if anyone has attempted these GF? And I have never heard of using cooked egg yolks in anything besides a salad. These look amazing! Now I need company to test them on… Yum!!

    1. Krista

      These are my husband’s all time favorite cookie. He hasn’t been able to have them for the last few years due to a new lactose sensitivity so this year we tried them dairy free and…. success! I swapped the butter for vegan baking sticks and the milk/cream for coconut cream. The dough had to chill in the fridge to firm up and they spread even more than the original if that’s even possible but were still able to be frosted and handled. I used the full spice amounts, 1/2 teaspoon scoop and baked for 6, rotated then 2 more, +/- one more minute (temperamental oven). These are beyond delicious and perfect for the holiday season!

  5. JennaKay

    How on earth do you get the yolks so YELLOW? I either overcook mine (producing an ugly shade of green) or undercook (soft-boiled, anyone). Not to sound weird, but nice yolks!!

  6. Oh my goodness, those look so beautifully crispy and buttery! Even just the florentines without the fancy filling look delicious (and impressive), but I agree with you that the filling seems too perfect to skip! It seems totally bizarre to me that it calls for hard-boiled egg yolks, though, so it’s a good thing I have unconditional trust in your recipes.

  7. This might be a sacriligious question given how perfect these sound, but I wonder what other type of cookie would work with this filling. The filling sounds amazing, but for the cookie baking I have planned this weekend, and shipping and gifting, the florentines themselves don’t seem like they’d be ideal. But oh I want to make that filling…

  8. hdelway

    The cookies look amazing and I want (to make) some. The best thing about winter is the cold weather so we can heat up the oven (I live in Houston) and wear big sweaters to hide our indulgences. QUESTION for you. I noticed your spice jars in the photos. I remember when you got these (so very organized!) and wondered if you still love them or would you do something different? It is time for my cupboards to be organized too.

  9. Myrna

    This looks incredible. I can’t wait to try out the filling. Deb, do you know a good way to poach/cook the egg yolks if I have lots of seperated yolks from another recipe? I use loads of egg whites for meringues and this is a great use for those extra yolks. Could I try to “poach” the yolks in a ramekin to hard boil them? Does that question even make sense?

  10. Allison

    how was the ratio of the cookie recipe to the filling recipe? say, for instance, you were so excited about the idea of eggnog filling, that you wanted to make sure you had extra filling left over for other purposes (french toast topping?), would you want to 1-and-a-half the filling recipe?

  11. Sarah

    @Myrna, after making Deb’s Sweet Potato Cake last week, I had leftover yolks from the frosting, and I just dropped them in the hot water I had from the double boiler and boiled them there. Worked like a charm, and no wasted yolks!

  12. These look delicious! I love thin, crispy cookies and to have a creamy-like inside makes it look even better! I’m actually doing my own week of cookies on my blog next week!!


    1. Neat

      Hey. What is the texture of these florentines?
      I made them and they are getting stuck to my teeth (not that much but it’s still happening)… is this how they’re supposed to be?

  13. Jackie

    I am going to make these in the morning to take to my class for final exams. I don’t normally keep milk/cream in the house (lactose intolerant) and don’t want to buy both. Is there any reason I couldn’t use a tablespoon of cream in the filling instead of whole milk?

  14. Jessie

    In places where you note you halved an ingredient, is the ingredient amount listed the halved amount or the pre-halved amount? As in, was the 1/4 tsp. cinnamon what you used, or did you actually use 1/8 tsp.?

  15. Jillian L

    I have a whole bunch of leftover sugar cookies (really did not read the recipe instructions on the yield) so I’m thinking of using this eggnog filling to sandwich them. Do you think this would be too sweet, or is the filling more rich than sweet? Thanks!

  16. Rebecca

    Wow! Just in time for my book club’s cookie exchange, I’m supposed to bring 4 dozen of just one type and couldn’t decide. This will do it! Thank you so very much.

    1. Kelly

      So I just made these and I have to say they’re kind of a buttery mess! I used paper towels and followed all the instructions but they’re so so so greasy! Help!!

      1. TL

        For my second try, I reduced the butter 1 Tbsp and increased the flour 1 Tbsp. They turned out much better. Still crispy, buttery and holey but not quite as delicate and not swimming in puddles of butter.

  17. These look amazing! I’m obsessed with the florentines from trader joe’s and was just thinking about making my own. A question: do you think maple syrup would work here? I’m not inclined to buy a giant bottle of corn syrup, and golden syrup sounds fussy, and honey cookies always leave me wanting.. Maple syrup, on the other hand, is super delicious and always in my house.

  18. Wow – that filling is so smart. I love tuiles/florentines and have sandwiched them with chocolate but never thought to use anything else! These look wonderful.

  19. amanda

    I am really curious about the numbering of the eggs, too. (?!)

    I also want you to know that you’re making it very difficult for me to commit to what cookies I’m taking to an exchange on Friday. Each recipe you’ve posted this week is more intriguing than the last – and the first one still looks amazing!

    1. deb

      Numbered eggs — Okay, well, you see, first I had hard-boiled a few eggs because I like to have them with breakfast or lunch sometimes, but they were on the very soft side, accidentally (but turned out to be omg so delicious — let’s all accidentally cook our eggs 1.5 minutes beyond soft-boiled but still a couple minutes shy of hard-boiled for now on, okay?), which brought me up to two sets of matching brown eggs in the fridge, some raw, and these. So, I put an “S” on each for “soft.” Then, I needed 5 more properly cooked through, 1 for yesterday’s pretzels and 4 for today’s fillings, and I wanted to mark them too. I should have just said “HB” or something normal, but instead numbered them. I think this is a very long way of saying: I’m not sure why I numbered them. Aren’t you glad you read through all that? (Sorry.)

      Tali — I think walnuts would work just fine.

      tannaz — You’ll probably be fine here. If it were more, not all liquid sugars caramelze the same, but it’s just one tablespoon and you’re just boiling it to bring the ingredients together. Btw, Golden Syrup is delicious! It’s a UK thing but now I see it around a lot here. It’s like a lightly cooked cane syrup — faint caramel flavor, so much more interesting than corn syrup. Can be used directly on pancakes, or in place of corn syrup in most candy and caramel recipes.

      marthaeliza — Ha! How long until you think he rebels against me dressing him like my darling little preppy boy?

      Jessica — Good question! No, the amount is the original amount. Most of the adjustments I made were to my pesky tastes (I can’t handle a lot of cloves or nutmeg) so it’s not that the recipe needed the change, it was just something to keep in mind or that you might consider too.

      Jackie — You can definitely use cream in the filling.

      Megan — This is wildly untested, but I found myself curious as to whether florentines could either be made with oats or unsweetened coconut chips (both to be pulsed until more finely chopped). So, if you feel like experimenting…

      beth — I don’t think so. This is more about applying eggnog flavors to a frosting than it is actual eggnog.

      Allison — I felt I had a good amount of extra filling (well over a cup), in part because, uh, a few days went between making the florentines and getting them filled, during which I’m sure a dozen disappeared, and in part because I may not have filled them very much.

      Myrna — I was thinking the same. First, Sarah’s suggestion in comment #22 sounds good. I was wondering if there might be some potential doing a gentle sous-vide with the egg yolks in a ziplock dipped into hot-but-not-boiling (or any temperature that would melt the plastic) water. Or you can make a Low-Yolk Egg Salad (I remember seeing this in the lovely Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook), i.e. extra whites, more nutritious and all that.

      Jenna Kay — I either use my mom’s method (put eggs in cold water, bring to boil, once boiling, set timer for 10 minutes, although I do 9.5 these days, drain and plunge in cold water when it rings) or Martha’s (same, except once boiling, turn off heat, remove pan from heat, cover and set timer for 10 minutes; at 10 minutes, do the same, drain, plunge in cold). Both reliably make perfectly cooked eggs.

  20. Ariel-fiend candy

    Has the thought crossed your mind of using this filling in a filled chocolate, I am this close to making the whole shebang… But can’t I just cheat and use the filling in a chocolate??

  21. Lauren

    Eggnog? I could die of ecstasy. December is over too soon, but armed with this ( and an eggnog bread recipe I have,) I can carry it through the whole winter. You are reading my mind, these are the PERFECT combination of crispy and richly gooey at once. I will never need another cookie, well….maybe I should wait ’til cookie week is finished before I commit….

  22. JP

    Actually, Cook’s Illustrated just came out with a Florentine lace cookie in the November 2013 issue. If you want to try a different recipe, Cook’s usually does a great job (as you know from visiting with them, you lucky duck!

  23. Barbara

    I was a home tester for the Cook’s Illustrated Florentine lace cookie. It was a huge hit. They use almonds. I, too, am wildly jealous of your visit with them.

    Is the filling the same consistency as a stiffer buttercream? I’m considering it for to fill macaron shells, but it has to be pretty sturdy. I hate the “squeezing out” syndrome of sandwich cookies.

  24. Isabel

    Just wanted to say thanks for all of your lovely recipes. I’m a recent college grad just starting to cook on my own, and your dishes have made it possible to eat well on a budget. You are one of my cooking inspirations!

  25. Christine

    I make a very similar cookie with quick-cooking oats instead of nuts, and they are delicious! I have never filled them, so I’m excited to try this filling recipe.

  26. Laura

    Myrna & Deb – if you try the sous vide method for cooking the egg yolks, use a ziplock freezer bag! Unlike normal ziplocks (the sandwich type, etc.) they can withstand boiling water.

    Also, Deb, this is unrelated to this particular recipe, but your babka is absolute dynamite. I made 18 loaves (6 batches) for 120 people over Thanksgiving, and they turned out phenomenally! And that was despite the gigantic batch size, uncalled-for overnight fridge rise, and oven that doesn’t go below 400 degrees. What a winner!

    1. deb

      susan — Totally. You know I’m not usually so fancy with butter; it was on sale over Thanksgiving and I stocked up. (I sound like everyones mom now, I know.)

  27. UGH Obsessed. This is definitely going on my to-do list! Also, would you consider making a post about macarons? I’ve always found your adapted recipes the easiest to work with and since macarons have been everywhere lately…! :)

  28. Kris McDermott

    Can’t wait to make these — any suggestions about what to do with the leftover hardboiled egg whites? Other than add them to tuna salad? Also, I will definitely use golden syrup — there’s something about the chewiness it gives cookies that no other syrup does. Can’t make English flapjacks without it!

  29. Lele

    I have walked by that Panciuto restaurant (source of the pecan florentine inspiration) a dozen times! You must definitely make a pilgrimmage to Hillsborough to dine there, and you should then go a few doors down to Matthew’s Chocolates, a magical store that makes the best hot cocoa in the world.

  30. Every year I give my doormen a giant box of cookies with their tips, and I’d love to include these! I usually make some dough ahead of time, freeze some of it, and bake them right before; those that can’t freeze I usually bake a few days before. You said these lasted a couple of days in the fridge…I was just wondering how long you thought they’d last in the fridge. Is a week too long? And if you waited that long, do you recommend waiting to fill them until just before serving? Thanks!

  31. Araminty

    Re: coconut/oat florentines, you could look at traditional Aussie ANZAC biscuit recipes. Some have lots of flour and are quite cakey, but some are crispy and thin, like florentines. Sorry, I don’t have a specific recipe to recommend.

  32. Cookie Week is a marvelous week! Think these would work with bourbon? That’s what I usually put in my eggnog — I’m not a rum drinker.

    (Unrelatedly, it took a few tries and some tinkering and I had to buy plastic wrap again after going without for quite a while, but I got your pizza dough to work reasonably well and did a happy dance, because it is quite delicious.)

  33. Margie

    Here is your perfect pecan florentine. They are addictive – absolutely wonderful. 2TBS plus 2 tsp unsalted butter, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 c light brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 c cake flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 c finely chopped pecans. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla, then dry ingredients. Drop by very small teaspoonfuls (1/2 to 3/4) onto parchment lined sheets and bake at 375 for 6-7 minutes.Watch carefully as they go from light to dark brown very quickly. I’ve thought about filling them but everyone loves them just as they are.

  34. KentuckyKate

    These sound fabulous. Pecans! Yes! I was going to make either your Cranberry Orange rolls (fabulous, as affirmed by myself and 5 girlfriends) or the Lottie & Doof Orange Rolls (also fabulous, make both!) to take as Christmas gifts to Book Club, but I think these just took pride of place (easier to double this recipe than to quadruple the rolls!). And Eggnog is one of my top two food groups for December. Thank you for all your wonderful work and play!

    I urge folks not to try store-bought eggnog. It’s too artificial and I think would overwhelm the delicate nature of the cookies. Think I’ll try bourbon, although my favorite eggnog recipe uses a combination of brandy, light rum, and peach liqueur or peach schnapps.

  35. These florentines look and sound great, and so does the filling. my question is actually about those glass spice jars…. where did you get them?? I would like to find some similar to those and add chalkboard paint on them when I come home from my deployment.

    1. deb

      Cassandra — I talk more about the spice jars here. I hope you get home soon!

      Michele — Yes, absolutely.

      Cassie — Bourbon, definitely, yes, always the answer. Wait, what was the question? :)

      Julie — I suspect they’ll freeze fine. They’re best fresh — crisp and all. But, the freezer at least won’t make them soggy.

      grace — Sadly, I’m no fun at all because I don’t care for macarons. But, I think they’ve been covered in great detail on other blogs — I’m sure one can walk you through them successfully. Good luck!

      Alison — I like the way you think. Could be delicious. Maybe a little sweet? You might dial back the sugar slightly.

      Kendra — For other nuts, I’d go with the volume, not weight.

      Everyone — I have good news and bad. The bad news is that there’s a 50% chance Cookie Week will be taking a 1-day hiatus today. The good news is that today is actually a really fun diversion for me, and tomorrow’s cookie is, I think, absolutely worth the wait, something I’ve been eager to tell you about for years, but hadn’t worked up the courage to make at home. Oh, and they’re a beaut.

  36. Marcia

    A little off topic, But your book was featured in several displays at the Madison Ave. Crate and Barrel. It was in lovely piles with all the baking pans and spices.It looked just right there, especially this week.

  37. Dee

    If anyone figures out how to make these gluten-free, please post! :) This recipe looks spectacular and I would love to make it for my family’s holiday reunion this year, but my lil sis and her partner can’t do gluten. I know she’d love the flavours though!! (Butter? RUM? SOLD!!) I might experiment by subbing the wheat flour with almond meal and see what happens!

  38. Alison

    And here I thought my holiday baking list was complete.:) Can’t wait for tomorrow to see if there’s more to add. Thanks for such a wonderful and reliable food blog!

  39. Jen

    Heh, I was planning on making the pecan sandies tonight, but I forgot to pull the butter out of the freezer before work this morning, so I guess I’ll make these instead since it will be melted. I’m on too tight a schedule to wait for it to soften; you’re a lifesaver, Deb ;)

    (I stocked up on butter steeply on sale at my Canadian supermarket the week of American Thanksgiving, too :P)

  40. KentuckyKate

    Just made and what fun they are! My fine-tuning: I took out a Tbsp of butter in the cookies and they are still very buttery! Used all the cinnamon and did increase salt by about half and I think flavor is great. Because I wanted to take them places and wanted them a little more manageable in size, I did use the 1/2 teaspoon and it made about 48 individual cookies which would make 24 finished ones. I’m thinking that if I did it again, I would chill the cookie dough for a while to make the batter more manageable, then make little balls to have them end up more symmetrical. The filling is good, though I was out of bourbon, so used brandy which worked fine. Even with the alcohol, I think it’s a little too sweet, so would try less sugar and agree with less nutmeg, maybe 1/2 tspn. I think they’ll be a big hit at Book Club!

  41. Dina

    Deeeeb!!!! They look like heaven!!
    1 question though: I’ve been trying out Paleo (or more like Primal) nutrition lately and I have been doing very well (except for when the cravings hit for brioches and such, which is around the holidays) but as much as I am ok replacing flours and experimenting, I wonder if I used a different flour here, whether it’ll hold. It’s only after starting to replace regular wheat flour with completely different non-gluten flours that you realize the binding strength wheat flour has. In my experience, chestnut flour seems to hold the best, but I am asking for your professional opinion. I would love to make these and not feel guilty eating them, or I could just bite the bullet over the holidays and indulge in every sense of the word.

  42. Bonnie

    Dee #78 and Dina #82. Please post your tests of GF versions. I’ve had success mostly with recipes like these that have just a little flour, but rely more on other ingredients. I have same worries as Dina that just nut flour as a sub won’t hold this together. But with karo syrup to make it stick it may work! I’m going to try it with C4C flour (sorry not paleo, I’m just celiac).

  43. Suz

    I am definitely tackling these next week…I may not have any other Christmas cookies, but I will sure have these. Recently fell in love with my own take on baklava, using orange zest in the honey and adding maple syrup to the drizzle. Happy Christmas!

  44. Stephanie

    For the gluten-free experimenters, please report back! I may try to make these next week (though I may just stick with chocolate chip cookies). I think a combination of flours is a necessity. Considering using ground gluten-free oats and a little almond meal? There’s so little flour that I’m not sure it matters much.

  45. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    This look stunning! And I canNOT wait for tomorrow’s recipe. My husband adores linzer torte and since he usually cooks for everyone else, it will be so much fun to make something especially for him (in addition to the chocolate peanut butter cake, of course!).

  46. Carli

    Ok! Gluten free is tested and approved! I used 2 tbsp coconut cream in place of heavy cream, and for the flour it goes as such:
    1/2 cup sweet rice flour
    2tbsp tapioca flour/starch
    1tsp xantham gum

    Wish I could post a photo…they’re delicious!

    1. deb

      AG — YOU DON’T LIKE BUTTER? :) I think in general florentines just are buttery, but less in taste and more in structure — extra butter makes cookies spread, you want these cookies to spread. A lot of the butter stays on the tray. That said, I felt that this recipe was even more buttery than most. A few people mentioned other florentine recipes in the comments that they swear by; I’d try one of them (esp. Cook’s Illustrated as they just published one this month) using the pecans and dash of cinnamon instead of the suggested flavor profile.

  47. Ana

    Hi Deb, thank you for your tips and clear advice. I will remember it and try to do so. I really like cookies. And eggnog. These eggnog florentines are perfect precisely in this combination, and have only one flaw – they disappear quickly!

  48. I love this series of cookies you thought you had to buy – but now are being shown that yes, you too can make these fabulous creations. The Florentine is on my list. You recipes are always tried and true so I think I may venture forth on this one with you backing the up.

  49. Nicole

    This is just the recipe I was looking for! I have a cocktail party tomorrow night and I want to serve something festive and delicate while still decadent. Can’t wait to give this a try! Thanks so much for the great post!

  50. Krista

    I have no idea what I did….. I very rarely fail at recipes but my dough never firmed up and is much darker than yours is! I did double the recipe… but I’m positive my measurements were correct. I ended up adding an entire extra cup of flour, the dough still didn’t firm all the way up, but they still baked pretty beautifully. I think mine ended up being thinner and a little more “lacy”…. really they just turned into an excuse to eat a spoonfuls worth of the eggnog filling =)

    Any idea what I did wrong??

  51. Mary Moss

    As i was reading along slowly (because i savor your words) i was thinking, “Panciuto”…. Hhmmm a new restaurant of Deb’s to notate…. (i have a running list of your places on my desktop) Hey, we have a restaurant here called Panciuto too, how neat!” And then- Bam! You mentioned where i live!! So cool. I’m thinking you picked up the Tastings when you came to visit us? I can’t imagine otherwise, why you’d have this.

  52. Nicole

    Hi Deb, I just tried making these and after I added the caramel to the nut mixture it never set up:(. Are you sure your gram measurements are right? I measured the sugar in grams then transferred to a measuring cup to compare and it was only 1/3 cup. I’m not sure what I did!

    1. deb

      Nicole — Argh, no. I am jerk. That was totally wrong. You are correct, 65 grams would = 1/3 cup. For 2/3 cup, you’d want 130 grams. Now fixed. I’m sorry for the trouble. A bigger update to this recipe is forthcoming.

  53. jessgamble

    I made these tonight, and my dough firmed up, but there was a ton of liquid in the bowl with the firm dough. I tried to stir it all in, but I think that was a mistake. After cooking the edges were very delicate and only the very firmest dough balls resulted in firm enough cookies to withstand delicious eggnog filling. Delicious, but delicate.
    And so much leftover eggnog frosting…thanks for that, Deb;)

  54. Leslie

    I agree with you. The filling was exceptional. The florentines were very good, but I’d look for a different version, too. I can see that filling being used in a layer cake of some kind. Excellent flavor and texture. Thanks for sharing.

  55. Nessa

    For all your gluten free friends :

    Oatmeal. In fact, at a scant 1/4 cup in the recipe. I’d say that GF rolled oats pulsed in the food processor would service the Eggnog Florentine recipe quite well. I might even consider toasting the oats on a cookie tray before I pulse them to further promote the ‘nutty’ and caramelized flavors in florentines that make them so darn good. I think I’ll be making them with GF oats with a girlfriend next Sunday. (She LOVES eggnog.)

  56. Catherine

    These are amazing! I scooped out exact 1/2 teaspoons as I’ll be bringing these to a party and wanted a larger number. The size is great and my god the taste–buttery and noggy and just amazing. The only thing I changed was that due to my inability to locate my nutmeg, I just used about a teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead of the nutmeg and cloves. Not the same but what I had on hand! Otherwise I followed the recipe to the letter, adjusting cooking time for my oven that runs hot. These are just delicious and are sure to be a huge hit–thanks for such an easy recipe that yields impressive results!

  57. Skeri

    Hi Deb, I had the same problem as Krista (94) – though I did not double the recipe. I’m wondering if my failure was not boiling the caramel mixture long enough. Does it need to reach a certain temperature/be a certain stage? Unfortunately, mine were so thin I couldn’t remove them from the cookie sheet without them disintegrating.

  58. Vikki

    Hi There, You said they should be stored unfilled or humidity is their enemy and makes them stick together. I wanted to add them my cookie gift assortment boxes this year. It doesn’t sound like this cookie would sit well in the box for very long time or should I take a chance? They sound yummy!

  59. Asanhi

    I have just baked these. They taste great, but totally fall apart! I wasn’t it able to get most of them off the baking tray in one piece, and those that I did were also too thin/flimsy to fill. What did I do wrong? (The eggnog filling is wonderful – at least that worked!)

  60. Tracy

    I had the same problem of the cookies baking up way too thin (and per suggestions I had left out 1tbsp butter and 1 tbsp sugar). I stirred in 1tbsp more of flour and got better results, still not nice and round but thicker. i may try again this weekend and play around with the flour/nut amounts. I did use the full amount of spices and did not think it was too overpowering but agree that the nutmeg could be dialed back a bit.

  61. Mamie

    I wish that I had read the comments before starting this. I too have a ton of liquid remaining in the batter. I’m currently trying to compensate by chilling the dough and then chilling the dough after I get it on the cookie sheet. If this doesn’t work out, I’ll make another batch increasing the flour and decreasing the butter. Fingers crossed.

  62. Liz

    Though delicious, my Florentines were also too delicate for filling. Definitely seemed like too much butter and/or I messed up the caramel or didn’t allow enough time to firm up? Currently trying Margie’s recipe (#68) and hoping to have success for a holiday party tonight :)

  63. Vanessa

    I follow the site a lot and was excited about this recipe, but they were a disaster for me. They tasted great, but stuck irreparably to the parchment paper, and I had to throw the whole mess – ripped, greasy paper, broken cookies – in the garbage.

  64. YOU DON’T LIKE MACARONS? lol Its like finding out Santa Claus isn’t real! I guess I will look for a recipe on another blog… I may sway this time but I will always be faithful to you, smitten. Mama just needs to get her sweet tooth on.

  65. Marianne

    I followed the recipe as written but when double checking the weight vs volume of sugar I though it was off by maybe 100% If you follow the volume, 2/3 cup, it’ll work out fine I think. I panicked a bit and checked some other florentine recipes and used a half cup or 95 or so grams of sugar. My dough solidified but the excess butter pooled and I got nervous and dusted one tsp of cornstarch and then raked it over with a fork to incorporate. I could not get the dang things to roll and had to settle for a symmetric pile of crumbles. These baked up ok but I added a tablespoon or more, yes MORE, melted butter and then they held together better. After muttering some unflattering things about our blog mistress, I sat down with a strong drink and decided that these turned out fine overall. They taste good and they look nice even if irregularly shaped. Some cookies have small holes but that doesn’t seem to matter much after filling.
    I did come up with some ideas about what I was going to do with what might have been piles of crumbles: crushed for topping, cheesecake bottom, streusel-ish stuff for cakes, muffins or fruit crisps. If you are in that state, keep calm and carry on… Happy baking everyone.

  66. Elizabeth

    I cannot figure out what happened, but my dough did not set up at ALL. I let it cool for 2 hours, but it was still as thick as spreadable ganache. They baked beautifully, but were too delicate,often breaking as I took them off the cookie sheet. Doubled the flour, which thickened the batter and cookie some, but not enough: still more liquid than solid. Added the original amount of flour again, and then they didn’t spread out at all. I checked the recipe so many times, and I can’t figure out what I did wrong. I doubled the recipe from the beginning-could this possibly account for my difficulty?

  67. erin

    I tried these for a party, and while everyone else seemed pleased I struggled with them. I found it impossible to get them come out as neat circles, perhaps because I used the 1 tsp batter and in retrospect would have stuck with the original 1/2 tsp recommendation. They just didn’t look so nice and dainty as in the pictures, they were more hodgepodge and that really showed when trying to make sandwich cookies. Mine were also done or overdone at 7 minutes, so I would start checking at 5.

    The icing, tho, is fabulous. Love that it has no raw eggs.

    1. deb

      Cookie troubles — Apologies, I’m just getting caught up now on comments and I’m sorry that people had trouble with the cookie portion. I, too, found it tricky but only because it felt excessively buttery to me. I’d still like to update the recipe, if possible, with a more reliable florentine. In the meanwhile, I know that these are fragile. Feel free to fully cool them on the tray before removing them. A thin flexible spatula is ideal (fish spatulas are my favorite, for cookies and every thing you make in the kitchen).

      Sticking to parchment — May I ask what brand of parchment paper you were using? I wonder if it’s one I’ve had trouble with in the past.

      erin — Oh, mine weren’t perfectly round either! I couldn’t control the way they’d spread. I just looked for roughly matching oblong shapes when stacking them.

      Vikki — I found these kept best in the fridge.

  68. Mamie

    I revised the recipe according to #68, which worked out really well. Made the filling as posted, and husband swooned. Will work on florentine later. Thanks!!! Made your chocolate wafer cookies to go with the iambaker champagne buttercream poinsettias. Husband declared best chocolate cookie ever.

  69. I went to a cookie exchange yesterday. Someone else made these and they were AMAZING. They definitely got my vote. I went online to see if I could sleuth the recipe and of course discovered the recipe came from you. You inspire and delight me constantly. Thanks for your endless diligence and creativity.

  70. Laura

    I made these yesterday, and indeed the dough for the cookies was worrisome! Basically the oil from the butter seemed to depart the dough altogether, but you said the dough would be worrisome and not to worry about it, so I didn’t. The cookies turned out perfectly! And that eggnog buttercream, holy expletives! I would use less powdered sugar next time, but the flavor was so good! I would also not microwave my mostly, but not quite, cooked egg yolks as they exploded all over the place. I used them anyway, and that buttercream was killer. I think I upped the spice content, or at least used what was called for, but I like really intense flavors, and I actually overdid it on the cinnamon in the cookies, but it complimented the sweetness of the buttercream. Next time, I am going to put these on vanilla ice cream, and possible make some salted caramel sauce to round it all off. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  71. Lorna

    I made these cookies tonight but, for some reason, the dough did not get hard and had a layer of butter, etc. on top of it. I made the dough again and the same thing happened! I was thinking it probably needed more flour? Would it have anything to do with the fact I made the dough by weight? I love cooking by weight instead of measuring cups. Any thoughts?

  72. Tucker

    I made these tonight , and the batter did not set. After reading the second half of the comments, it looks like this was a common problem. I added a little more flour and its thicker, but not enough. I have this covered and in the frig, I will try working with it tomorrow. I might add more pecans, what does everyone else think? Deb, what do you think is going wrong? I live in Arizona and it is very dry here, do you think a lack of humidity can effect the recipe?

  73. Tiff

    I loved making these cookies! They were a hit in my household. I am making them as Christmas presents and one thing that I found that helped was baking them in cupcake tins. I wanted them to look like little discs and found that mine were spreading out very thin and very large (up to 3 inches wide). I was using the 1/2 tsp. to measure out the cookies and they were spreading like a wild fire on the parchment paper. So, I switched to putting them in the cupcake pan and they popped right out after they began to cool. I think I left out the 2 tbsp of flour that I was supposed to add (-_-) but all in all, I will be making them again!

  74. Carol

    I made these yesterday with my 5 year old daughter and I found the results to be uneven. The cookies spread, taking up the entire cookie sheet and even when I reduced the measure, they were still wildly uneven. If I make them again, I’d definitely use Tiff’s idea of a cupcake tin. While the dough set up as pictured, it was very sandy and I pushed the bits together to make each cookie. Also, I wondered if the cooking time impacted the lace-y-ness of the cookie. My final two cookies didn’t bake as long (the baby woke up) and they didn’t have as many holes as the previous ones.
    In any event, they are delicious, if crazy sweet, and I’m sure my co-workers won’t notice that they don’t match your lovely photos.

  75. Renee

    Thanks for the delicious recipe! I substituted all-purpose gluten-free flour so my husband could eat them and you couldn’t even tell the difference. We were going to give these as gifts but we ended up eating too many of them immediately so we just shared with my family instead. Also, with a gas oven I had to increase the baking time to 15 minutes.

  76. Katie

    Hi Deb! I’m allergic to nuts. What do you think might be a suitable alternative for these cookies? Perhaps a different cookie recipe altogether? Pizzelles? Is there any way to make florentines without nuts? Oh the joys of food allergies…

  77. Nicole

    Update: I had posted previously that my batter didn’t set up properly and that I had done something wrong. I too had pooled butter around firmer dough, so I didn’t mix any more and used the firmer parts and made little balls and baked them into thin lace cookies. I baked them on parchment and once out of the oven I took the sheet of parchment with the cookies and placed it on the counter to cool, after a few minutes they came right off and I blotted then put them on a rack. I have never made or eaten a Florentine before but they looked so pretty I wanted to give it a try, so when I saw the end product I thought maybe these cookies just aren’t for me. Well two days later my husband is eating them saying how good they are. So I go in to taste one and wow they are super delicious. I never made the filling but instead I had some chocolate ganache filling from another cookie and used it to sandwich two cookies and it is so wonderfully delicious. I can’t believe it but I think I am going to make another batch!

  78. Marissa

    Any thoughts on making these gluten free? Since there are only 6 tablespoons of flour, would it make a significant difference in the texture to use a multi-purpose GF flour?

    1. deb

      To everyone having trouble with the florentine cookies — First, an apology. As I mentioned in the recipe’s head notes, I found these tricky too, too buttery, and I wondered if there was a better recipe out there. I had hoped to get to it last week, but ran out of time and really wanted to get this recipe out to you, so decided as the recipe “worked,” it would suffice. I felt terrible when catching up on the comments yesterday to read that so many of you found them impossible, and immediately when back into the kitchen to make my Plan B recipe. It did indeed work a bit better, and I’m going to update the current recipe with the new one shortly.

      A few things about all florentines, however (things that will be true for the new recipe too): They aren’t the easiest cookie, but I think when you know what to expect, they will seem less daunting. 1. Butter will seep. They’re a buttery cookie, and the butter causes the hallmark spreading that creates the laciness. You’ll want to wipe the parchment off with a towel or piece of paper towel between each batch to remove any residual butter puddles that will cause excessive spreading in the next batch. (The new CI recipe for florentines in this month’s issue, which I didn’t use for a bunch of longwinded reasons, actually says that you should replace the parchment paper between each batch but that felt excessive to me.) 2. They are lacy and delicate — there will be holes, although the newer recipe will be slightly less hole-ridden than the current one — and this is part of the charm of this kind of florentine. It’s not an error. This cookie should have a little filling spread on the bottom one before the top one is placed gently on top. You should barely squeeze them together. After 10 minutes or so in the fridge, the filling will firm up and the oozing through the holes should no longer be an issue. 3. Florentines are indeed fragile, although the newer recipe will be slightly less so. It’s best to let them set for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to paper towels to briefly blot and then cooling racks.

      All that said, I have another problem: The babysitter just called out sick and I’m about to be on Full Mom Duty for the rest of the day. So, after all that, I can’t get you the updated recipe right now. Be patient, it’s coming, and I’m sorry there is only one of me right now. :(

      Marissa — I think these would be more amenable than some other cookies to a GF adaptation, but I haven’t tried it. See a few comment above where someone linked to an Oatmeal Florentine — I think that would be a lovelier way to go.

  79. Tiff

    Thanks for your suggestions Deb! After placing the cookies on a paper towel to soak up the extra butter, I found myself wrapping them in paper towel after I put the cookies together with the filling. It was an extra step I wanted to take because I am giving them to people that are semi health conscious (bad idea, I know, but they are so tasty). I found that helped, as well as putting them in the refrigerator in a small box with parchment paper. That too made them a little less greasy. I’m going to make my second batch today. When you’re tweaking it for the next time, what do you plan on changing around?

  80. Tucker

    @ Tiff the muffin pan tip is brilliant! I finished making these early this morning, the dough did firm up in the frig, and I was able to make the batter into little balls. I decided to use my pancake rings for little fences to keep the batter from running wild, and forcing them to bake perfectly round. It was a slow process, because I only have to pancake rings, but it worked. I will soak up the excess butter and store in the refrigerator. Thank you Deb for your reply.

  81. Jerusha

    I made these today with gluten free flour (I used Better Batter) and they turned out amazing! I baked mine on Silpats which made for easy removal with a metal spatula. I did wonder if I underbaked them slightly because I expected them to be a little crispier. They were brown all around the edges before I took them out of the oven, and I baked them a full 8 minutes. Could the slight chewiness be from baking them on the Silpat? Or is that actually how they are supposed to be? Either way, they tasted like Christmas holidays.

  82. Katie

    Hello! I’ve been a lurker for some years now and have had many gleeful times of deliciousness from your recipes – thank-you!! This is the first one that I’ve come across that hasn’t really worked; it appears that others might have had a similar problem. My batter looked nothing like yours – it had a thick layer of butter left on top that I probably should have taken off but decided to stir in, after I let it sit for the 30 minutes. I’m pretty sure I got all the measurements right, so I’m not sure how that happened. My florentines turned out holey and overly brown around the edges, to my sadness! Any ideas for alterations? Thanks so much!

  83. Josefie

    Made these for a party last Saturday and they were a big hit. Yes, the florentine part is not perfect and I would live an alternative that’s not as oily. I’m going to try these with 1/2 almond and 1/2 pecan for the nut part. I find pecans to be pretty oily, so that’s probably not helping the cause here. Overall these were delicious, though!

  84. Krista

    I know Deb is working on adjusting the cookie portion of this recipe, but is a busy mommy!! I made another batch of these today using the following florentine recipe instead and it was perfect. This dough still freaked me out a little but I’m assuming that’s just how this type of cookie is. When I refrigerated my dough (per the recipe) it got pretty stiff, almost like caramel, and was a little difficult to portion out but baked up GREAT!

    Hope others will benefit until Deb can make it even better =)

  85. Anne

    WIN! I made these for my coworkers for holiday gifts. The filling is fantastic (florentines simply a vehicle for said frosting). I want to try it on ginger snaps or blonde brownies. FANTASTIC FROSTING.

  86. Barbara C

    Made them, blotted butter forever, loved them! Mine didn’t firm up very well either. I did put them in the fridge and made sure my cookie sheets were good and cool before putting the better on them. I cooked most of them long enough to get a nice crispy cookie. No eggnog filling. My offset spatula was quite handy and silpat type liners. I will definitely be trying this again.

  87. Rachael

    I had no problems with the cookies whatsoever. Husband loves them. I did think that the filling was super sweet though and couldn’t bring myself to filling all of the cookies. Any suggestions for the leftovers?

  88. Ladotyk

    These are very tasty cookies! I did have a few lessons learned though, and I thought I’d add one more data point to the other comments.
    * I would recommend using 1/2 tsp versus a full tsp When I used the larger size my cookies melted into one uber-cookie that covered the whole pan
    * Placing the dough in the freezer helped it to firm up for easy scooping
    * I used a silplat which helped keep everything flat and easy to peel off later.
    * Definitely add a little rum to the frosting to give it that eggnog flavor. I found it to be just a sugar-bomb otherwise. 2 tsp is enough to add flavor without making it too boozy for the kids.
    * The cookies turned into crispy perfection after cooling, but once the frosting was added they turned much softer just an hour later. To have them perfectly crispy I wouldn’t frost until they are ready to be eaten. My friends said they liked the softer texture too, though, so they still are great after sitting for a bit.

    I agree with other posters that the cookies were quite greasy but that may just be the nature of Florentines. All-in-all these earned me many compliments; it’s nice to have a fancy cookie recipe in my arsenal :)

  89. I made a batch last week and I’m slowly cooking them a tray at a time on various days. The odd thing is, the cookies turned out rather like lace – they spread so much that there are circular holes where the butter boiled off (?) in the finished cookies. It’s fine, but I don’t understand why they aren’t as solid as yours. I don’t think I changed anything other than putting in a little LESS butter, but at this point I’ll admit I don’t remember exactly since it was so long ago! :)

    The egg yolk part was a pain to do, but I think this frosting it’s worth the hassle – and I totally grated in the full amount of fresh nutmeg! AMAZING frosting!

    For anyone else trying it, I totally did save the raw whites for some Christmas pavlova in a couple days, and just put the yolks in boiling water for a few minutes till they were hard. I didn’t time it but it was probably around 6 minutes; I did test one with a knife at one point too early and it was still runny, but put it back in and it finished cooking just fine.

  90. Jenny

    Hi Deb! Made these over the weekend for cocktail party. That filling is to die for! For the cookies: The teaspoon method was taking forever and driving me nuts, so…. I put them in a piping bag, cut off a dime sized opening, and cut them off from the bag when they were about the thickness of the teaspoon scoop. It was fast and easy and worked perfectly!

  91. AJ

    My florentines did not turn out well. They spread much too far and were too greasy. However, the filling was wonderful!!! I made the florentine recipe in comment #68 and it was a delicious combination. Yummy!

  92. Anne

    I loved this recipe. It was my first time ever making florentines so I don’t have anything to compare it to, and I thought it worked great. My favorite part is the filling, it tastes so much like egg nog (my favorite holiday indulgence). I’m glad I used the full amount of nutmeg. The spice was a nice touch. All in all, this was a fun holiday baking experience. I’ll try ’em again. Thanks Deb!

  93. Josefie

    Trying recipe in comment #68. The cookie is delicious, but not the same texture/flavor profile as those I baked a couple of weeks ago. More of a cookie-cookie. Will have to try a different recipe or go with my plan to substitute almond meal for some of the pecans.

  94. Catherine

    I made these cookies yesterday and experienced the issues everyone mentioned. I thought I’d never make them again.
    I brought them to my folks house for Christmas Day. They were a hit! They are begging for me to make another batch, Lol.
    Looks like they’ll become part of our family’s Christmas tradition! Thanks Deb for another wonderful recipe!

  95. Mariachi

    I made these for a Christmas party and they were spectacular. People thought I’d bought them at Tartine and was passing them off as homemade.

    Two things though: Using the amounts in the recipe I had way too much filling left over. It’s quite sweet so I used a thinner layer than in the pictures. I dealt with the fragility of the cookies by warming up the filling over a low flame into more of a thick liquid than the paste that was impossible to spread without breakage.

  96. francookie

    Tastiest Florentines I’ve ever had. The holes were a little too big, but my whole family loved them anyway. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  97. AngelaS

    These turned out fine, lacy and crunchy. I thought the filling too decadent so just dipped them in brandy flavoured cream (because it was Christmas Day right.) They taste rather like brandy snaps but are a bit less trouble.
    I now can’t have anything sweet for at least a week. They store pretty well in a cake tin in layers with kitchen paper between each one.
    I enjoy a lot of your recipes and your constant inventiveness.

  98. Adam J

    Ok just made these and they are truly a revelation. The kind of food that sticks with you. That given the tendency to daydream your subconscious dredges the flavor back up from the recesses of your mind and without consuming the cookie you still taste it. Thank you so much for sharing Deb. I paired this with a Doppio Espresso w. Cream and something I didn’t think could get better did.

    Recommendations: I would recommend not forming the cookie batter into complete spheres. They spread out better when I pushed the filling into the half sphere of the 1/2 tablespoon measure and then popped them out and placed them flat side down on the parchment paper. This meant they spread out faster during cooking and were more evenly caramelized at the end of the cook time.

  99. Madeline

    I have been dying to make these since you posted them, but then with the comments I thought I would wait until you updated. I know it is such a busy time of year I was just wondering if you still plan on updating? Or if I should just bite the bullet and make as is … seems some people have made with success!

  100. PJ

    I do not comment on blogs or websites; not that I have anything against it; just no time! But I HAD to say how much I love this website. I found it accidentally when looking for a pizza crust recipe (I had never made my own from scratch). This is the best cooking website I have been on.
    Amazing job; love it.
    BTW…the pizza crust was the best. I was worried as i checked on it throughout the day. But it was the best we’ve eaten, ever. And my first one to make ever.
    Thank you for all the work you do for your many fans and followers (of which I am now one!).

  101. Hi Deb,
    Lace cookies are my absolute favorite, and I’ve never successfully made them. I’m so excited to try this recipe (going with a cannoli-inspired ricotta filling), but am hoping to sub the pecans for ground almond flour since I already have a ton of that in my pantry. In a comment above, you suggested swapping by volume, not weight, but I’m wondering what final volume you ended up with once you ground the pecans?

    Any other commenters out there try with substituting with ground almond?


  102. Ashley


    I’d never had a florentine before let alone made one, but I just made these today and they worked nicely. The dough looked like it had too much butter, so I blotted it with papertowels but the cookies still baked up nicely. The frosting was the perfect consistency once I added the rum…maybe if leaving it out, it could be replaced with more milk? Might give a better spreading consistency. Totally yummy! Thanks for a fun Saturday baking project!

  103. Tucker

    If you are having trouble with these being too runny, I have a suggestion: I made these this year in muffin tins, after battling with these delicious cookies last Christmas on a cookie sheet. I measured the very runny buttery batter in 1/2 teaspoon and placed them in a muffin tray. I baked them for 8 minutes on 350°. They turned out great. I may just pipe the eggnog frosting on top, and skip the sandwich approach.

  104. Allison S.

    Hey Deb, Did you ever update with the “new”, better florentine recipe?
    Happy Holidays! Making lots of cookies from your site this year :)

  105. deb

    Allison — Sheesh, I am the worst because I don’t even know where my notes are on this. I think my easiest plan was just to hold the butter back by 1 tablespoon, leaving everything else the same; the concern was mostly that they were spreading too much for some people, and that spread comes from the butter.

  106. Catharina

    deb, just a little note to let you know how good they were/are: I had forgotten all about these beauties, made them last christmas with great success…today (!), just when I let out a sigh of relief that the frenzy is over, my otherwise known as the not-so-sweet-toothy daughter REQUESTED them. I couldn’t remember where the recipe was from, but, phew, here they are!! what can you do but oblige? have a happy new year (and keep at it)

  107. Kimberley

    Deb, could you provide some feedback on translating this filling into a layer cake filling? Would you hold back some of the sugar? Or do anything to get another texture?

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

  108. To address comment 165: Kimberley, I made these cookies last year (FANTASTIC) and I don’t know that the filling would translate well into a cake filling. It’s fairly stiff, like the center of an oreo cookie. What I would suggest is increasing the milk to make a thinner filling, maybe beating some whipping cream separately to soft peaks and folding in the filling. I haven’t tried it, but it’s what I would attempt if I was going to try.

  109. En

    I’m a first time commenter…but I just had to recommend these because these were such a big hit with my family. My husband can have a *picky* palette and he couldn’t stop himself!

    Watch out for the cookies to have melted into each other after you pull them out of the oven but can be easily re-shaped with a silicone spatula.

    I did make the two components separately the day before, refrigerating the batter and the filling the day before assembling the ‘sandwiches’. I refrigerated the filled florentines overnight and brought them to my in-laws the next day with parchment paper between the layers and they held up!

    Thanks Deb! Love your website & cookbook :)

  110. Mary Beth

    The florentines themselves came out very well; the directions were good. But the filling, while tasty in itself, made for a cookie that was much too sweet for my taste. I’ll go back to dipping florentines in chocolate. Made three SK cookies this season (the others were the crescent jam and cheese and the cashew butter balls), and the cashew butter balls were far and away the favorites in our house.

  111. The filling is amazing!! I don’t think I will use chocolate in them. Absolutely delicious! I halved the recipe since I wasn’t sure about trying a new one, but this is a keeper!

    1. deb

      I haven’t tried them this way. Often you can but these are on the fragile side and the filling is on the sweet side so I think they work ideally as sandwiches.

  112. these look spectacular! is the florentine recipe at the top the ‘new & improved’ version? i’ve been researching florentines all morning and each recipe has wildly different proportions – i’m grateful for the cookie ‘hive-mind’ here :)

  113. Layla

    Deb, you have a note about auditioning other Florentine recipes to see if this is the best one for the cookie. I’m curious if you ever did find one you like better.

    Also, thank you for so many amazing recipes. I love your site so much! You never disappoint.

  114. Nikole

    I am a Smitten Kitchen fanatic, have all the cookbooks, check SK IG religiously, and have truly loved everything I’ve ever made from a SK recipe. Unfortunately, these cookies are the only exception. I spent two days making them and they were so sweet that I couldn’t finish eating one – so maybe it’s a ‘me’ problem because sweetness is relative… On to try the crescent jam and cheese cookies!

  115. Kristin

    These dominated at my family’s annual cutthroat Christmas cookie contest. My sister thought she had a lock on a win this year, but these cookies crushed the competition. I did find that in my oven (350*F with an oven thermometer) they were lightly browned at 5 1/2 minutes and kept browning on the hot cookie sheet for a little bit after I took them out of the oven.

  116. Sarah Jewart

    Hi Deb! My family LOVED these florentines, they were so delicious and made such a great Christmas treat (they were gone in less than 8 hrs!!) The only thing is that I’m not sure what happened but my florentines came out super hole-y.. I used honey instead of golden syrup. And also, I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 10 month old so I wasn’t able to come back to the dough for more like an hour instead of 20 minutes.. nap time.. Since I had left it so long the butter had almost completely separated from the dough so I had to use a hand mixer to get it incorporated again. Maybe I got too much air into the mixture? I’m not sure but I’m determined to give it another try! :)
    -Sarah J

  117. These cookies were fantastic. As long as you pat the excess grease off each cookie after they’re cooked and wipe down the cookie sheet before making another batch, they’re not too buttery. But if you don’t, they’re ridiculously greasy: as in you have to wash your hands after you eat one.

    The eggnog filling was amazing. I still can’t get over how much it tasted like eggnog. Instead of adding rum, I just added a 1/4 tsp. rum extract.

    The only thing I was disappointed in was I filled them at the last minute before taking them to a christmas cookie swap, and within a couple hours they had lost their crisp. Next time I make the florentines I’ll probably just drizzle them with some dark chocolate to avoid this.

  118. Natalie S

    I had the same issue as Sarah Jewart – my cookies ended up very holey. I also used honey. Also I refrigerated the dough for like 3 days before baking. Any ideas what happened? (BTW, Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!!)

    1. deb

      So, I think that these were intended to be hole-y (ahem, “lacy and elegant” heh) but that does make the filling a little messy. 2 teaspoons to 1 extra tablespoon of flour would probably fix it, but I will need to confirm it next time I make them.

  119. Laura

    Goodness gracious! I made these today and what a perfectly delicate delight! This will likely be the only time I ever make them bc I don’t have the patience or light touch to keep these from crumbling into the world’s most delicious cookie crumbs. However, the batch today will live on in my heart forever. Super bonus is that my kitchen smells like the best part of Oktoberfest, with the smell of pralines bursting from my oven. Your recipes are incredible! Thank you for sharing! XO

  120. Argh, my first Smitten Kitchen fail. The recipe was easy to follow, until it came time to bake. The cookies spread out ALOT, bake quickly, and tend to follow the contours of your parchment paper if you are at the end of a roll and it’s wrinkled. I ended up with no consistency in size, color, or shape. The cookies are very sweet, very rich. I’m thinking this is not for me. The eggnog frosting however, would wow on some cupcakes.

  121. Antoinette Mason

    I think your ratios may be wrong, or… what did I do? My mixture was very moist, very buttery, and basically turned into candy in the oven, where they burned really quickly 😢

  122. Anthony

    Folks who have made this, did it make 3 dozen individual florentines, or 3 dozen sandwiches? Also is the count with the 1 tsp scoop or 1/2 tsp scoop of dough?

  123. Tracy

    I have never made Florentines, but this recipe peaked my interest and I made them last night. They turned out pretty well and taste good, but I think we should all realize that if Deb says they might be too buttery that means something! Any cookie that needs to be blotted after baking is probably too buttery. They are also very delicate and hard to keep in one piece when spreading the filling and it wants to ooze through the holes. I added 2T almond flour after each batch baked (3) to try to offset the butter and make them sturdier. After I saw the issue I went back in compared this recipe to several others I have in other cookbooks. Admittedly I have not baked any of these other examples but I think it is worth noting that all of them had twice as many nuts for the same amount of flour, less sugar and less butter. In fact the other four recipes I looked at were fairly uniform in their ratios: 1/4 cup flour, 1 to 1 1/4 cup ground nuts, 3 T to 1/3 cup butter, 1/4 to 1/2 c sugar, plus cream, syrup and 1/2 to 3/4c citrus peel or candied fruit. I’m planning to try again tonight with modified quantities to see how it goes. Filling is delish but seemed on the verge of breaking with 1T rum, not sure it could handle 2. Maybe another yolk would stabilize it? Filling would be great in macarons or shortbread. Tried both 1/2 and 1 teas size, the smaller size came out more consistently roundish and made a decent sized 1.5” very rich cookie.

  124. Sarah

    These are teeth-hurtingly sweet but I love them. Recommend making smaller ones because you really don’t need very much at a time.

  125. Katie Earixson

    I made these last year and they were SO good. Don’t be intimidated by the Florentines, they aren’t too hard – just don’t over bake! I do have a question… they did get a little soggy with the icing – any suggestions on how to remedy this?

    I was hoping to mail some of these this year, but perhaps they are just too delicate?

  126. These cookies were on The Great British Bake Off (my favorite cooking show). So I attempted this recipe as is. I read the comments and decided to bake them in mini muffin tins to stop the spread and causing them to over bake or burn. I think that approach helped. I like butter better than Julia, but for the first time in my life I do have to say, these were greasy. I left the frosting as a dipper because the cookies were plenty sweet enough (kids and sugar…they loved to dip them). I still think I’m looking for another recipe that is less greasy. But I love the sugar cookie recipe and making them tonight for the 10th time. :D

  127. Neat

    Hey. What is the texture of these florentines?
    I made them and they are getting stuck to my teeth (not that much but it’s still happening)… is this how they’re supposed to be?

  128. Rachel

    Hi, Deb! I just tried to make these and the Florentines just melted into one big mass that I don’t think I could even get off the parchment with a spatula. What is the “carmel” supposed to be like, look and consistency-wise? Mine certainly didn’t look like carmel. Was very light in color, for example. Am a big baker and usually feel like your directions are perfect, but I am at a loss here! Thank you for any help!

  129. Kathryn E Jessup

    I am making this for a cookie exchange. I doubled the recipe and I’m getting three dozen cookies, not six dozen. When the recipe says it yields three dozen, I think that means individual Florentines. Two Florentines are required for each cookie, therefore this recipe yields 1 1/2 dozen finished cookies. Word to the wise!

  130. Lisa

    I’d like to make these but am not confident the recipe has been updated, and reading the comments am worried to try the recipe if not. Can you confirm Deb that the above is a tested re-jigged recipe?