I love this time of year.
When I was a kid, I can remember being SO excited about Christmas break. I was a pretty nerdy kid and liked learning, so it wasn’t necessarily that I didn’t want to go to school. I just was always super excited for Christmas. I love seeing people’s faces when they open the perfect girl, listening to Christmas music, and yes, of course, eating lots and lots of Christmas cookies.
Calories don’t count in December, right?
This year, I joined forces with Sarah from Fanstastical Sharing of Recipes again to organize a cookie exchange among members of the Food Blogger Love Facebook group. Everyone got the name of three other food bloggers, and we did a secret-santa-style swap (say that five times fast).
We are also using this as an opportunity to raise money for two great charities!
- No Kid Hungry is an organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger. They believe no child should go to bed hungry. CLICK HERE to sponsor a meal for a child in need!
- RescuesForJoJo is an all-volunteer non-profit that helps “undesirable” shelter dogs find new homes. So far, they have saved over 70 dogs, and these are animals that typically would otherwise be passed over by adopters due to health, breed, color, or other factors. CLICK HERE to learn more about RescuesForJoJo or send your donation via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Before I get to my #FBLCookieExchange recipe, let me tell you about the yummy cookies I received from other food bloggers!
First, I got White Chocolate and Cardamom Cookies from Hetal from Milk and Cardamom:
Next, Jennifer from Jennifer Bakes sent me Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chunks and Butterscotch:
And finally, these Peppermint Crinkle Cookies from Megan at Strawberry Blondie Kitchen were so good that I didn’t even get a picture of them before the hoards descended upon them like locust and they were gone (so I hope she doesn’t mind me stealing a photo from her blog):
Any now, onto my Nutty Florentine Cookie recipe!
This year, I was challenged to make a gluten-free cookie, which is no easy feat for someone like me. My cookies typically use a lot of white flour, and substituting for other kinds of flour, especially coconut flour and almond flour, can produce a very dry cookie.
Luckily, I’ve been wanting to attempt florentines for a long time, ever since I saw them on the Great British Bake Off. Florentines use very little flour, and they are a flat, almost lacy cookie traditionally with bits of almonds and candied or dried fruit.
One side is coated in a layer of chocolate, with a zig-zaggy pattern made with your fork. They are beautiful and delicious!
For my florentines, I started with Mary Berry’s recipe (I mean, you have to… she is Mary Berry), but I wanted to add a nuttier flavor, so not only did I add almonds, but I also added pecans and walnuts. I added tiny pieces of candied ginger to the mix as well, and to make them gluten free, I replaced the regular flour with a mix of coconut and almond flour.
If you are making gluten-free cookies like I did, make sure you check the ingredients, especially the chocolate, to make sure they are all gluten-free. All of the ingredients in this recipe are gluten-free by nature, but sometimes chocolate, nuts, etc. are packaged at facilities that process wheat products. If gluten is not a concern, you can use white flour instead of coconut and almond.
Here’s the full recipe:
Nutty Florentine Cookies from #FBLCookieExchange
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 3 Tablespoons candied ginger very finely chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds finely chopped
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces finely chopped
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Heat the butter, brown sugar, and agave nectar over medium heat until the butter has full melted and the ingredients are well combined.
Remove from heat and mix in flours, ginger, and nuts. Stir to combine.
Allow to cool to room temperature (do not chill - cool on your counter).
Drop by founded tablespoon onto a baking sheet and flatten slightly. Make sure to leave a lot of room between each cookie, as these will spread.
Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on rack.
Melt the chocolate and use a knife to spread a very thin layer on the back of each cookie. Zig-zag a fork through the chocolate to create the traditional florentine pattern in the melted chocolate.
Allow chocolate to harden (can cool in fridge if your kitchen is too warm).
Recipe NotesFor my cookies, I used milk chocolate, but you can use dark chocolate instead if you prefer it.You can also replace some of the nut mixture with dried cranberries if you want to add a fruity flavor.
Here is a full list of all the cookie recipes being posted today from bloggers participating in the cookie swap:
- Bizcochitos from That Recipe
- Caramel Apple Cookies from For the Love of Food
- Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies from If Spoons Could Talk
- Chai Eggnog Cookies with Rumchata Icing from Chicago Foodie Girl
- Chocolate-Dipped Ginger Cookies from Kate’s Recipe Box
- Coffee and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies from Making Miracles
- Cranberry Bliss Cookies from The Emotional Baker
- Crystallized Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies from Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Gingerbread Spritz Cookies from The PinterTest Kitchen
- Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Hallongrottor from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies from By the Pounds
- Hint of Mint Cocoa Cookies from Chef Sarah Elizabeth
- Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies from The Spiffy Cookie
- Mint Cheesecake Cookies from Cook with 5 Kids
- Nutty Florentine Cookies from The PinterTest Kitchen
- Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chunks and Butterscotch from Jennifer Bakes
- Peppermint Crinkle Cookies from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
- Pumpkin Ginger Snaps from Burnt Apple
- Ricotta Christmas Cookies from The Saucy Southerner
- Salted Caramel Kahlua Sugar Cookies from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Shortbread Cookies from Our Good Life
- Soft Chewy Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Blogghetti
- Spiced Molasses Cookies from Sarah Cooks the Books
- Triple Chocolate Biscotti from Fix Me a Little Lunch
- Vanilla Mint Cake Mix Cookies from The Recipe Revival
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies from The Baking Fairy
- White Chocolate and Cardamom Cookies from Milk and Cardamom
Yummy! So many good recipes to try on this list!