Hemp Seed Florentine Cookies (Vegan + GF)

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Holding up a hemp seed florentine cookie drizzled with melted dark chocolate

When your friend tells you she had a life-changing Florentine cookie in Amsterdam, you’re basically obligated to recreate it. And it’s a good thing, too, because the results are undeniably delicious — caramelly, crispy, salty-sweet perfection!

Bonus? These Florentines are vegan, gluten-free, naturally sweetened, AND require just 8 ingredients, including nutrient-packed whole grains and seeds! What are you waiting for!? Let’s make life-changing Florentines! 

Hemp seeds, sea salt, vanilla, coconut sugar, pepitas, vegan butter, maple syrup, dark chocolate, and rolled oats

These caramelly cookies start with, well…the caramel! But there’s no candy thermometer or complicated methods here. Just combine vegan butter (or coconut oil), coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan, whisking until it achieves a thick, caramel-like consistency.

Saucepan with coconut sugar, maple syrup, vegan butter, vanilla, and sea salt

Next, we blend up a mix of nutrient-packed whole grains and seeds (pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and rolled oats or sunflower seeds).

Using a wooden spoon to mix together an oat and seed meal with a naturally sweetened caramelly sauce

Then we combine the coarsely ground oat/seed mixture with the caramelly mixture and we’ve got cookie dough. Yes, it’s that easy!

Scooping Florentine cookies onto a baking sheet

After dolloping the dough onto baking sheets, we’re headed straight for cookie land. Once in the oven, the cookie dough spreads out (a lot!) to look like classic Florentine cookies.

The cookies will become deep golden brown on the edges and crisp and snap-able. You can enjoy them right away or decorate with melted chocolate to make them pretty and decadent!

Freshly baked Florentine cookies on a baking sheet

We hope you LOVE these Florentine cookies. They’re:

Crispy
Caramelly
Salty-sweet
Nutty without nuts
SO easy to make
& Undeniably delicious!

These cookies make a lovely gift, tea time treat, or snack to enjoy throughout the week.

More Seed-Filled Favorites

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plates of hemp seed Florentine cookies with some plain and others decorated with melted chocolate

Hemp Seed Florentine Cookies (Vegan + GF)

Caramelly, crispy, salty-sweet Florentine cookies, made healthier! Vegan, gluten-free, AND naturally sweetened. Just 8 ingredients required, including nutrient-packed whole grains and seeds!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Holding up a vegan gluten-free florentine cookie drizzled with melted dark chocolate
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 (Cookies)
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter (or sub coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free as needed // or sub raw sunflower seeds)
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
  • 1/3 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
  • 1/2 heaping cup chopped dark chocolate (optional // ensure dairy-free as needed)
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line two standard-size (13- x 18-inch or larger) baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • COOKIES: In a small saucepan, combine the vegan butter (or coconut oil), coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Whisking almost constantly, cook the mixture over medium heat until the coconut sugar is dissolved and the mixture just begins to bubble and look “foamy.” This takes about 3-5 minutes (adjust time if making a smaller/larger batch size). Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine rolled oats (or sunflower seeds), pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds. Process/blend until you achieve a coarse meal with no whole oats remaining — about 30 seconds. Be careful not to overprocess. Transfer seed mixture to a mixing bowl and add the warm “caramel” mixture. Mix with a spoon or spatula until evenly combined.
  • Using a 1-Tbsp cookie scoop, evenly place 6 “cookies” onto each prepared baking sheet. They will spread considerably, so avoid the temptation to overcrowd the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes (10 for chewier, 12 for crispy in our oven) watching very closely at the end to prevent burning (know that everyone’s oven is different!). At 12 minutes, the cookies should be lightly bubbling in the middle and deep golden brown on the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  • OPTIONAL: Right after removing from the oven, while cookies are still warm, smoosh the edges in for a cleaner look. Alternatively, if desired, use a round cookie cutter to get perfectly round cookies. We pushed in some wonky edges but left them looking mostly rustic. You can also sprinkle the top of your warm cookies with a pinch of flaky sea salt and/or hemp seeds!
  • CHOCOLATE (OPTIONAL): While the cookies cool, place the chocolate into a small microwavable bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between to prevent burning, until smooth and melted. You can also melt on the stovetop by adding chocolate to a small glass or metal bowl and carefully placing it over ~1 inch of simmering water in a small saucepan, then stirring until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • There are two options for adding chocolate to the cookies: “dipping” or drizzling.
  • For dipping, once the cookies are fully cooled and crispy (about 5 minutes), flip them over and carefully add ~2 tsp melted chocolate to the bottom of each cookie. Carefully spread the chocolate out with a butter knife or the back of a spoon. You can use a fork to create squiggly lines in the chocolate if you’re feeling fancy! Let the chocolate set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, or, if you’re impatient like us, transfer cookies to the refrigerator to set the chocolate in ~5 minutes.
  • For drizzling, simply use a spoon to lightly drizzle the tops of the Florentines with the melted chocolate. Let the chocolate set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, or transfer to the refrigerator to set faster.
  • Enjoy! Leftover cookies keep at a cool room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They also keep well in the freezer for longer-term storage! If you store chocolate-dipped or drizzled cookies at room temperature, we recommend placing pieces of parchment or wax paper in between the cookies to prevent a melted chocolate mess.

Video

Notes

*Loosely adapted from Bright Eyed Baker’s Almond Florentines.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 cookie Calories: 100 Carbohydrates: 10.8 g Protein: 2.7 g Fat: 5.6 g Saturated Fat: 1.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.4 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 61 mg Potassium: 101 mg Fiber: 0.6 g Sugar: 8.1 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 13 mg Iron: 0.7 mg

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  1. Kendra says

    This cookie recipe is out of this world delicious! They taste is so yummy and the crispy texture is perfection. My family loved them, this recipe is going into my cookie rotation. Thank you for such great recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      YAY! We’re so happy to hear you and your family love these cookies, Kendra. Thank you for sharing! xo

  2. Michelle says

    These are my new favorite cookie! I’ve made them a few times now, both with vegan butter and coconut oil and with and without chocolate. We prefer coconut oil and chocolate. I usually have to put the batter in the fridge for about 10 minutes because it is too liquidy to scoop right after mixing. Then we keep them in the fridge to keep them crunchy. THE BEST!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you’ve been loving these cookies, Michelle. Thank you for sharing your experience with different variations! xo

  3. Liz says

    Thank you for this yummy recipe! I have made them a few times and everyone loves these cookies! I’m gonna make several batches of these for a baby shower and wonder if you think it will work okay if I make them in double batches to save time?
    Thank you for such a winner cookie:)
    10 Stars!!

  4. Rachel says

    I made these exactly as written and they were excellent. They feel fancy but they’re not hard at all. These would be great for a party. The chocolate was too thick to drizzle, so I brushed it on.

    One note for others: I baked for 11 minutes, thinking this would definitely not burn the cookies, but one of the two pans did burn. If you have a hot oven like me, check them at 10 minutes even if you want them crispy.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience and recommendations, Rachel! We’re so glad you enjoyed the cookies! xo

  5. Kate says

    Such a perfect recipe… They couldn’t be any easier, and the whole family loved them!

    I already had a mixed bag of sprouted pepitas and sunflower seeds, so I just used that instead of just pepitas. It doesn’t seem to have made any noticeable difference. Maybe just slightly nuttier to the taste?

    I gave them 11 minutes, and they were just the right balance of chewy and crispy!

    Thank you so much for this one. Can’t wait to make these again for friends and fam.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed them. Thank you for the lovely review, Kate! xo

  6. Kathy says

    YUM! The first time I made these I took them out at 12 mins, let them cool completely, tried one and thought, with disappointment, “Oh, this was yummier before I baked them!”. So I heated the oven again, put them back in for a few mins and then let them cool again. PERFECTION. So don’t be scared to go for a bit longer if your oven requires it. I love chocolate and didn’t feel the need to add any chocolate to them the second time I made them. Also save yourself a bowl to clean up and just dump the grains/seed mixture into the pot you melted the butter/sugar in, then mix and scoop onto your parchment paper covered trays. If you like Florentines but want a healthier version this is it!

  7. Jenny L says

    I loved these cookies!! Absolutely delicious and satisfied my craving for traditional Florentiines – but these are way better! I melted vegan chocolate chips for the drizzle. Sent 6 to my sister for her birthday so now I need to make more. Thankfully I have lots of the ingredients on hand.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad this version satisfied the craving. Thank you for the lovely review, Jenny! xo

  8. Jill says

    This is such a delicious recipe and so full of caramel flavor. It was easy to make. I will definitely make them again.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  9. Kir says

    Thank you for your response, and I see my mistake, I had mini chocolate chips and added them to the seeds in the food processor, my son loved them and ate half of them I didn’t mean they were not great, I didn’t follow the directions, I should know better and apologize if I sounded like I was critical. Not my intent at all. Just looking for the reason they were different and I you showed me why. KThank you so much.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      No worries. Thank you for your kind words, Kir! We’re happy to hear the mystery is solved!

  10. Kir says

    I did make these cookies, but I think I had too much oil maybe and chocolate, they spread out and did not look like your picture, the second half was a little better, they sat on the counter the 11 minutes waiting for the first batch to get done. They taste great, a little too sweet, not sure if I can cut the syrup a little. Thank You.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kir, did you put the chocolate in the cookie batter or just on top after baking? If you put it in before baking the cookies, then they would spread too much! It should only be drizzled on top or dunked after baking and cooling.

  11. Lilli-Sarah Fleming says

    I love this when you want a treat but you know there is some super foods inside. It is the perfect snack. I will try it as a crumble on top of yoghurt! I also love how easy they are to make. Highly recommend this cookie!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo on top of yogurt sounds AMAZING! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review, Lilli-Sarah! xoxo

  12. Marnie Hart says

    We made these cookies last night. I’ll admit, we were skeptical but they are AMAZING! 10 stars! Super impressed! These were very simple and quick to make, like when someone says “do we have any cookies?” You can say, “we will shortly” :) Used vegan butter and Kirkland organic sugar. Gilded the lily with some melted chocolate – worth it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      YAY! Thanks so much for making the recipe and taking time to leave a review, Marnie. We’re so glad you were impressed with the recipe! xo

  13. Avni Patel says

    Whipped up this recipe faster than a cookie crumbles after it dropped! Easy, breezy, and oh-so-spectacular!

    I swapped in some walnuts and pumpkin seeds for an extra nutty kick. And when they say “spread,” they were not kidding! These cookies need their elbow room on the tray.

    They’ve officially snagged a spot in my baking hall of fame. Major props to the culinary mastermind behind this masterpiece – you’ve done it again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you loved this recipe, Avni. Thank you for the wonderful review! xo

  14. Andi says

    WE HAVE A WINNER! These cookies are awesome. I have a giant Costco bag + a half of hemp hearts + have wondered what to do with them. I baked one cookie sheet of 6 cookies as a test + they
    were a bit too jumbo for me so I decided to make the rest of the Florentines smaller. I spread 1/2 of the cookies with melted dark chocolate. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Coconut sugar has a caramelly flavor that works well here, but brown sugar might also work!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shantal, another nut/seed should work! Sunflower seeds, thinly sliced almonds, or maybe a finely chopped nut? Let us know how it goes!