Dark Chocolate, Almond & Orange Lace Cookies (Trader Joe’s Lacey Cookies)


To quote Jonah Hill, yes, “You want these in and around your mouth.”

No matter how much I profess my love for the markets here, nothing can substitute the convenience of Trader Joe’s. When I first moved abroad, I missed it every day. And when I went home for a short vacation, while eating our favorite Trader Joe’s cookie, my friend Henry and I discussed whether or not it would be difficult to try and make them.

I’ve poured over recipes for the last few days, dreaming about making these cookies. No joke. The other day, the pangs of neighborhood construction woke me in the middle of figuring out the perfect ratios to make a cookie with a fine lace though still chunked-full of almonds. My life is so tough, huh?

Nevertheless, I bring you THE BEST knock-off lacey cookies that you can make with minimal ingredients, impress everyone at the party and gain a few pounds in the process! Hooray…? They are perfectly chewy in the middle, crispy on the ends, toffee-scented with a hint of orange. And if you aren’t salivating yet, chocolate can be sandwiched between two layers, dipped around the edges, drizzled across or they can simply be rolled into flutes and accompany your morning, afternoon and late afternoon coffees.

Makes 32 cookies about 2.5-3″ in width

You might also want to check out these delicious Pistachio Lace Cookies smothered in a dark chocolate and tahini sauce. Enjoy!

What you need:

1/2 c brown sugar

2 tblsp butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tblsp milk (I used 1 percent, but I think you could use any kind of milk you have in your fridge, including cream)

1/4 c date honey (or regular honey)

1/3 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c almonds; coarsely ground

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 heaping tsp orange; zested

1/2 c dark chocolate (for dipping)

How to do it:

Tips: 1) You must follow the order here. I have accidentally added the almond mixture at the wrong stage and the cookies will not spread. 2) Cool your tray with water each time you remove it from the oven (it will not warp your tray) or get three trays handy because if you drop your batter onto a heated tray the cookies will start to spread instantly and will be oddly-shaped. 3) If you end up with any oddly shaped ones, just take some scissors and cut the edges before the cookies have completely cooled down.

Let’s begin! Preheat your oven to 350 F and line two baking trays with parchment paper; set aside. Bring the butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and honey to a boil, stirring continuously. Once it reaches a rolling boil, wait one minute and then remove from the heat. Now, grab a bowl and mix the flour, almonds, cinnamon and orange zest together, slowly adding them to the wet mixture and making sure everything is incorporated well. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is cool enough to be handled, even though you won’t be handling it.

If the mixture is stiff when you return to it, warm it up over a low flame for a minute or two.

Drop teaspoon-sized balls onto your parchment paper, leaving about three inches space between each of the cookies because they will spread a lot. Create a double-boiler to melt the chocolate or melt it in the microwave.

BEFORE

AFTER

Leave them to cook for 6-8 minutes. If you want them more like toffee brittle leave them in on the longer end. I like mine slightly chewy in the center and crispy on the outside. Once the centers are bubbling and they are a goldeny-brown color, remove them from the oven. Immediately remove the parchment paper from the tray and let them cool on the counter. After about three-five more minutes, you’ll be able to remove them from the parchment paper without a problem. Any sooner and they’ll still be soft and likely tear.

Once you’re able to remove them from the parchment, you can wrap however many you want around the stick of a wooden spoon and create a flute. You can also fold them to create a bowl for ice cream, which I would have done if I hadn’t eaten the rest of the ice cream a few days ago…OR you can teaspoon chocolate onto the flat side of a cookie and sandwich it with another, which is my preference. Place them in the fridge for about 15 minutes to get the chocolate hard. Enjoy!

It was so good dipped in coffee.

You can make sandwiches, flutes, chocolate covered flutes, leave them plain, or dip the edges in chocolate!

 

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47 comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe, I did try them this morning, I am just wondering where you add the cinnamon and the orange zest. Thanks

    1. Hi Ann, Thanks for pointing out that I completely missed those ingredients in my instructions. SO sorry. I’ve updated the recipe, but you add the cinnamon and orange zest to the flour and almond mixture. Thank you, again, for pointing it out and I hope the recipe turned out well for you, despite the missing ingredients.

  2. Hey, can I subsitute almond flour for almonds in this? Oh, and I don’t know how we would LIVE w/out Trader Joe’s! :D He-he-he.

  3. I really enjoy the flavour, my own concern is that they are sticking to the parchment. Any tips? Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Hi Tara,

      The cookies will stick to the parchment after you remove them from the oven – that’s normal. But after a minute, you can try to take a spatula to them and free them from the parchment so that when they harden they aren’t stuck. Let me know if you still have a problem. Also – make sure you aren’t using wax paper instead of parchment paper. That would be a nightmare.

    1. Hi Belinda!

      I am very sorry to say I have never tried freezing these, nor have they stuck around longer than a week for me to answer you based on personal experience. I can tell you that I have stored them in fridge (not the freezer) in an airtight container for a week once and when I left them out to soften up they were perfectly fine – though remained a slightly muted color, which is expected. They were really good cold though.

      My suggestion is after you let them harden in the fridge, lay them in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper, or else I think they’ll stick to each other, and that would be messy when they are thawing on the counter. Based on a peek at a few other blogs, my guess is they’d be find in the freezer for up to a month. And as for storing, they’re probably delicious for up to a week (although that shouldn’t be a problem).

      Please let me know if it does or doesn’t work out.

      Thanks for checking out my blog!

  4. So, I made these twice in the last 2 weeks. The first time I made them WAY too big, even though your instructions were very clear. They were very chewy, which my husband loved, but they were not strong enough to sandwich, so I made cigars and dipped the ends in chocolate. Great success :) It was nice, because you got the flavor of the cookie alone, and the flavor of the chocolate, which sort of drowns out the cinnamon/orange cookie goodness if you use chocolate to sandwich 2 together. I also had to use frozen orange concentrate because I didn’t have a fresh orange. The second time was this weekend, I made them smaller and they were a bit overcooked at 6 minutes in the oven (not digital). however, by the next day, they were perfect. Chewy and crispy, with a good strength. The best part? My German host hadn’t had a Florentine in years! He went nuts for them! Thanks very much for this wonderful recipe. Next time I am going to try to flavor the chocolate orange, or just buy Lindt orange chocolate and use that, because I’d really like more orange flavor in these. have you tried them with pecans? Or toasting the almonds before adding to the batter? Both are on my list of future variations.

    1. I’m glad you guys enjoyed them! It’s likely they were too chewy the first time because of the concentrate. The recipe calls for zest, so adding liquid was probably the culprit. If you make them again, try using the orange zest and maybe double the amount if you want a stronger orange flavor. I haven’t made them in a while, but from what I remember, the zest gave them the perfect orange zip. Let me know how your variations turn out! I’ve never used pecans, but I have used toasted almonds (was delicious, but not that different). I think I’m overdue for a re-vamping of sorts on this timeless recipe! Thanks!

  5. Maybe I need more instruction, but there’s no mention of putting in the oven, or doing the chocolate. Too many tangents. I want to try this, is it possible to get just instructions without all the fluff? Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Jordan,

      Sorry that you had difficulty with the recipe instructions. It does mention the oven and the chocolate, but for ease of reading, here is a condensed form. I hope that you enjoy them!

      Preheat your oven to 350 F and line two baking trays with parchment paper; set aside. Bring the butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and honey to a boil, stirring continuously. Once it reaches a rolling boil, wait one minute and then remove from the heat.

      Grab a bowl and mix the flour, almonds, cinnamon and orange zest together, slowly adding them to the wet mixture and making sure everything is incorporated well. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is cool enough to be handled, even though you won’t be handling it. If the mixture is stiff when you return to it, warm it up over a low flame for a minute or two.

      Drop teaspoon-sized balls onto your parchment paper, leaving about three inches space between each of the cookies because they will spread a lot. Leave them to cook for 6-8 minutes. If you want them more like toffee brittle leave them in on the longer end. Once the centers are bubbling and they are a goldeny-brown color, remove them from the oven, and immediately remove the parchment paper from the tray and set them to cool on the counter. After about three-five more minutes, you’ll be able to remove the cookies from the parchment paper without a problem. Any sooner and they’ll still be soft and likely tear. Once you’re able to remove them from the parchment, you can wrap however many you want around the stick of a wooden spoon and create a flute. You can also fold them to create a bowl for ice cream, or you can teaspoon chocolate onto the flat side of a cookie and sandwich it with another. Place them in the fridge for about 15 minutes to get the chocolate hard.

      For the chocolate: create a double-boiler to melt the chocolate or melt it in the microwave.

  6. These are incredible! For those interested, I made some adjustments since I’m avoiding processed sugar and flour. I used ground almonds as indicated, but subbed store bought almond meal for the flour. I skipped the brown sugar and used a total of 1/2 C. honey. (I will use slightly less next time) I also trimmed them in Lindt Intense Orange dark chocolate. They are crispy around the edges but quite chewy everywhere else. A silicone mat on a cookie sheet worked perfectly since I’m out of parchment. Excellent! Thank you for this.

  7. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed
    reading it, you might be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will come
    back at some point. I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a nice day!

    1. Hi Erica,

      I just plugged the ingredients into an online recipe calculator. If you yield 32 cookies when you make this, each cookie will be 51 calories, including with chocolate. If you make sandwiches, these cookies weigh in at a mere 102 calories compared to their Trader Joe’s counterparts, at 120 calories per cookie (though I honestly don’t know if that is per sandwich or per cookie).

      Thanks for asking!
      Lauren

  8. Hello, I just want to thank you for a wonderful recipe, I made it last night for a special occasion and double the recipe, I start very early to have enough time and at the end of the evening I remember eating just one!, everyone had a great time eating this cookies and the orange zest added a great and delicious flavor.

  9. A great recipe I can’t wait to try out. I love Almond Lace Cookies and those brave enough to try them! I wish more would.

    I came up with my own version of a Almond Lace Cookies, or as I sometimes call them, Broomstick cookies. While different from your own, I think mine is a unique take on the dish. I’m new to the Food Blog scene and would love some feedback from a pro like you. Check out my recipe if have time.

    http://persnicketypanhandler.blogspot.com/2014/01/almond-lace-cookies.html

  10. Living outside of the US, I’ve really missed Trader Joes and their Lacey Cookies, so I was glad to find this recipe. Since all of the ingredients were available to me here, I made them today and followed the instructions exactly. The flavor is great and my husband loves them; but most of them didn’t get “lacy” or spread very much while they baked even when I baked them a couple of minutes longer. What could be the reason for this?

    1. Hi Anne,

      I’m sorry to hear they didn’t get super lacy. My best guess is that something went awry with the proportions or the order that you added things. But since you said you followed the recipe exactly, my next guess would be something happened with the butter. The butter is what helps them spread so thinly. Does this help at all?

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