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These crispy caramel & almond cookies with salted pistachios and chocolate are a Christmas classic and soo easy to make!
I cannot believe that this is the first year I have made Florentine cookies. After the first batch, they instantly became one of my favourite Christmas cookies ever and I knew I wanted to share a vegan version of them with you! Crispy, buttery and sweet – these cookies taste like drops of heaven. The combination of crunchy almonds, paired with salted pistachios, caramel and of course chocolate, is seriously addictive.
The great thing about Florentine cookies is how easy they are to make. They don’t need to be chilled like sugar cookies and a lot of other doughs. They don’t require any special kitchen equipment either. Plus they keep well, for up to a week, when stored in an airtight cookie jar…if they aren’t all eaten sooner. 😉
The original Florentine cookies contain heavy cream and honey – two ingredients which can be subbed easily. Instead of heavy cream, we are using soy cream and, in place of the honey, a bit of rice syrup. If you do eat honey, feel free to make the recipe with honey, as this gives the cookies a lovely flavour.
To keep this recipe vegan, use vegan dark chocolate, thus a bar that doesn’t contain butter fat or milk powder. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more likely it is that the chocolate bar is vegan.
Are Florentine cookies from Florence?
Despite their name, Florentine cookies have no connection to the Italian city Florence. In fact, they aren’t even known in Italy. Instead it is assumed that they originated in France. Just like Linzer cookies, they are are a very popular Christmas cookie in Austria and Germany. Oftentimes Florentine cookies also contain dried fruit as well. However, I prefer the recipe with just nuts, as I find that too many different flavours can be a bit distracting.
Tips for making the best Florentine cookies
My top tip for making Florentine cookies is to work quickly. Once the caramel is combined with the nuts, it starts to firm up quite fast. It’s very helpful to lay out your baking sheet and parchment paper sheets before you start with the recipe.
It is also vital to keep a very close eye on the cookie mixture as it bakes because the caramel can burn quickly. Since all ovens are a bit different, check on them periodically and take them out sooner than the recipe calls for, if they are already golden brown.
Ultra crunchy vegan Florentine cookies with salted pistachios and chocolate
- 60g shelled salted pistachios (1/2 cup)
- 100g white granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
- 40g rice syrup or honey (2 tablespoons)
- 60g vegan butter (1/2 stick)
- 60g soy cream* (1/4 cup)
- 200g blanched sliced almonds (2 and 1/2 cups)
- 200g dark chocolate (7 oz)
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and set out two sheets of parchments paper and a rolling pin.
- Roughly chop the pistachios.
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar, rice syrup, butter and soy cream. Bring to a boil and cook continuously for 5 minutes, stirring consistently.
- Add the sliced almonds and chopped pistachios and quickly combine everything.
- Transfer the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a second piece of parchment paper and roll out into a rectangle shape with the rolling pin.
- Remove the top parchment paper, place onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly. (It should be slightly firm but still malleable.) Then transfer to a large chopping board and cut into squares. Let the cookies cool completely.
- While they are cooling, melt the chocolate over a double boiler** until smooth.
- Dip the bottom of the cookies into the melted chocolate. If desired, fill the rest of the chocolate into a piping bag (or a small plastic bag with a hole cut in one of the corners) and drizzle it over the cookies.
- Let the cookies cool completely.
*The kind that substitutes heavy cream
**To make a double boiler, add a bit of water to a pot and bring to a simmer. Then put a heat-proof bowl on top of it.
Store in an airtight container, in a cool place, for up to 1 week.
Keywords: vegan Florentine cookies, vegan, Christmas cookies, cookies, pistachios, almonds