Italian Hazelnut Florentines and the Granville Island Market

Recently, I was down in Granville Island for a wedding and between the ceremony and the reception, I decided to hang around and explore one of my favorite places on earth. The Granville Island Market. It is just a beautiful place and a bit of a culinary heaven, in my books. I completely forgot to take good photos of anything and really just took random cell phone photos.

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It’s a little bit of a food mecca for me. There’s fresh produce every where and desserts and baked good galore!

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While I was there, I decided to try an Italian Florentine.

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And I have been thinking about them ever since. As such, I spent most of my time researching different Florentine recipes. No matter how I scoured the internet, the Florentines you see above this text did not seem to want to be found. They were delightfully chewy, decadent, sweet and nutty. It was my dream cookie. It wasn’t the traditional Florentine, but if I’m going to master this recipe one day, I should probably start with the original.

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It turns out this was the only finished product photo I took because I was in a rush to bring these over to a friend’s house for Canadian Thanksgiving! (It was a good trade off! I brought dessert, they fed me delicious turkey!) These cookies were not the same as the one I purchased from Granville Island, but they were a delicious, delicious start!

These lacy cookies were extremely delicate and finicky when it came to time in the oven. I may have stepped away around the moment when they were supposed to be done and wound up with these as the first batch.

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It is better to under bake these puppies than to over bake them. When they come out of the oven, they have to rest on the sheet until they cool, otherwise, you they will just fall apart on you. There is no way to even put them on a cooling rack until they are cool enough to handle.

And observant readers will say to me, “Wow, your pans are well used!” That they are, observant reader! The other thing you will notice is that only 6 cookies fit on a sheet.

Yeah, these puppies spread!

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There isn’t even that much dough on the sheet! I only put 6 – teaspoon sized smushed dough circles on the sheet. Because when they do turn out, they take up quite a bit of space.

I sincerely hope that you guys try making these. They are actually really easy to make, they are just delicate when they turn out. I ended up with several broken cookies, but broken cookies just means extra to eat before you present!

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Italian Florentines
Adapted from Justgetoffyourbuttandbake.com
Makes about a trillion, or 50. Fifty is more reasonable.

Ingredients

2/3 cups of butter
1 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of sliced hazelnuts (or almonds. Those are delicious too!)
1/4 cup of toasted shredded coconut
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cups of flour
1/4 cup of corn syrup
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2  cups of chocolate chips (I used bitter sweet, but feel free to use dark or milk)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or butter if you don’t have it lying around)

Turn on the oven to 350 degrees.

In a microwaveable bowl, melt the butter. Then add the oatmeal, sugar, flour, cream, vanilla and corn syrup. Mix well together. Stir in hazelnuts and coconut.

Line your pans with parchment/silpat mat.

My standard cookie sheets only fit 6 cookies per sheet, so if you try to fit more, use caution.

Spread out 6 separate teaspoon sized balls on the sheet and with a wet spoon/fingers, press down the balls so they are flattened but still resemble a vague circular shape.

Bake in the center rack for 6 minutes. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THEM. When they come out a little toasty and golden brown around the edges, they are ready. That ended up being 6 minutes for me, it could be longer or shorter, depending on your oven.

Leave the cookies on the sheet until cool enough to work with (usually about a minute or two). If you want to make cream horns, when it is workable, yet warm, wrap the cookie around a cone. You will have to leave it there until it actually cools cools. I didn’t have enough equipment, so I wasn’t able to make them. 😦

While waiting for the cookies to cool/bake, or using the down time you have (Ha ha ha, down time!), place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl and carefully melt the chocolate. I find the coconut oil makes the melting process easier and it is easier to work with. It is better to under melt the chocolate and mix it than it is to burn the chocolate. Use your discretion.

When the florentines are cool enough to move, move them over to a cooling rack and drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies. Let them cool and enjoy!

I liked them with a bit of sweetened whipped cream with some fruit. I tried to sandwich them, but the cream just seeped out through the cookie. The reality is that it is your cookie. Enjoy it however you want!

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11 thoughts on “Italian Hazelnut Florentines and the Granville Island Market

  1. The last time I tried making florentines, they were a disaster, so I gave up. Your post has inspired me to try again – I expect your recipe is better than the one I used. And it is probably one of those things that gets better with practice. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Oh wow! You tried making these? I take my hat off to you – they look wonderful! I love Granville Island too! So much to see and eat – a real mecca for foodies! Thanks for bringing your cookies and photos to FF! 😀

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    • Thanks for the kind words! Yeah, Granville Island is pretty spectacular. My best friend and I would go out to Granville Island during the day and pick up ingredients for a picnic and then head out to Vanier Park before our show at Bard on the Beach!

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