Being Italian, I love any baked food that involves almonds and orange liqueur or orange flavors. These ingredients have long been used in Italian cooking because the products are local and fresh. Previously I made Torta Caprese cake which uses these ingredients as well. One of my favorite and I mean FAVORITE cookies in the world are Florentine cookies. They have a very muddled history but some delicious flavors.
Florentine cookies are not actually from Florence and it is unknown why these cookies were named after a city they do not come from. While these cookies may have nothing to do with Florence they have become a widely known Italian cookie. The first version of this “cookie” and I say “cookie” because it was not really a cookie in its early stages. In fact, it was more of a pie with different meats, cream, eggs, and various spices. It is very unclear how the first version, initially published in the 17th century in a cookbook, A True Gentlewoman’s Delight, became the thin, lacey cookie we have today.
However, many historians speculate that the cookie originates from France due to the use of cream and butter in this cookie. They think this because most Tuscan cookies do not use cream or butter and that has long been known as a basis in many French pastries. Some historians even think that these cookies were made in 17th-century France and were named after Florence out of admiration for their Tuscan neighbors.
Today, you can find Florentine cookies in most bakeries in the United States, but if you go to Florence and expect to find them in a bakery there, you will leave disappointed.
I absolutely love these cookies and you can make them in many different ways such as sprinkling with chocolate, dipping in chocolate, making a cookie sandwich with the chocolate or even making a Florentine bark with one big cookie.
Where do you think Florentine’s come from? Do you love these lacey cookies as much as me? Tell me what you want to see from me next! Follow me on Instagram and sprinklesofhistory.com
- 4 tbsp. salted butter, room temp
- 2 tbsp. heavey cream
- 1 tbsp. orange liquor (Grand Marnier)
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp. All-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, cream, and orange liqueur. When butter has melted, stir in remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon. Cook until gently bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Place 1 tsp. of batter 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper, this is because they spread when baked. Bake until lightly browned and crisp. 6 to 7 minutes.
- Leave as is or drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate or sandwich with melted semi-sweet chocolate.