Intro

I can tell you from experience that these lacy, sweet and salty cookies go quite nicely with hot chocolate on a lazy sick day. Early in the morning we declared it a pajama day at our house and I can think of no better lazy day activity then giving a lesson in Mexican hot chocolate and how to use a molinillo. A certain four year old also got a lesson in the art of chocolate drizzling (can you guess which ones he did?) and we all learned that a 10 am hot chocolate and cookie break is indeed a great way to pass the time.

Of course it’s traditionally almonds in a Florentine but as I was developing this recipe for a class I taught at the Pantry recently a bag of peanuts sat nearby and I thought, “why not?” Where corn syrup usually is I added in maple syrup and I think honey would be lovely here too. It’s a simple cookie that comes together quickly yet tastes of something special. My next move is crumbling up a few and scattering them over vanilla ice cream and while I’m at it I may even pour some of that leftover hot chocolate on top. Oh boy.

 

*One last thing and this is the last time you’ll get this obnoxious update as today (4/19) is the last day to vote: I was nominated for Best Cooking Blog by Saveur.com and I’d love to win. In order to win I need some votes. So if you feel so inclined, please hop over to their site and give a vote. Thanks.
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Salted Peanut Florentines

5 dozen 3 inch cookies, or 2 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies

 

1 3/4 cups roasted peanuts

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 stick (4 ounces) butter

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

flake salt for finishing

Chocolate Topping, optional: 2 to 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Pulse the peanuts in a food processor until finely chopped, but not pasty. Stir together the nuts, flour and salt in a large bowl.

Put the sugar, cream, maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then pour mixture into peanut mixture and stir just to combine. Set aside until cool enough to handle, 10 minutes. As the batter sits it will firm up. Once at room temperature you may need to form the batter into a rough ball with your hands.

Scoop rounded teaspoons (for 3-inch cookies) or rounded tablespoons (for 6-inch cookies) of batter and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 to 4 inches between each cookie since they spread.

Top with a sprinkle of flakey salt (such as Maldon).

Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown color throughout, rotating pans halfway through baking time, about 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve.

Optional chocolate topping: Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very low simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power for 30 second intervals in the microwave. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted.)

For sandwiches: Drop about 1/2 teaspoon chocolate onto on the flat side of half of the cookies and press together with remaining halves. Return to rack and let chocolate set.

For chocolate decor: Drizzle melted chocolate over Florentines as desired. Set aside at room temperature until chocolate is set.

Store baked cookies carefully, separated by parchment or waxed paper, in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

25 Responses to “Salted Peanut Florentines”

  1. Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic

    If only my voice weren’t so hoarse and gravelly at the moment … I’d shout downstairs for the maid to whip up a batch of these and deliver them to me (in bed) with a fresh pot of tea.

    If only I had a maid, too. xx

    Reply
  2. sundiegoeats

    Love substituting peanuts for the almonds, I imagine this would be so good with other nuts like hazelnuts or pistachios maybe? And the chocolate topping would definitely not be optional for me, looks amazing!

    Reply
  3. Eva | Adventures in Cooking

    Already voted for you, wahoo! Best of luck :)

    These sound delicious, I love the wafer thin and crunchy texture of florentines. Incorporating peanuts instead of almonds is a delightfully savory idea. Also, dipping them in Mexican hot chocolate ftw.

    Reply
  4. Alex

    This is just to tell you I fell so much in love these I already tried them: if mine were delicious, I can only begin to imagine yours. Anyway, I used them on a dessert, and made a reference to your post, which was actually “the origin of all matter”. Thank you so much for such an inspirational recipe.

    Reply
  5. Lucia

    I am pinning this one! Have not tried a cookie like this before. I like the one in the photo with the extra chocolate drizzle.

    Reply
  6. Cate @ ChezCateyLou

    I love Florentines! I think the lacy cookie is so gorgeous, and the flavor can’t be beat. Or at least I thought until I read your version with peanuts! What a great idea!! They sound amazing! Do you think I could use agave or honey instead of maple syrup? I’m not a huge maple fan. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Charles M

    Great recipe, thank you! I’m really happy how these came out. I used a squeeze bottle to drizzle the chocolate and it made it quite easier. Cheers!

    Reply
  8. Lynn

    I made this recipe last week. While the cookies were very good, very addicting, I was disappointed they did not hold their shape. The batter was runny & the cookies really spread when they baked. They filled up almost the entire cookie sheet. After they were finished baking, they were very soft and crumbled when you pick up one. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I’m sure I followed the directions correctly. I don’t think I added too much liquid. Could I have added more flour to the batter to ensure they held their shape?

    Reply

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