Developing a recipe for milk chocolate hazelnut (aka Nutella) florentines was not my idea. I actually wish I could say it was, as they are completely to-die-for, but it was a friend, fanatical about florentines, who inspired me to develop this here recipe. Of course I knew what a florentine was when my friend emailed me inquiring as to whether I might have a recipe for such fragile yumminess. Florentines are wafer thin, lace-like cookies, made with a bit of nut flour, and filled with dark chocolate. It certainly had never crossed my mind to try my hand at making them. I think of myself as a thick and chewy kind of cookie person. Most certainly not a delicate-with-a-cosmopolitan-name-kind of cookie person. But it’s a real treat when someone requests a recipe, and I was not going to disappoint.
Florentine research was in order and I quickly discovered a few important facts: Florentines are traditionally made with either almonds or oats, many of the recipes are practically identical, with instructions that vary only slightly, and very few florentines are made of hazelnut flour and filled with Nutella.
The Nutella filling idea came to me, not unlike the idea that came to me to add toffee bits to my oatmeal cookies, or, truly, to make oatmeal cookies at all, because of an excess of said ingredients (Nutella, toffee, oats) in my pantry. No, I did not have hazelnut flour in said pantry, but that seemed like an obvious – dare I say, fun? – choice once i’d decided on the Nutella filling.
Making the cookie batter couldn’t be faster or easier and the fact that there is a minimal dough-resting-period (um, like 5 minutes) is kind of a real coup after having spent so much time making cookies that require a minimum of a 24 hour fridge hang-out. The filling requires no prep (duh, it comes out of a jar) and the cookies are so thin, they cool in no time. Long story short, you can have these cookies filled and on the dessert table in a matter of minutes (give or take). They are awfully pretty, awfully tasty, and allowed me to move from my baking comfort zone just ever so slightly. A win win all round. Final thought: please do let me know if there is a particular recipe you’d like to see on this here blog. Would be more than happy to oblige.
milk chocolate hazelnut (aka nutella) florentine sandwich cookies
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp corn syrup
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 cup instant oats
- 1/2 cup 1 Tbsp hazelnut meal/ flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup nutella or more if needed
- preheat the oven to 350-degrees. line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silipat mat and set aside.
- melt the butter, syrup and cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. while melting, combine the oats, hazelnut meal, flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. add the wet to the dry, along with the vanilla, and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. let sit briefly to cool.
- form heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into balls using your hands, and place the balls onto the prepared sheet, several inches apart, as they spread. bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until the cookies are slightly browned. if you prefer chewier cookies, pull them closer to 8 minutes, crispier ones, closer to 10.
- let cool on the sheet for two minutes or so, and then carefully remove the cookies to a cooling rack using a spatula. repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
- to assemble the cookies, place a tablespoon of nutella on the underside of half of the cookies. place another cookie on top and press slightly. florentines are best eaten the day they are made.