Florentines are the perfect fancy Christmassy snack or even make a great gift! And these vegan florentines will be a hit with everyone!
Florentines have always seemed really fancy to me. An ‘adult’ cookie. I think maybe it was because of the dark chocolate or the mixture of nuts, but I never really ate them growing up. And now I’m mourning for all the lost years when I could have been eating florentines!! They’re packed full of caramelly nuts & dried fruit, they’re crisp and chewy and of course spread with delicious dark chocolate. And with two small changes these become vegan florentines!
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
- Golden Syrup – The golden syrup is what keeps our florentines deliciously chewy and not brittle. You could swap this for honey if you prefer!
- Chopped Nuts/Sugared Fruit – I’ve chosen pistachios, pecans, flaked almonds, mixed peel and glace cherries because I think they’re most Christmassy! But if you hate pecans say, you can swap it out for a nut of your choice. Just make sure you keep the measurements the same.
- Vegan Dark Chocolate – One of the key markers of a florentine is the chocolate zigzag pattern on the underside of the cookies. It’s so simple to create, by just zigzagging a fork across the chocolate once its slightly set. So simple, but so effective!
How to make vegan florentines
The recipe is superrr simple, and they bake so quickly! Its a really easy recipe to scale up too, if you wanted to make a big batch to give out as gifts! They’re a perfect little Christmas gift.
Making the dough
The first step you need to do, is to prepare your nuts and fruit. Chop the pistachios & pecans roughly and the glace cherries. Then mix them all in a bowl with the mixed peel and flaked almonds and set aside. Then you can begin with the dough.
The florentine dough is actually made in a saucepan, by first heating the plant butter, brown sugar and golden syrup together until the butter has melted. Keep this on a medium heat; you don’t want to boil the mixture. Then you can take it off the heat and mix in the flour, and then the prepared nuts/fruit. And that’s it! It’s seriously so simple.
You should be able to make 18 florentines from the dough, and they will need room to spread in the oven, so you’ll need three baking trays. If you don’t have three trays, or can’t place three trays into the oven at the same time, get the dough spooned onto baking paper in preparation so you can transfer the paper onto trays when you’re ready to bake. The dough will start to harden a little in the saucepan if you leave it in there too long, so it’s easiest to have it spooned out ready.
Then you can bake! They only need about 8-10 minutes in the oven, and they can then be left to cool completely.
Decorating the florentines
The final step for the florentines is to decorate them with dark chocolate, once they are completely cool. So first the chocolate should be melted, either in the microwave in 30 second increments (stirring between each!) or over a bain-marie. Then the chocolate should be spread on the base of the florentines. I found it easiest to do this with a silicone pastry brush, but you could use a spoon or small spatula instead. Once the chocolate has set for about a minute, drag a fork through the chocolate in a zigzag pattern to create the classic florentine decoration.
And thats it! They should be left for the chocolate to set completely, but you can totally dig into them before and get abit sticky!
Tips & Tricks
No! I think the bitter dark chocolate works well with the sweet sugary cookie, but if you prefer milk or white chocolate then its easily swapped out.
Kept in an air-tight container you can keep florentines for up to one month! Thats what makes them such a perfect gift, and a great bake to make at the start of December before the chaotic nature of the festive season takes over!
No, these won’t hold up well as they’re so thin and made from a liquidy batter. But as the florentines keep so well, it shouldn’t be a problem!
Sometimes a simple quick bake is all you want, and these vegan florentines 100% fit the bill! They’re caramelly, chewy, crisp, packed full of delicious nuts and fruit and bitter dark chocolate! All in a perfectly sized cookie, that makes a great Christmas gift too! And they’re vegan!! So you can keep everyone happy!
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- 50 g plant butter
- 50 g soft light brown sugar
- 50 g golden syrup
- 50 g plain flour
- 25 g pistachios chopped
- 25 g pecans chopped
- 25 g flaked almonds
- 25 g glace cherries chopped
- 25 g mixed/candied peel
- 200 g vegan dark chocolate
- Firstly, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Then line three baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
- Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a medium saucepan and heat gently until the butter is melted, stirring a couple of times. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour until combined. Then stir in the chopped nuts and fruit, until well combined.
- This recipe makes 18 florentines, so you want to scoop six heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto each baking tray, leaving space between each to spread. Then bake them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Leave the florentines to cool on the tray, before placing them onto a cooling rack. (If don’t have enough space in the oven for three trays at once, get them spooned onto the trays in preparation, as mixture will begin to harden a little in the saucepan.)
- To decorate: Melt the dark chocolate either in a microwave in 30 second increments (stirring between each), or over a bain-marie (a saucepan filled with water, with a heat-proof bowl sat on top that doesn't touch the water). Then carefully spread the melted chocolate over the base of each florentine – I used a silicone pastry brush for ease – then leave to set for a minute or so. Then using a fork, make a zigzag pattern in the chocolate and leave to set on the cooling rack, chocolate side up.