We feel as though we are letting down all you chocolate lovers out there! If you haven’t noticed, we are not big chocolate fans in our house. No one liked chocolate chips added to pancakes or banana bread, and if we made chocolate chip cookies, we would always add fewer chips than called for.  Jane and Caroline would always scoop the cookies to intentionally leave one or two chipless “special” cookies, which were eaten immediately after coming out of the oven. Don’t get us wrong though; we do love some chocolate things. Desserts such as lava cakes, crinkle cookies, fudge brownies, and mousse are delightful. The problem is when chocolate is IN things. So with that being said, this one goes out to the somewhat neglected choc-o-holics. Our goal is to please everyone! So, no need to worry. We will occasionally throw chocolate desserts into the mix.

Meet Florentines

Claire (Olivia’s oldest daughter) introduced us to these chocolate Florentines when she and her boss would travel back and forth to Boston. They would routinely stop at their favorite bakery and pick up these chocolatey, almond treats. She brought them home to share with us and the first bite we took, we knew we had to attempt to recreate them. They were so delicious! I (Olivia) am not a chocolate fan at all, but I can’t get enough of these chocolatey, nutty, delightful, thin cookies.

Helpful tip: We do recommend making these when the temperature is a bit cooler. We made them in our un-air-conditioned house during one of the hottest days in August! Thankfully, there isn’t much time spent hovering over the oven.

We tested making them with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and a combination of the two. Some taste testers were hard to pin down on a favorite. Some preferred dark, others preferred the combo, and some preferred milk chocolate. So it’s all dependent on preference; choose the type of chocolate that suits your pallet. We do however recommend using a nice quality chocolate.

Big win!

This was a huge recreation win for us. These treats taste almost exactly like the ones that we love so much if not better! If you love chocolate (or not!) and nuts give these a whirl!

Ingredients

• 3/4 cup sliced almonds
• 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
• 2 tbsp honey
• 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
• 8 oz chocolate, melted
• Candy thermometer

Instructions

First, pour the sliced almonds into a bowl. Set aside. Then, in a small saucepan, add sugar, honey and heavy whipping cream. Place over medium heat and stir continuously until the mixture hits 244 F. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the sliced almonds. Mix well. Spoon the batter into a bowl and set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes. Do not place in the fridge.

Next, pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Once the batter is cool, place teaspoon-sized balls of dough onto a baking sheet about 3-4 inches apart. These puppies tend to spread out A LOT! The dough is very sticky, so it helps to have a bowl or glass of water nearby to wet your fingers to prevent the dough from sticking. Flatten out the balls once they are all on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Once they are cool, CAREFULLY peel them off the parchment paper (they are very thin and fragile) and invert them so the bottom of the cookie is facing up and the almond side is facing down. Form the remainder of the dough into balls and bake.

Use a pastry brush or a knife to brush on melted chocolate onto the bottom of each cookie, again, remember these bad boys are very fragile!

Set on a parchment-lined baking tray and place in the fridge for about 5 minutes. We had to place ours in the freezer as it was so darn hot! Store in an airtight container. Some of ours were perfectly round, one was heart-shaped and others were just wonky shapes. Whatever the shape they were YUMMMMY!

Olivia and Caroline are enthusiastic foodies and bakers who are constantly in the kitchen, as well as explorers who create their own adventures in our area – and did we mention they are mother and daughter? Follow Olivia on Instagram to see her many creations at @oliviawvalentine.