Mar 252013

Florentines from Simple Recipes Dot Me (4)

Apparently these cookies have its origin in Italy. Generally these cookies can be in a form of cookie or bar containing mainly two layers; one of baked pastry and another one of sticky nut with or without candied fruit. After searching for one recipe with ingredients that I had handy, I adapted this one from Desserts Magazine. The buttery orange pastry layer combined with the sticky nut on top is just amazingly delicious. I urge you to give this recipe a try; I can guarantee that you will not regret…the only problem is that you must have a very strong will to not finish it all in one day.

As I mention, this recipe is based on the one published in Desserts Magazine and I made suitable changes to the palate of my family. Changes were done in order to decrease the sugar and butter content by increasing the ratio of almond.


Pastry layer
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tablespoon baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
Pinch of salt
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 medium egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Almond layer
½ cup sugar
½ stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt
½ cup heavy cream
16oz of slivered almond

Florentines from Simple Recipes Dot Me (2)

Florentines from Simple Recipes Dot Me (3)


In the mixer, place the butter, flour, baking powder, salter, sugar and orange zest. Using a paddle, mix until crumble like texture. Add the egg and vanilla extract until a dough forms. Wrap the dough and place in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F. Transfer the dough to a lightly flour surface and roll out the dough to about 1/8 in thickness. Transfer the dough to a ¼ sheet size baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until slightly golden color.

In the meantime prepare the almond layer by placing the sugar, butter, honey, salt and heavy cream in a small pan over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the almond and mix gently until a uniform mix. Remove from the heat.

Pour the almond mix on the pastry layer, by smoothing evenly. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 330F and return the cookies to the oven for another 15 minutes. Make sure to not over bake the cookies.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cut out into squares once the cookie is completely cool.

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Florentines from Simple Recipes Dot Me (1)

Florentines from Simple Recipes Dot Me (5)

Before I forget…

Easter 2013

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that almond is considered one of the most nutritious nuts? Almonds are high source of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Moreover, they contain protein, high in fiber and low in sugars.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [Dot] Me and have a great week!

Dec 172012

These cookies are great, they are crusty on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. You will need only 4 ingredients, it is dairy and gluten free…and so simple to make. The ingredients are the same as for marzipan or almond paste, only in different ratio.

I love these cookies at any time with coffee, tea or just as a little snack. They make awesome little gifts, especially during this time of the year.


14 oz blanched almond
1 ½ cup powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar
1 egg white
2 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg yolk from the egg white used above (store in the refrigerator)


To blanch the almonds, place almonds in a bowl and pour boiling water to cover the almonds. Let the almond sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the water and rinse under cold water. Drain the almonds and slip the skin off. Let them dry completely using.

Place the almond in the bowl of the food processor and pulse a few times until fine ground. Add the sugar and continuo to pulse until finely ground. Add the egg white and the almond extract, pulse again until a ball forms (sort of).

Remove the ball from the food processor bowl and make a ball. Split the ball into two pieces and wrap the one and set aside.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.
With the other one, make a ball and roll with a roller pin into about ½ in thickness. Cut out the dough with the cutter of your choice, make it small, and set them o the baking sheet, just a little apart of each other. Repeat with the second ball of dough. Once all the dough is cut out, uncovered 6 to 7 hours or overnight.

After the cookies have set and dried out, preheat the oven to 400F.

Gently mix the egg yolk and brush the cookies with it. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until the top slightly golden.

Let them cool on the wire rack and store in an airtight container.

If you enjoy this simple recipe for Almond Cookies you might want to check on the Roasted Cinnamon Almond from Simple Recipes.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals? Almonds are cholesterol free and contain unsaturated fat, which can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

May 162011

Roasted Cinnamon Almonds

This recipe has a story…I used to buy this kind of almonds at Costco mainly during holiday time, and I’d go through many many jars. Initially my husband did not care for it, so I knew that the almonds were all for me and I had a sense of how long the almonds would last me. But one day he decided that he liked the almonds and I could see the almonds in the jars disappearing in front of my eyes very fast. That was not the issue…the issue was that Costco stopped carrying the product, and he even called the Costco buyer in Seattle. Well, that was the end of my cinnamon almonds until I searched the internet and saw many different versions of it. In the end, all worked for better. Not only I could manage the amount of sugar, the cost of these roasted cinnamon almonds came much cheaper than the Costco ones…so I am all happy again with my almonds. Be aware, these almonds are addictive! You cannot stop eating them once you start, so be careful…you have been alerted!

I took these almonds to work and a lot of people asked for the recipe, so here it is…


4 ½ cups almonds
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven at 250F.

Add the vanilla extract to egg white and mix until slightly frothy. In another bowl mix the sugar, salt and the cinnamon, set aside.

Add the mix of egg white to the almonds and mix until all the almonds are covered with the egg white.

Add the sugar mix to the almonds covered with egg white and mix gently until all the almonds are covered with sugar.

Spread the almonds in prepared trays (I used 2 baking sheet) and bake for 1 hour at 250F, flipping the almonds every 20 minutes, so the almonds do not stick to the baking sheet.

Remove the almonds from the oven, let them cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that almond is not a nut but a drupe? A drupe is a fruit that has a fleshy part in the outside with a hard shell with a seed inside. So almond is mainly sold with shelled or unshelled.

Thank you for visiting Simple Recipes!


Apr 182011

Elegant berry tart

This berry tart was adapted from my previous raspberry almond cake recipe. In this recipe I used the same almond cake batter, but changed the recipe for the pastry cream. I made them individual instead of one cake…and top it with all kind of berries. It is a lot more labor work by making them in small size, but all worth it at the end…it is easier to serve, there is no mess whatsoever, and they are much more charming in small size 🙂
Don’t be intimidated by the steps, it is not as complicated as it might look, after all I was able to make it ;-).

Cake Layer
5 egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until thick. Continue beating while slowly adding sugar and beat until stiff and shiny but not dry. Set aside.

5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ cup melted cooled butter
½ cup finely chopped, lightly toasted almonds

Beat yolks, sugar and salt together until thick and creamy (at least 10 minutes). Add cornstarch and mix until well combined. Fold in melted butter and chopped almonds. Fold this mixture into egg white mixture. Spoon the batter into the tart cups. Bake at 350 F for approximately 10~12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the tarts from the baking tray and let it cool in the cooling rack.

Pastry Cream

2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup milk
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup whipping cream, whipped

Sift in a bowl the flour, corn starch an sugar. Add about 2 tablespoon of milk, stir well and add the egg yolks.
Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan and when the milk is just about to boil pour into the egg yolk mixture. Stir well and place the mix back to the saucepan and cook gently by stirring constantly until thickened. Leave to cold by covering with a plastic film to prevent the formation of skin. Fold in the whipped cream and the cream is ready to be used to fill the tarts.

Berries for garnish: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries


Spoon the pastry cream on the tart shell, and garnish with berries.

Serve cold.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that the colors of berries in general contain natural pigments rich in antioxidants, therefore are called “superfruits”? Antioxidants inhibit oxidation of molecules and it is important to prevent damaging in many physiologic systems. The usage of antioxidants is believed to prevent neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and even aging.


Thank you for visiting Simple Recipes!



Feb 282011

Light almond crips cookies

This is a very simple and easy recipe for such a yummie treat. It is low in cholesterol, although you can make it cholesterol free by substituting the butter for vegetable oil. I just decided to use butter because they sure taste better… But be aware that it is hard to eat these crisps in moderation since they are so light, crispy, crunchy and very addictive….again very addictive.


4 egg whites
6 tablespoon granulated sugar
6 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
Pinch of salt

1½ cup sliced almond


Preheat the oven at 325F

Mix the sugar with the egg whites until the sugar is dissolved, fold in the sifted all purposed flour. Mix until the flour is incorporated to the egg whites. Add the salt, vanilla extract and the lemon zest. Mix gently and add the melted butter.

Using a spoon, pour half of the batter to a cookie sheet cover with parchment paper or silicone mate and spread the batter through the sheet. Repeat the same with the other half batter. Once the batter is thinly spread throughout the sheet gently cover the batter with the sliced almond.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 300F and leave it for another 10 minutes. At the end of the 10 minutes turn the oven off and leave the almond crisp in the oven until the oven cooled down, the almond crisp sheet color will be even.

Please note that oven temperature varies, so keep an eye while baking, since the layer is very thin it can be burned very easily.

Break the pieces randomly and store in a air tight container.

Now, the pictures of my visitor…

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that almond contains substantial amount of carbohydrates therefore is used as flour for cakes and cookies? Moreover, almond flour is gluten free thus used for people that are gluten sensitive.

Thank you for visiting Simple Recipes!


Jan 312011

Raspberry Almond Cake

This cake has a story…my husband and his best friend during a ski trip to Utah went to dinner in one of his favorite place in Salt Lake City, called Market Grill. Once they were back I could not hear the end of how good was their meals, specially the dessert. And surprisingly the dessert that they “glorify” so much was in the restaurant’s website. No need to further explain why I decided to make this cake (called torte in the website). I am sure that by now you all can imagine how happy my husband felt when I told him that I would try to make this cake. Although it seems complicated due to the length of the ingredients list, actually it is a pretty simple recipe. If you are interested in the original recipe please go to Market Grill, Salt Lake City site.

One more thing…this is my 100th post, so why not celebrate with a cake?


3 egg whites
1 ¼ tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt

3 egg yolks
1 ¼ tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 ¼ teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoon melted cooled butter
1/3 cup finely chopped, lightly toasted almonds

Pastry Cream
1 7/8 cups milk
½ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 egg yolks
1 ¼ tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup milk (additional)
2 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
3 egg whites
3 tablespoon sugar (additional)
1 pint container of fresh raspberries


Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until thick. Add sugar and contiue beating until peaks are stiff and shiny. Set aside. Beat yolks, sugar and salt together until thick and creamy (at least 10 minutes).

Add cornstarch and mix well. Fold in the melted butter and chopped almonds.

Fold this mixture into egg white mixture. Divide batter between two loaf pans that have been lined with parchment.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool in the pan.

Pastry Cream
Place 1 7/8 cup milk in a saucepan and sprinkle unflavored gelatin over top. Let set for 5 minutes , until the gelatin is soft.

Add sugar and salt, place over medium heat and stirring constantly, bring to a simmer. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, flour, cornstarch and 1/3 cup milk.

Whisk until well combined. Whisk some of the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture, and then return all to the saucepan. Whisking constantly, bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Add butter and extracts.

Beat egg whites and 3 tablespoons sugar until will hold soft peaks.

Fold hot mixture into egg whites until well combined and let cool.


On top of one sponge cake spread approximately ½ inch thick layer of pastry cream to within ½ inch of edge of layer.

Place a ring of raspberries around edge of pastry cream and sprinkle remaining raspberries equally in the center. Add another thin layer of pastry cream over raspberries.

Place the second layer of cake over pastry cream and press gently. Sift powdered sugar over top and decorate with the remaining raspberries.


Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!