As far as cookies go, Florentines are high on my list of favorites. They’re just so darn pretty and crunchable. It’s hard to eat just one!
For those not familiar, Florentine cookies are lacy, delicate cookies that are pliable when taken from the oven, so they can be rolled into tubes or kept flat. My usual practice for making these is to sandwich two flat Forentines with melted chocolate, but this time I rolled them around a chopstick to make cigars. This method takes a little patience and dexterity, not to mention careful handling of the hot cookies, but the added crunch is so worth the effort!
I dipped one end of the cookies in melted chocolate and chocolate vermicelli, and then added a sprinkle of black pepper over the unset chocolate. This brings a little heat to the “lit” end of the cigar. You don’t need much! Just enough to be playful.
After the chocolate firms, place them on pastry liners (sometimes called eclair liners) and seal them up tight in a holiday tin. This makes a nice gift and keeps them delectably fresh and crisp.
Almond Florentine Cigars
- 1/2 cup/113g unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup/100 g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate evenly chopped
- 1/3 cup chocolate sprinkles
- Ground black pepper for sprinkling optional
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the almond flour, sugar, flour, cream and salt. Increase the heat to medium and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, or until the it thickens slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop the batter onto the parchment paper by the heaping teaspoonfuls spaced well apart, baking about 4 cookies to a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until cookies are well spread and bubbling.
- Slowly peel up the edge of a cookie after it has sat on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes.
- Using a chopstick or wooden spoon handle, quickly wrap the cookie around the form. Hold for 30 seconds and then slide the cookie off the form. Repeat with remaining cookies. If cookies become too rigid from cooling, place them back in the oven for 2 minutes and try rolling again.
- Repeat with remaining cookie batter. Allow the cigars to cool completely before dipping them in chocolate.
- Cover a work surface with waxed paper or parchment paper. Melt the 4 ounces of chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth (or melt over low heat on the stove top). Place the sprinkles in a small bowl. Dip one end of each cigar into the chocolate and then into the sprinkles.
- Sprinkle a pinch of black pepper over the chocolate-dipped end. Place the cookies on the prepared work surface and allow the chocolate to set, about 2 hours.
- Store the cookies in an air-tight container to keep them crisp.