Chocolate-Dipped Florentines
20-25 cookies
Adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (Ten Speed)I cut the original recipe in half since I wanted smaller cookies, but otherwise followed the recipe pretty closely. I added a few grains of salt, but thought I knew better and tried using a small metal spatula to spread the Florentines. But their suggested fork method worked better. You can put the cookies pretty close to each other on the baking sheet as they don’t spread during baking.
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1/3 cup (50g) powdered sugar
1 3/4 cup (130g) blanched sliced almonds
a good pinch of flaky sea salt
grated zest of half an orange*, preferably unsprayed
1. Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush very lightly with neutral vegetable oil.
3. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
4. Keep a small bowl of cold water and a fork near where you’re working.
5. Dip your hand in the cold water before lifting each portion of almonds, and place heaping tablespoon-sized mounds of the batter evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet.
6. Once you’ve covered the baking sheet, dip the fork in cold water to flatten the cookies as much as possible. Try to avoid having many gaps between the almonds.
7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Exact time will vary based on how large your cookies are. The authors recommend lifting the bottom of one with a metal spatula to check and see if they’re cooked through. If they’re not brown across the top and bottom, they won’t be agreeably crispy.
8. Let cookies cool, then lift with a thin metal spatula and place them on a cooling rack until crisp. Continue baking all the cookies on the same baking sheet. (I found no need to re-oil it between uses.)

Store Florentines in an airtight container until ready to serve.

To Coat the Cookies with Chocolate

To coat one side with chocolate, melt a few ounces of chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate in a clean, dry bowl, stirring until smooth. Use a brush or metal spatula to coat the underside of each cookie with a thin layer of chocolate. Let cool in a cool place or the refrigerator until firm. Once firm, store Florentines in an airtight container at room temperature.