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Easy lace cookie bark is a wafer thin, crispy, buttery toffee cookie that’s baked into large slabs instead of individual cookies. The batter mixes up quickly on the stove top and is ready for the oven in minutes! Then, the crispy wafers are covered in your choice of chocolate and toppings. I’ve added vanilla, orange zest and cinnamon, but the options for different flavors and toppings are endless! They are a perfect addition to your holiday and Christmas cookie trays!

Easy Lace Cookie Bark presented in a glass pedestal bowl with toffee and chocolate chips around it by themerchantbaker.com

If you’re a fan of lace cookies or a big fan of toffee, you’re about to become a fan of Easy Lace Cookie Bark.

Me? I have been a fan of lace cookies for years. Two impossibly thin wafer cookies that taste like toffee with chocolate sandwiched between them? Um, yes. Sign me up for two…or, maybe three…

Crispy, chocolatey, nutty, sweet…I find them rather addictive and generally dangerous to have around. 

Another reason to be a big fan? It may be one of the easiest cookies you make this year…

A side stand up view of Easy Lace Cookie Bark by themerchantbaker.com

What is a lace cookie?

Lace cookies are also called, “Lacey Cookies” or “Florentines.” They are wafer thin, buttery, crispy, nutty and toffee like. 

Traditionally, the batter is quickly made on the stove top (no thermometer required!) Then, that sugary buttery batter is scooped out in small portions that spread significantly into rounds that are super thin and lacey.

In other words, they bake up with little holes and bubbles and craters. Hold them up to the light and the light will shine through. 

When fresh out of the oven, those rounds can be molded into whatever shape you desire. In other words, they work well as “tuile” cookies. (Tuile cookies are super thin cookies that can be shaped or molded while warm, then harden into that shape as they cool.)

While lace cookies can be formed into cigar shapes or bowl shapes, you’re more likely to see them sold in their original round shape, often sandwiched with melted chocolate.

When two wafer thin cookies are sandwiched with chocolate, they become a sturdier and thicker cookie sandwich (and oh so delicious!)

Easy Lace Cookie Bark broken into pieces on a baking sheet by themerchantbaker.com

What ingredients are in a lace cookie?

They are often made with ground nuts, but they can also be made with ground oats. Some recipes include all purpose flour, some don’t. The ground nuts and/or flours form the base ingredients and help give the cookie its structure. 

The rest of the ingredients are pretty much butter, sugar and flavorings.

Some recipes use milk or cream, others use corn syrup. I went with corn syrup. (Remember, light corn syrup is NOT high fructose corn syrup.)

Easy Lace Cookie Bark presented in a glass pedestal bowl with toffee and chocolate chips around it by themerchantbaker.com

What is Easy Lace Cookie Bark?

It’s basically a lace cookie, but in bark form. I made giant slab lace cookies instead of small ones. It’s genius, if you ask me :)

In other words, there’s no scooping lots of little cookies on lots of trays. Trust me, that batter spreads! A small spoonful of batter can spread into a 3-4″ cookie! If you’re not careful, they’ll spread right into each other.

That means you can only fit about 6 or 8 to a baking sheet depending on your sheet and the size cookie you make. That’s multiple sheets that will have to be baked.

Then, if you want to sandwich them with chocolate (which for me, is mandatory ;) that’s a whole other step and another bowl to melt it in!

A stack of Easy Lace Cookie Bark on a white plate by themerchantbaker.com

I’m not gonna say it’s super difficult to do those steps. It’s not. I love the whole sandwich version. But…there is an easier way and it opens up more options for variations.

So, instead of baking up a bunch of individual cookies, we’re going to throw caution to the wind, press the easy button and make two giant lace cookies.

No spooning little bits of batter on a sheet. Half goes on one sheet. Half goes on another.

When we’re done, we’ll cover the whole darn thing with chocolate and whatever else our heart desires.

Orange zest and cinnamon on a small plate to make Easy Lace Cookie Bark by themerchantbaker.com

How do you make Easy Lace Cookie Bark?

Let’s start with the dry ingredients…I skipped grinding any nuts or oats and went with a fine ground almond flour from Bob’s Red Mill. You can just measure and go if it’s already ground up, right? Easy peasy.

It’s the almond flour I keep on hand for things like my Lemon Almond Chia Bread and of course, for Chaffles.

To the almond flour, I added some all purpose flour and some salt. If you want to make them gluten free, you can sub more almond flour for the all purpose flour.

Orange zest, cinnamon and almond flour and regular flour in a bowl to make Easy Lace Cookie Bark by themerchantbaker.com

I also added some extra flavor. Normally, I like my lace cookies with just toffee and chocolate. But since it’s the holidays, I wanted to add some festive seasonal flavors. 

So, I added orange zest and cinnamon. I mean, orange and chocolate make a great match, right? I whisked that into the flours to help separate the shreds of zest and evenly distribute the spice.

Four pots showing butter and brown sugar solid and then in liquid form then with flour mixture added then blended to make Easy Lace Cookie Bark by themerchantbaker.com

Then, in a small saucepan, I melted butter, sugar and corn syrup. Bring it to a boil, then remove from heat and add in the next flavor, vanilla.

So far, we’ve got a small bowl of dry ingredients and a saucepan of wet. The dry goes into the wet and is stirred until well combined.

That’s pretty much it. Onto baking them…

What should I bake the lace cookies on?

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I use a silpat lined baking sheet. I’ve only ever used a silpat lined baking sheet for lace cookies. 

I believe you can use parchment, but if you bake regularly, I would invest in a non-stick silicone baking mat. {aff. link}

You’ll use it anytime you need to bake something that you don’t want to stick. It’s also great for candy making.

The parchment will likely yield a different result and the batter may not spread as thinly or cook as evenly. It will still work, but expect some variation if you choose that route.

Nothing to worry about, just know that parchment doesn’t work exactly like silicone sheets.

Don’t let it stop you from making this recipe.The most important thing is that you don’t want it to stick. Parchment paper will solve that for you.

Two overhead photos showing Lace Cookie batter before and after baking by themerchantbaker.com

How do I spread the batter on the cookie sheet?

Very carefully! Actually, I’m kidding. It’s a pretty easy batter to work with. Just scoop half of the batter into the middle of the baking sheet.

You can use an offset spatula to initially spread it out on the sheet.

Once you’ve done a quick spread with the spatula, put the spatula down. If you try to keep spreading the batter, it’s just gonna stick to the spatula and to itself and you’ll get frustrated. 

Spreading it with the spatula simply helps to cool it down so that you can start using your hands. Yep, after fighting the batter with the spatula, it was a revelation. 

I didn’t include the photo of my second half of batter, but I pressed that baby into a beautiful rectangle. 

The batter is buttery. It won’t stick to your hands and will be super easy to press into a nice thin layer. Mine was about 12 x 8, but you don’t have to measure. Just spread it thinly and evenly.

Don’t worry about any indentations left from your fingerprints. They’ll bake away and you’re going to cover the whole slab with chocolate anyway, right?

How will I know when they’re done?

It will take about 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The whole surface will be bubbly and toffee colored and the edges will be starting to get a deeper brown.

That’s it. They’re done. Just take them out of the oven and move on to the chocolate stage.

An overhead photo showing two baked Lace Cookie topped with chocolate chips and a the chocolate chips being melted and spread to make Easy Lace Cookie Bark by themerchantbaker.com

How to melt the chocolate for the bark?

We’re going to melt the chocolate right on top of the hot lace cookie! No extra pans! (This was a nice short cut for my Triple Peanut Butter Blondies too!)

So, as soon as you take the tray out of the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips or chopped chocolate all over the surface. 

It doesn’t have to be perfectly even, you’ll even it all out later. Just give all the chocolate pieces an even shot at melting.

Pop the tray back into the oven for a minute. Then remove the tray and spread the chocolate evenly over the surface of the cookie. I like to leave a small border around the edges.

I used a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips for each slab. This will create a thin layer of chocolate. I thought it was the proper proportion for the wafer thin cookie, but you can use more if you’d prefer.

Three overhead photos showing Lace Cookie batter being spread, baked then topped with chocolate chips to make Easy Lace Cookie Bark by themerchantbaker.com

What kind of chocolate can I use for Easy Lace Cookie Bark?

As I mentioned, I used chocolate chips, but you can use chopped chocolate in semi, milk, white or bittersweet. Use your favorite.

For my first tray, I went with Ghiradelli mini semisweet chips. I figured the mini chips would melt faster. You can use regular sized, if you wish. The oven will melt any size.

For my second tray, I went with a mix of the minis and Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips. I wanted that batch to be a bit sweeter. There was no issue melting the bigger milk chocolate chips in the same time the minis melted.

A close up angled view of Easy Lace Cookie Bark by themerchantbaker.com

What are some topping ideas?

I wanted to further the almond theme, having used almond flour. So, I toasted up some slivered almonds. Toasting is always a good idea to bring out extra flavor in nuts.

I also wanted to underscore the whole toffee flavor with some toffee chips.

But, this is Easy Lace Cookie Bark. So, you know, you can basically put anything on top from other nuts, to dried fruits, candies, sprinkles etc. Whatever you love, just sprinkle it on top before the chocolate sets.

Easy Lace Cookie Bark presented on a flat white surface by themerchantbaker.com

Why is salt important in sweet recipes?

Salt helps to wake up your palate to taste the sweet. If you made a chocolate chip cookie with unsalted butter and then added no salt to the recipe, it would taste flat. You would notice it, right away. It would just taste wrong.

I love the mix of salt with sweet. I love salted caramel and salted chocolates. So, I put salt in the batter and I also sprinkled it on one of my batches. Hands down, the one with the salted top tasted better to me.

But, we all have our own preferences. The salt in the batter is important and may be enough for some. If you love a heightened salty sweet flavor, go ahead and sprinkle some coarse kosher salt or, even better, flaky sea salt on top. I loved it!

Easy Lace Cookie Bark presented in a glass pedestal bowl with toffee and chocolate chips around it by themerchantbaker.com

Can I use other flavors in the batter?

Absolutely! In my recipe, I used orange zest, cinnamon and vanilla. I loved the combo and especially loved that orange flavor with the chocolate.

If you’re not fond of orange, skip it. I tried it with 1/2 a teaspoon of each flavor and with full teaspoons of each and loved them both. Go with full teaspoons for a stronger flavor, 1/2 teaspoon for milder flavor.

Feel free to use other spices, extracts etc. When you’re thinking about creating your bark, just create a mix that goes together. The options are endless!

Of course, if you wanted to go basic, maybe just some vanilla in the batter and just plain chocolate on top.

Holding a piece of Easy Lace Cookie Bark with tongs showing how thin the Easy Lace Cookie Bark is by themerchantbaker.com

Or, mix some peanut butter chips in with the chocolate chips and create a swirl. Add chopped peanuts or maybe chopped thin pretzel sticks or even some extra (unmelted) mini chocolate chips for some texture.

How about orange in the batter, white chocolate on top with some chopped dried cranberries or dried cherries? That could be a great combo…

I can’t imagine any way I wouldn’t like this Easy Lace Cookie Bark. It’s so easy to make and way too easy to eat. 

Imagine, crispy thin toffee like wafers just covered in chocolate and toppings. 

A close up view of Easy Lace Cookie Bark broken into pieces by themerchantbaker.com

Then, try to eat just one. It’s like they’re the candy version of potato chips…and they’re so thin, it doesn’t even feel like a splurge. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

A stack of Easy Lace Cookie Bark on a white plate by themerchantbaker.com

Easy Lace Cookie Bark presented in a glass pedestal bowl with toffee and chocolate chips around it by themerchantbaker.com

Easy Lace Cookie Bark

Yield: about 24 pieces of bark
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

Ingredients

For the cookie bark base:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the toppings:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • toffee chips
  • toasted slivered almonds
  • fleur de sel or coarse salt

Instructions

Make the cookie bark base:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two half sheet pans by lining with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk flours, salt, cinnamon and orange zest until thoroughly combined and orange zest is well dispersed in the mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup stirring to combine. Once butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat.
  4. Stir in vanilla, then flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
  5. Scoop half of the mixture into the middle of one of the prepared baking sheets. Quickly spread with a spatula to help it become cool enough to touch.
  6. Using your hands, press the mixture into a thin even layer, about 12" x 8". Any shape is fine. Measurements are just to guide you.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the surface is light golden brown and bubbly and the edges are beginning to turn a deeper golden brown. (Be careful not to overbake, especially if your oven runs hot. It will burn.)

Add the chocolate and the toppings:

  1. Remove the cookie from oven and sprinkle 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips over the surface. Return to oven for about 1 minute to allow the chips to melt.
  2. Remove from oven and using an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cookie, leaving a thin border around the edges.
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 of the almonds and toffee chips evenly over the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired.
  4. Repeat steps with remaining batter, spreading it on the prepared baking sheet, baking, melting chocolate chips and topping.
  5. Allow baking sheet to cool, then refrigerate for 15 minutes or until chocolate is completely set.
  6. Use a spatula to loosen bark from silicone liner or parchment paper, sliding it around all of the edges and eventually towards the middle. Break bark into desired sized pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or freeze in a sturdy container for longer storage.

Notes

*I didn't give a measurement for the toppings. You can really add as much or as little as you desire as long as there is space in the melted chocolate for the topping to adhere. I used about 1/2 cup or so total of toppings for each slab of bark.

*You can use any toppings you desire. See post for additional ideas. I used almonds and toffee on one and just toffee on the other. I sprinkled additional salt on one and not the other. If you love salted chocolate, I recommend it. If you don't, omit it. (But only omit it from the toppings. Keep it in the batter.)

*I loved the addition of orange zest and cinnamon for the holidays. The measurement given allows for a nice hint of flavor. I also tried doubling both measurements which gives a much more pronounced orange spice flavor. Both were delicious. If you love the flavor of orange and chocolate, go with double the recipe measurements. If you just want the pure flavor of toffee and chocolate, skip the orange and the cinnamon.

*Since the baking time is so short, I baked the sheets one at a time so that I didn't have to be concerned about rotating sheets in the oven. While the first sheet was baking, I prepared my toppings and spread the remaining batter on the other sheet.

*I used just 1/2 cup of chips on each cookie slab. I only wanted a thin layer of chocolate, just enough to nestle the toppings into. I love it with semisweet or darker chocolate, but you can easily swap for milk or white chocolate if you prefer a sweeter bite of bark.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour