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Florentine Bars

Florentine Bars Related:   desserts & sweets, gluten-free, low-fat, North America, pareve, Purim, Shabbat, Sukkot, vegetarian, Yom Kippur

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Yield: 20 square bars or 32 triangles

My mantra has always been that everyone deserves a delicious dessert no matter what special diet they are on. I started with dairy-free and used the same skills to create elegant and tasty desserts that just happen to be vegan, low sugar or gluten-free. The Holiday Kosher Baker has 37 gluten-free recipes that are great for Passover as well as all year long. You do not need to bake a separate dessert for your gluten-free guests. This recipe is super easy and also attractive. When you plate them, make sure some face nut-side up and others face chocolate side up – it will look like you made two cookies!


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Zest of one large orange (or 2 teaspoons juice)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 1/3 cups sliced almonds (blanched or with skin)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Vegetable oil for greasing pan


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan with vegetable oil. Press in a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom and go an inch up the sides of the pan, making sure you press it into the corners. Grease the top of the parchment.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, egg whites and orange zest. Use a silicone spatula to gently mix in nuts and chopped cranberries, being careful not to crush the nuts. Scoop into the pan and use the spatula or your hands to spread evenly in the bottom of the pan. The easiest way to do this is to push the batter into the edges and corners first and then fill in the middle. You will have a thin nut layer.
  • Bake 25 minutes, or until nuts are golden. Let cool one hour. Pull up the parchment to lift the bar out of the pan. Place another piece of parchment on top and then turn the bar over onto the new parchment.  Peel off the bottom parchment. Melt the chocolate chips either over a double boiler or in the microwave oven in for 45 seconds, stir, melt another 30 seconds, stir and then for 15 seconds more, if needed, until melted. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate completely covering the bar. If desired, you can use a serrated knife to make lines in the chocolate to decorate it. Slide the parchment and bars onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. Cut into squares, triangles or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.
  • Reprinted with permission from The Holiday Kosher Baker © 2013 by Paula Shoyer (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.) Photography by Michael Bennett Kress.

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