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This recipe is part of Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies.

Faux Florentines

Faux Florentines

I only made Florentines once in school, but I remember them being soft of labor intensive. I was looking forward to making these from Cookies and Brownies because the recipe has a lot of interesting ingredients (orange peel and candied ginger) and it seemed a lot easier than digging up the recipe from school!

I was hoping I'd found another gluten-free recipe from Cookies and Brownies until I discovered that there can be quite a bit of gluten contamination in oatmeal, the core of this recipe. Otherwise, it might have been a tasty gluten-free sweet!

This recipe makes lovely delicate cookies, but they really must be cooked thoroughly and stored well the first night or they will get crumbly almost immediately. After 24 hours, this makes fine ice cream topping, otherwise.

A few notes about this recipe:

  • I used candied ginger instead of candied orange peel. This might have contributed to the softening of the cookie if the ginger absorbed moisture from the air.
  • Rather than use orange zest, I went with a very fragrant tangerine for my citrusy flavor, and I think this was really nice with the ginger.
  • I used chopped chocolate rather than chips - Scharffen Berger 65%.
  • My oats came from Bob's Red Mill (their Old Fashioned Oats, not quick cooking).

Faux Florentines
3 large eggs
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c (packed) light brown sugar, lump free
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp salt
2 T butter, melted
4 tsp baking powder, sifted if lumpy
3+1/2 c old-fashioned oatmeal (not quick or instant)
3/4 c diced candied orange peel or 6 T minced crystallized ginger
1 c semisweet chocolate chips

2 cookie sheets, lined with foil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Beat the eggs with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, orange zest, and salt with a mixer at high speed until very thick and light, about 3 minutes.
  3. Beat in the melted butter, then the baking powder, just until mixed.
  4. Stir in the oatmeal, candied peel, and chocolate chips.
  5. Drop level teaspoons of batter about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are deep brown all over.
  7. Rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking and watch carefully to avoid burning.
  8. Slide pan liners onto cooling racks. Cool cookies completely before stacking or storing; they peel from the liners easily when cool.

Makes 45 to 50 cookies

Store airtight (up to 1 week) until serving to retain crispness

This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.


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There are several companies

There are several companies that sell GF oats, including Bob's Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates and Gifts of Nature. I usually pick them up at Manna Mills in Mountlake Terrace.


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Terrific idea, that would make them completely gluten free!

I haven't tried working with GF oats yet, mostly because I'd heard from friends that there was a lot of contamination in oats (in general) making it really hard for folks with gluten issues. But I suppose as long as it's not celiac, but an intolerance, that might be less of an issue?