Vegan florentines

Vegan florentines

vegan florentines bowl

Hope your week is going well, guys! Mine is a bit frantic as I am preparing to go away for Xmas so I have plenty of work to do, such is a nature of running a blog – you always work twice as hard before you can take any time off, although that’s true of most jobs, I guess. Despite a heavy workload, we did take yesterday off to go for a walk around Cheddar Gorge as stress was getting the best of me and Duncan had a day of leave he needed to take before Xmas, so we decided that a bit of walking in nature might be a good call. It was, we had a nice time and managed to destress until Duncan checked the news on his phone while we were having a coffee once we came down from the trail.

It is general election time here in the UK on Thursday and the current prime minster, whose right-wing party is sadly poised to win made some pretty hateful comments regarding EU immigrants in a bid to win the Brexit party supporters’ votes. This was the last drop that made us both feel that we made a huge mistake by returning to the UK post-Brexit and we started feeling really ill at ease.

We don’t really want to move again especially that we have just bought our first house together here and are in the process of making it feel like home, but this atmosphere of hate is really getting to us. We both used to love living here and now we are not so sure… It’s not a place where we are welcome anymore and it feels stupid to invest any more of our time and energy here. We spent the evening researching European cities which welcome diversity and while we won’t make any rush decisions, the seed has been planted and if the Conservatives win this election (which is a foregone conclusion) things are only going to get worse.

To distract myself from these upsetting thoughts I’ve made some pretty vegan florentine cookies, which are easy and quick to make, look a picture, are delicious and will make perfect Xmas presents. I’ve made them Xmassy by using cranberries, orange zest, candied ginger and a dash of ground cardamom. These extras are optional and you can sub them with whatever you have handy. Cranberries can be substituted with apricots, figs or sultanas, swap out cardamom for cinnamon or ground ginger and orange zest for lime, lemon zest or extra vanilla, for example. You can make them thicker like I did (it is a little fussier and more time consuming), or simply just spoon the mixture directly on the baking tray and let them spread out a little, then tidy up the edges with a knife while the mixture is piping hot. Once cooled, brush with your favourite chocolate and put in a pretty box for a gorgeous edible gift.

vegan florentines process

vegan florentines making

vegan florentines tray

vegan florentines present

vegan florentines close

makes
24
PREP
20 min
COOKING
10 min
makes
24
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
10 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 45 g / 3 tbsp smooth almond butter* (I used this one) OR 35 g / 3 tbsp refined coconut oil
  • 120 ml / ½ cup maple syrup
  • 35 g / 2 tbsp coconut cream (from a can)
  • 200 g / 2 heaped cups untoasted flaked or slivered almonds
  • 40 g / 1/3 cup low-sugar (if available) dried cranberries, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp ground (I used golden) flax seeds
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 150 g / 5 oz vegan chocolate

OPTIONAL EXTRAS I USED

METHOD
  1. Heat up the oven to 180° C / 355° F (no fan). Line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper or grease muffin cups (paper or silicone) with an oil spray.
  2. Put almond butter (OR coconut oil) and maple syrup in a medium pot.
  3. Put the pot on a gentle heat, whisk the mixture and allow to heat up until bubbles start to appear.
  4. Whisk in coconut cream, allow it to melt into the mixture and to come to a gentle simmer again. Simmer gently for about a minute.
  5. Stir in all the dry ingredients (up to but excluding the chocolate) until they are all coated in the maple syrup caramel.
  6. Spoon 1 heaped tsp of the mixture at the bottom of the paper or silicone muffin cups and press it down well or directly onto a baking tray lined with a piece of baking paper. If not using cups, make sure to leave plenty of room between the cookies as they will spread.
  7. Bake until golden, 10-12 minutes for the cups and 8-10 minutes otherwise. Once out of the oven, press the mixture in the cups down so that the cookies are a little more compact and for the freestyle cookies, use a butter knife to tidy up the edges as soon as the cookies come out of the oven (they need to be hot for this to work). Allow them to cool down as they are fragile when warm.
  8. Once the cookies are cool, melt chocolate slowly over a water bath (make sure that the bowl with chocolate does not touch the water underneath).
  9. Using a brush, spread the melted chocolate at the bottom of each cookie. Place them in the fridge to set.

NOTES
*Any smooth nut or seed butter (like tahini) will work here, but make sure the flavour doesn’t detract from the flavours of the cookies.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
123
6%
sugars
10 g
11%
fats
7 g
11%
saturates
2 g
9%
proteins
3 g
5%
carbs
14 g
5%
*per florentine
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4.9
12 reviews, 61 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Christine:
I made these for a Christmas party in Hong Kong, for a group from all over Asia, Europe, Africa and N. America, and everyone loved them! I added unsweetened coconut flakes to the almond mix and it worked brilliantly with the other flavors. The “caramel” of maple syrup, almond butter, and coconut cream is dangerously divine... I’m already brainstorming of how to use this in other recipes! I found that after baking in the individual cups, placing them in the freezer helped them to set, and the leftovers in the freezer still taste great a week later. Thanks, Ania, for sharing your creative talents with the world!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Christine! I'm so happy to hear that they worked so well and went down well with your multicultural crowd. Great idea to add coconut flakes, the beauty of florentines is that they are inherently flexible. I really appreciate you taking the time to review this recipe - thank you. x Ania
Alison:
Me and my non-vegan family loved these. They all went first despite there being plenty of different cookies in our traditional Xmas cookie tin and everyone kept on asking me to make more. Thank you for sharing!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so happy to hear that these were such a success, Alison! Thank you so much for taking the time to review this recipe, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Nina:
Hi, I made these last year, and I think the receipt called for candied orange? Have you changed it ? Or have I mixed up with another receipt??
Still going to make them again 😊
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Nina,
    No, I haven't changed the recipe. I use orange zest in these rather than candied orange but you could use it instead, sure. Hope you'll enjoy them regardless. x Ania
Ms Janet I Kidd:
I tried this recipe today, followed instructions carefully, but my florentines are still not set, two hours after coming out of the oven! I can''t remove them from the paper cases because they are too soft, and yes, I did grease the cases first.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi there,
    I'm sorry to hear that and I'm not quite sure why this happened. Did you use ground (not whole) flax seeds and did you simmer the sugar and fat to create a caramel of sorts? These two things keep them together. Do you live somewhere with high humidity or at high altitude perhaps? x Ania
Mirella:
Hi, these sound delicous and I will be making them this Christmas. I will be using muffin cups. My question is do you take the florentines out of the cups and then coat in chocolate or do you coat the top of the florentines once they are in the cups? I was thinking of serving them in the cup
Thanks x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Mirella,
    Happy to hear you plan on making these - I hope they will hit the spot. I took them out of the cups before dipping (the flatter side) in the chocolate but you could also just drizzle a bit of chocolate on without taking them out of the cups first. They will still be delicious. x Ania
BarbaraMc:
Delicious 🌟
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that and thank you for taking the time to leave this review - much appreciated! x Ania
Rachel:
OMG these Florentines are just lush! Perfect, amazing, stunning - At least I think so, husband not so sure , needs another batch to sample, just to check…..
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank you so much Rachel, I'm delighted to hear that! And yes, sometimes it is hard to judge based on one batch alone (I might be in this camp too ;) ) x Ania
Meryl:
Hello Ania,
I’m looking forward to trying these florentine’s for my mums birthday next week - they look amazing.
I’m really sorry how this country, it’s government and its ill-educated prejudiced people have made you feel. I am ashamed to be British. My partner and I have had enough of paying our taxes to this right-wing government whose values are totally misaligned with ours, thus, we are hoping to move to NZ.
Whatever you choose/ have chosen to do, I wish you all the best and hope you are happy. There are many Brits like us who are on your side but I bet it’s hard to remember that.
Best wishes,
Meryl
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Meryl,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind message. We have not made any decisions yet and since we bought a house, we might give it a bit more time before we do but it does come up in the conversation often. Conservative have made this country so much less pleasant to live in and not only just for us, for certain groups of people who voted for them too. I could rant but I won't, I am sure you know exactly what I mean. You plan sounds amazing (my husband teases me about moving to NZ too, we like their progressiveness and landscape is amazing!) and I wish you and your partner all the best with your move. Oh and I hope that these florentines will make your mum happy on her birthday. x Ania
Dorin:
So yummy! Was easy to make, tasted amazing and pretty healthy ingredients. Loved it :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Dorin! I'm really happy you enjoyed them and thank you so much for taking the time to review - much appreciated. x Ania
Hana:
Hi Ania,
Just made these, and they are GREAT!!! Added dried apricots, some hazelnuts, and rice malt syrup instead of maple syrup....
Thank you so much for this recipe, and wish you Happy Christmas! Xx
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yay! I'm so happy to hear that, Hana! And thanks for letting me know. Merry Christmas to you also. Ania
Samantha Morton:
Excellent idea placing them in the muffin pan. They do spread otherwise and I spend a lot of time shaping them with a cutter. I have tried making a drier mix but it just ends up becoming a different biscuit. Thanks for the tip.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad you found the recipe useful, Samantha and I hope you enjoyed them. x Ania
Justine Alford:
Hello there,
How long do these last? Thinking of making as Christmas pressie!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Justine,
    The honest answer is that I'm not sure, but a few days for sure. Ania
Bonita Clayton:
For your florentines you state ‘no fan’. My oven is a fan oven it affect cooking process.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Bonita,
    Fan setting automatically increases oven temperature by 20°C / 70°F so I suggest decreasing your oven temperature by that much. Hope this helps! Ania
Julie:
They're delicious, but how do ypu keep the bottom from sticking to the paper cups? :( Thanks for any tips!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Julie,
    I grease them lightly! Hope this helps! Ania
John:
I'm just making these, inspired by last week's bake off, I can't wait!! Also reading your article and as a British citizen, I fully understand your woes with our current government, who would have thought things would get even worse this year, but they only seem to be using Covid to force through an even more extreme version of Brexit!!!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks John, I do hope you'll enjoy these! Yes, it's been a tough year and I must admit that I've stopped reading the news as it's just plain too depressing. Thank you for your kind words! Ania
Maya Reese:
Do you think banana chips would work instead of the raisins? It will be quite different, but I guess I'm wondering if you think they will burn?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Maya,
    I'm not sure, if I am honest. They certainly would have to be chopped small, I imagine as big chunks will cause these cookies to fall apart. It's worth a try! Ania
Seren Jones:
Could I use coconut yoghurt instead of the coconut cream? (It's been sitting in the fridge and needs using up!)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi,
    It should work (I am assuming you mean thick yoghurt like Coyo), but I have not tested it so please use at your peril ;) Ania
Caroline van der Vegt:
One word: AMAZING!!
They taste perfect! So much better than the one bought in stores!
Thank you so much for all your recipes, I love them!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much, Caroline! I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed them so much! x Ania
Cece:
Ania...
Waiting for the Waitrose ginger to arrive, I think will be worth the wait. I realize that it is an option but I want to make it the way you do. You were very clear in your reply that I could have used fresh ginger or candied ginger but still, I want to do it your way!
When I finally receive the special jar of ginger and make the cookies, I will let you know how they turned out.
Thank you for all your recipes, keep up to good work!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Oh I see, I really do hope you will enjoy them (I do anyway, but especially in this case as you are going to so much effort to make them :) ) - the pressure is on! My pleasure - and thank YOU for supporting my little corner of the Internet x Ania
Cece:
Thanks for the heads up. I live in California, USA, so I went online and found that “Amazon.com” has Waitrose Cook’s plump & spicy stem ginger in syrup. 350 grams. It will take about 4 weeks to receive it. Can’t wait to make the cookies, with all the yummy ingredients the cookie should be delicious.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Oh no, I am sorry I didn't make it clear but you can totally make them without the ginger or with a different brand of ginger (or even freshly grated ginger!) - 4 weeks is an awfully long wait. Ania
Justine:
Marvellous, thank you.
Cece:
Question...
In the ingredients list for the Vegan Florentines you ask for 1.75 stem of ginger in syrup, where do you find that? Will fresh ginger do? Or candied ginger?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Cece,
    I bought mine in a supermarket (Waitrose, but other UK supermarkets sell it too), comes in a jar. You could use fresh ginger but it is far more potent so you need to judge the amount and yes, candied ginger seems fine too - in fact, it sounds very similar to what I used, except mine was in syrup as opposed to dry. Hope that helps! Ania
Justine:
These look amazing! Just want to check: do you just throw in the flax seed dry? (i.e. you don't make a "flaxseed egg"?) I'm making these this week - looking forward! Thank you for your great recipes!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Justine,
    Yes, I add it dry, in this particular recipe - it absorbs the moisture from the other ingredients and helps to bind them together in the process. Hope that helps! Ania
Patsy:
Thanks for this, and all your other great recipes! I am so sorry about the way in which the current political climate is affecting you - you could always consider a move to Scotland, you are welcome here!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks for your kind words Patsy! Much appreciated. Ania
Julie:
Hello Ania,
When do you remove the paper muffin cups? I made these and they have been cooling for about an hour but are still very fragile. I have not yet added the chocolate. Maybe that will help?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Julie,
    I removed them once the mixture is cold. I found that caramel coating and ground flax do a good job of holding the mixture together, plus pressing the mixture down once baked solidified it further. Hope you got them out of the cups okay in the end... Ania
Katherine:
I can't wait to make these as Christmas presents for people - they look amazing!
And I want to add to everyone else's comments re how unwelcome you now feel with Brexit and the election - I'm so sorry. As others have said, many of us are heartbroken that this is how people now feel in this country. The government, the PM and indeed the referendum don't speak for all of us. I'm sorry.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for your kind words Katherine! I am so pleased that there are lots of people like you around or else I don't think I could bear living here, to be completely honest. It's so sad what's happening - at the time when we should all pull together to make sure that we don't kill this planet we all live on, we are more divided than ever and hate-filled, right-wing politics is sweeping across most Western countries. Hopefully, it's just a phase! x Ania
Anna:
Just did them. Yacks. Didn’t work for me. Not sticking together. No flour??.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Anna,
    The maple caramel and ground flax make them stick together - the recipe is designed in this way so that there is no need for flour. Did you make any changes to the recipe at all? Ania
Geri Nancy Smith:
They look scrumptious! My vegan son and daughter-in-law are coming from NY to visit for Christmas. Can I make these ahead of time and freeze them?
Or how long can I store them in the refrigerator? Thank you so much!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Geri,
    I am not sure, if I am honest, as I have not had a chance to try freezing them (my guess is that they will be okay if a little less crunchy) and gave away all of my test bakes immediately. My guess is that they will keep in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. Sorry I cannot be of any more help! Ania
Catriona:
Ania. Your blog is wonderful with terrific recipes and food. Well done for doing this week after week for such a long time now...
I live in Scotland where it looks like we will reject the UK Tories hateful and hate-filled politics. So many of us fully welcome people from the EU. Hope you can find a way forward, and if you can stand the weather, come and join us here - where veganism is booming too! Cxx
Love those other two immigrants too! Duncan and Tina.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Catriona,
    Aw, thank you for your kind words. The results did get me down if I am honest although they were not surprising after Brexit vote happened 3 years ago. I guess I am gutted to discover that this country I made my home all these years ago turns out to have so many racists in it :( I love Scotland - have spent two summers in bonnie Edinburgh in my early twenties and it is certainly a place we were seriously considering before we moved to Bristol, but I am not sure I am cut out for the weather, if I am honest. xx Ania
Pothitos:
Could we maybe substitute maple syrup with honey?
Thnx, xx
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi,
    Maybe, but I don't use honey (it's not vegan) so I cannot be sure. Ania
Vanessa Warwick:
I LOVE EVERYTHING you make ❤ I recommend your page all the time, thank you for all the amazing food you share 😊❤
I feel strongly for you and with you. Being German and having made my life here it is upsetting to see how many people jump on the band wagon, including friends, albeit with the 'oh we don't mean YOU' justification. I do not think anyone can understand how 'we' feel, it is so sad there IS an US and THEM and it's discernable in everyday life. My own father in law is adamant that voting out was the right thing and he does not really listen when I try to explain. I felt truly at home before this fateful vote and now, despite being married to a Brit (which is apparently the solution to any issue) and having teo boys I feel like I cannot settle whilst this whole thing is ongoing... I guess what I'm trying to say is, you're NOT alone and there's good, kind people out there who love our diversity and support us. Much love ❤
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much for your kind words, Vanessa! You have no idea how much I relate to everything you have just said - including parents-in-law supporting the very people who want me out (which is even more ironic given that they are immigrants themselves in another country!!), hearing how me being married to a British citizen and us owing a house together will mean that I don't have to worry (no facts to support that) and causal racism from another family member who always brings up my nationality 'as banter'. Wishing us both a miracle and a lot of strength if said miracle does not eventuate!! xx Ania PS: and thank you so much for supporting the blog - much appreciated!
Jan:
So sorry to hear that the dreadful political situation is making you feel unwanted here. We are hoping that the current government are not successful today and we can continue to be part of a united country where everyone is welcomed and valued. Please don’t leave x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much for your kind words, Jan! So do I but it feels like that tide is impossible to turn, especially once you looked at all (but one) newspaper covers. Still hoping against all odds. x Ania
Caroline Walukiewicz:
These look delish 😋 I’m going to try making these next week when I have a couple of days leave, in the meantime they’re pinned on my Christmas food and drink board!
I’m equally sorry to hear how our buffoon of a prime minister made you feel ! I’m of second generation Polish descent, and very proud of my heritage....we’re all immigrants in reality. I voted remain and hope to god the Conservatives don’t get in again today!! Stay strong x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for your kind words Caroline - both about the cookies, but importantly about this worrying political situation. I totally agree diversity is so needed and should be cherished not stamped down. Fingers crossed that kindness and fairness prevail although that certainly has not been the trend of late. x Ania
Gabi Lipka:
Hi. I can't have coconut. Is the purpose of the coconut cream jsut to give this more of a milk chocolate taste? Can u do without it? Maybe stir in some more almond butter or rice flour? With the latter, that's wnat4ivd noticed companies do with the alternative to milk chocolate.... They add rice flour to chocolate. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Gabi,
    The purpose of the coconut cream is to make the mixture more caramel-like. I am pretty sure that Oatly Creme Fraiche or cashew cream would just as well, but failing that just use another tbsp of almond butter or coconut oil. Hope that helps! Ania
JANE:
Well firstly, I love Florentines, but for some reason it has never occurred to me to make vegan ones. Secondly your photos are ACTUALLY making me drool (altho I'm fasting for a blood test this am so it was probably not a good time to look at recipes!). So I will be making these!
Thirdly - my sympathies about the election/Brexit in UK. As I write there's still a chance you won't get Johnson back in. But I understand your fears. We migrated to Australia 25 years ago and have never been more relieved to be not living in Britain. Friends have been getting some hope by canvassing madly, and at least you don't feel so helpless.
Good luck, and if all else fails, eat a plate of Florentines with a nice pot of tea!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks Jane - I am happy to hear that you like my recipe and I hope you'll enjoy my take on florentines. Thank you for your kind words, I wish there was hope for a different result tomorrow but I have lost all hope seeing a strong bias in most of the UK press. I hope that young people who face the prospect of a much smaller world will vote in droves. We will know soon enough, I guess. x Ania
KATIE REAY SCOTT:
Wow I didn’t hear Boris’s comments and I am very sorry if he upset you. Please don’t leave the uk. We LOVE you living here..
Delicious recipe - thank you.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for your kind words, Katie! I really don't want to, I have lived in the UK almost my entire adult life and until recently, it really felt like home. It's not a decision that we are going to take lightly, but being scapegoated for all the societal woes despite contributing to the UK economy for almost 20 years makes me sometimes feel mad and like I am stupid for staying put. Thank you though, it's nice to be reminded that not everyone wants immigrants out. Ania
Debbie Clarke:
They look delicious. Is there anything I can use instead of the coconut cream?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Debbie,
    Something that like Oatly Creme Fraiche or cashew cream would work, but failing that just use another tbsp of almond butter or coconut oil. Hope that helps! Ania
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