I admit I have a sweet tooth, although for many years I’ve been pretty good about limiting my sugar consumption and experimenting with healthier variations when I bake. Recently on a trip to Vancouver and as I stopped in at Whole Foods, some Florentine cookies caught my eye. Oh, the divine Florentine! This Tuscan cookie was first described in the 17th century and is a mix of nuts, candied fruit and a chocolate bottom. Needless to say, I broke my refined sugar rule and enjoyed a couple of these delicious treats on my trip.

Upon my return home I was determined to come up with a healthier but still delicious alternative – and came up with this recipe inspired by Oh She Glows.

Who wants to try the real thing with me next May (2017)? I will be going to Italy for my Embracing Shakti retreat and then traveling to Rome & Florence. Sarà favoloso!!

  • 1 & 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 tbsp almond flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp stevia powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream (don’t shake! use the thickest part on top of the can)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/3 cup dark chocolate, melted (I used 70% chocolate and cut the sweetness with some unsweetened dark chocolate  – you can do this to taste)

Preheat oven to 280 C. Mix almonds, almond flour, orange zest, raisins, hemp hearts, salt, sugar and stevia in a bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and add coconut cream and maple syrup. Turn up heat just until it boils. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Mix into almond mixture until combined.

On a parchment lined cookie sheet, drop tablespoon amounts onto the sheet and press down lightly. space cookies well as they will spread. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. Turn over each cookie and brush with chocolate. Let cool again. Devour!