How to make healthy choices every day

Breakfast Buckwheat Florentines


“Done is better than perfect.”

I can’t tell you how many times I repeat this to myself on a daily basis, as a sort of mantra to soothe and convince the perfectionist inside me to just follow through. To just put it out there.

I almost pushed “publish” on this blog post yesterday afternoon, but something was holding me back. Two things, in fact. First, the photos weren’t what I wanted them to be: they were on the boring side without a lot of colour, and not really inspiring. Second, the recipe itself just wasn’t there. I was trying to make a vegan yogurt coating with coconut butter and although it was tasty, the texture was all wrong: chunky and gritty. Was it good enough? Probably. Would anyone have noticed what I saw as shortcomings? Probably not. But could I deal with it? Apparently, no.


As I was putting the finishing touches on the post, it hit me like a bolt of lightening: I needed to use cashew butter to achieve the silky consistency I was after. Noooo! It was the solution I had been calling in, but to arrive at the witching hour just seemed cruel. How could I start all over at this point? Was I crazy to even try, considering I didn’t know for sure that it would work out? With only minutes to make a decision, I hopped on my bike and cycled to the health food store. Again. Cursing myself, my brain, my ridiculous inability to know when to let go, and my insistence that what I put out in the world is my absolute best, really started to annoy me.

I bought all the ingredients for the third time, raced home, and got to work. The cookies were the best they’d ever been. Perfect, in fact. But was it worth it?

For anyone out there nodding their heads in recognition that they too, have these borderline masochistic tendencies to achieve an arbitrary portrait of perfection, may I ask what it is that drives us to create and then hold it all back if it’s not exactly what we imagined in our heads? Because nothing is perfect! When do we draw the line and just push “publish”? Is done really better than perfect? Because done for me it seems like settling for mediocrity a lot of the time. Even if it’s just a friggin’ cookie.

I’m not looking for answers here, just venting I suppose. But if you want to share your similar struggles, feel free in the comments. It’s not often I open up or vent in this space, so maybe we can all throw a perfectionist party, and make sure to have these very perfect cookies on the table.


Speaking of! Florentines are traditionally almond-centric biscuits, sometimes with the addition of dried fruit like cherries and orange zest, with a rich chocolate coating on the bottom. Because I really love dessert for breakfast, I was motivated to make a morning-appropriate version that wouldn’t make me feel like a glutton. I chose to add some buckwheat to the mix since I love to start my day with whole grains, and swapped out the chocolate for a vanilla-cashew butter coating that I basically want to pour over my entire life. Like I mentioned, my original thought was to go with something yogurt-like, but once I made this saucy concoction, there was no need to pretend it was something else. Pure, divine, silky-smooth pleasure glaze! Ahem.


I love these cookies because they are so simple to make with just a few ingredients, and incredibly fast. On my third testing, they were done – mixed, baked and glazed – in 20 minutes. If you’re in a rush to get your treat fix, leave the cashew coating out of the equation, and you’ll still have a gorgeously tasty and satisfying little snack.

As far as additions and flavours go, these wicked little morsels are kind of a blank slate. I made a couple batches with orange zest and one without. Personally, I really loved the citrusy warmth that the orange lends, and its nod to morning fodder, but you can also omit it for a more neutral taste. Instead, spice them up with cinnamon, cardamom, lemon zest, rose, lavender, coconut etc. I think adding cacao nibs would also be really delicious, as would dried blueberries, dried figs, or apricots. Whatever you choose to do, get ready to be very excited to get up in the morning. Couple these cookies with a turmeric latte, a piece of fruit and you’ll be good to go. Until 4 o’clock when you want another one.



Once I started editing the new photos for this post, I realized that the last batch of Florentines weren’t as golden, or as flat as the previous batches. I decided to let that one go. And I’m very proud of that.

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Hey Copenhagen! Just a reminder about my first two cookbook events in CPH this Spring. The first will be an intimate talk and demonstration at SLOW Copenhagen, and the second will be a magical, celebratory dinner in collaboration with the local, organic grocer and kitchen, Kost. Click on the images for more info and tickets! Can’t wait to see you there. 


121 thoughts on “Breakfast Buckwheat Florentines”

  • While the florentines are baking, make the cashew coating. Melt the coconut oil in the same skillet over low heat, then add the cashew butter and stir well to combine. Once melted, add the vanilla bean and maple syrup. Stir well and turn off the heat.

  • Just made these. They are lovely!

    I found the coating very thin, so I may replace some of the coconut oil with cocoa butter next time. And I’d like to try swapping the vanilla with powdered ginger. But there will be a next time!

  • Beautiful Sarah…
    Curious if you or anyone else has ever tried using coconut flour instead of almond flour? Thank you!

  • I hear you about the perfectionist tendancies holding us back from sharing our work. It is a fine balance. I also think it is important to be proud of the work we out out there and your dedication to putting out a really good recipe shows and is much appreciated!

  • Hi, confused about the buckwheat “groats” is this more like ” powder or flakes” or is this the whole buckwheat grain? I have white buckwheat at home. Thank you


  • Hi Sarah!

    I just finished a BIG move, so I’m a little late to the Florentine Party. I whipped up this gem of a recipe today, and like all of your gorgeous creations, they went together perfectly…no pun intended. I’m living at 9,000 feet and am a little hesitant to tackle baking…. when I read your post, I smiled to myself, thinking, “Sarah to the rescue, as ever.” Thank you for infusing my new home with your wonderfulness. Can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you!

    Lots of love from Colorado,

  • I’d never tried making these at home, but I’m pleasantly surprised. They turned out delicious – not as golden as the ones from your photos, but still, delicious!

  • I made these and they were fantastic!!! Breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day, so I’m always looking for new things to try (I’ve already done Sarah B’s black rice pudding, quinoa corn muffins, and the pancakes made with buckwheat groats). These Florentines are my favorite, I think, because they store well and will last the whole week (they don’t get stale, or require any effort during the week because I just have them ready to do in the fridge).

    I was worried they might not hold together, so did a few things noted by prior posters and got very good results. When putting them on the cookie sheets, after dropping the dough by the spoonful, I did a firm pat on the top of each cookie with water-moistened fingers to encourage them to be more firmly stuck together (the dough is crumbly, so this helped them be firmer). I kept them somewhat thick so they had enough substance to stay sold. Having them on parchment paper is essential, I think. I let them cool completely before moving them at all. This all worked quite well.

    I used whole cashews and just blended them in my Magic Bullet with the coconut oil, maple syrup, and I subbed in vanilla extract. It worked great. I think the icing also helped the cookies be a little sturdier when stored in the fridge.

    I added cacao nibs and nutmeg to the dough and subbed in lemon zest because I didn’t have an orange and the results were heavenly.

    This is a true winner Sarah B! Thanks for helping me look forward to breakfast!

  • Thank you so much for the recipe – I have made them 3 times already! So delicious! 🙂 I also tried them with added dried cranberries in the biscuit and some cacao in the cashew butter spread…tastes fabulous! Thanks again.

  • In response to your comment about what drives us to perfection – I have thought about this a lot. I am an academic writer who teaches academic writing, and one of the frequent questions I get asked is ‘when is a text good enough to let it go?’. Same dilemma, different context, but I think the answers may be the same. Those that recognise what they do as a never-ending journey of growth (as a writer/as a chef) are always going to strive for perfection. The trick is to recognise that perfection is the unattainable end goal and that ‘better’ are the steps along the journey. Until we feel we have pushed ourselves, until we feel we have grown and done better than we have done before, we can’t stop. That is the yard stick – you keep pushing until you have done better, then you stop. One step at a time toward perfection.

  • Oh my word, I LOVE this post! And I’m going to try and make the florentines soon too 🙂 I’m so grateful to know I’m not the only one who struggles with the ‘perfect’ posts. I have put off posting blogs before because I haven’t polished them to what I consider a finished piece. Something to keep in mind for the future.

  • Sarah – these are hands down the BEST biscuits I have ever eaten – thank you thank you thank you! We made them with orange/cardamon and macadamia butter instead of cashews (we had lovely fresh ones on hand) and they were absolutely amazing. Only issue was trying to stop eating them.

  • I really enjoy the distinctive flavor of buckwheat. It is like no other. How wonderful to use it in a breakfast cookie! Sounds delicious!

  • These look yummy! I found your site from the “Top 68 Food Blogs You Need To Follow Right Now” post published in “chew the world” and I’m glad I did. Will definitely try this.

  • I just made these and I think the problem of the cookies not holding together is just a matter of letting them cool first, put them in the fridge, the coconut oil is the glue and it needs to harden up again for the cookie to hold together properly.

  • Thank you for the post. I so appreciate your creativity and innovation in your recipes. I made these with the sunflower seed substitution for almonds, and they were easy and terrific! And thank you for saying, in the title of the recipe, that I may have these for breakfast!

  • This is a great post. Yes! It was worth it. Last week I struggled to make ice cream cones for days thinking argh is it worth it? They were good but not great. SO I put them on the back burner in my brain and left them and posted something else. Your photo as always and dreamy. -Hanne

  • I have made these biscuits a couple of times and both times they were a hit. The second time I made them I blended the dry ingredients a little and held together much better. I have also made a granola with this recipe and it is to die for. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!

  • Sarah!! – Thank you for this beaut of a recipe. Can’t wait to these it in practice 🙂
    Is there any fat content in this recipe, I am not sure…

  • Thank you for writing about your struggle with this post, because yes, this is exactly what I go through with my own food photography and blog posts. It’s that darn perfectionist thing. Done is better than perfect, always. I’ll post something (usually on Instagram) and then delete it because it isn’t exactly what I had in mind, or the recipe didn’t quite work, or both. I’m currently torturing myself over the perfect vegan cake! Thank you for reminding me to press “publish” and get over it. xo Stephanie

  • I LOVE YOUR BLOG! It is absolutely amazing and has made me feel like I have been on this journey with you! You’ve given me so many tip and tricks and I know any reader will/is thinking the same thing! Thank you! Keep it up and feel free to check out my blog! I love your food recipes!

  • Your persistence and constant drive makes your recipes hands down the best vegetarian/vegan recipes on the internet. Such beautiful balance of flavours…

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  • I made these and they were perfect. The cookies themselves weren’t super sturdy, but once the glaze hardened it really galvanized them structurally. I lost a few crumbles in the process which I was happy to eat.

    The second time I made them I made some substitutions based on what I had on hand, and they turned out just as great: brown rice syrup for the maple, and tahini + melted cocoa butter for the cashew + coconut in the glaze.

    This is exactly why I love your recipes SB – this buckwheat almond situation totally inspired, lets me have cookies while avoiding flours, and is freaking delish. ??

  • Hola! Thank you for another beautiful recipe planning on making it soon, soon. I made a podcast episode called “what’s holding you back” after diving into some cognitive behavioral therapy books and learning how perfectionism can show up as a “inner mean girl”. I think you will enjoy it- sending you lota of love

  • Tusind tak for opskriften.

    I made these yesterday. I had no problems with them hanging together although they ARE fragile. I had to ration them, or my husband would have inhaled the entire baking sheet full! I think they would be mind-blowing dipped in 85% dark chocolate.

    Sarah, do you think I can cut back on the maple syrup a bit? Min mor og jeg synes, at de er lidt for søde til morgenmad, især med cashew glasur på.

  • You just made my day!!!!
    I can’t find the right words to express at this moment. You just superb..
    Thanks for the awesomely good looking recipe and I’m really great-full.

  • Hi, My dough didn’t hold together either. So I pulsed half in my vita some to break down the seeds and buckwheat. That worked. Also did not have cashew butter in the house, and used tahini instead. YUMMY!

  • Hello, I followed the receipe as described and they came out thin, crispy and delicate. I think the orange zest is a must. The smell in the kitchen is heavenly!

  • Yum! Made these yesterday, subbed in pumpkin seeds- they were a little bit crumbly but the crunchy texture and flavour was perfect! Thank you 🙂

  • Hi” just love your sight. Re the above recipe I have Nast cell disease which makes foods a challenge and all nuts top of the list. Would seed butters work or a gluten free flour?
    Any suggestions most helpful. My partner will light up re buckwheat anything.
    Keep up the great work. I can see and feel your passion.
    Much love Patti ❤️?❤️

  • I was feeling the same over a past shoot, left my editing to come read your post and was so encouraged by you Sarah! These are such beauties and I have them bookmarked to try soon. That glaze on the bottom, goodness gracious! xx

  • Hi Sarah! I made these cookies the other day but the dough wouldn’t hold together and so the cookies tooootally fell apart in the oven. Now I have granola. Which is great, but I was aiming for these florentines! Are you sure you didn’t mean to use brown rice syrup? When I look at the photo’s I see caramelised, sticky, bubbly edges, but to be honest, maple syrup doesn’t behave that way, does it? I think I’m gonna try them with brown rice syrup the next time. Keep you posted!

    • Hi Nettelie!

      Yes, maple syrup DOES do that…so strange that your cookies fell apart 🙁 I’m very sorry for you – but at least you have granola! Try brown rice syrup next time. I don’t use it because you can’t buy it in Denmark. Good luck and I hope it goes better next time.

      xo, Sarah B

    • I used maple syrup, B grade organic, and had no problem. Also healthier than brow rice syrup. hat about honey? It’s nice and thick.

      • I don’t think brown rice syrup is unhealthy 🙂
        But honey would be a great alternative too. Thanks!

  • OMG, Sarah! I literally had the same thing happen this very morning… I worked on a recipe all day yesterday, one I was really excited about. I cooked, shot, and ate it. It turned out pretty good on all fronts, but being honest with myself I knew it wasn’t quite the result I was looking for. I woke up early today planning to publish it anyway but also stopped myself, since I know I’ll be happier with a more “perfect” result after I work on it some more.

    I know striving for “perfection” is a little unrealistic and harsh on the self, but it’s these extra steps that set good recipes apart from the really great ones 🙂

    As always, thank you for your honesty!

    • Haha! Thanks Alex. So good to know I’m not alone! And I hope your post comes out great…I’m sure it will 🙂
      I hope you get to try the cookies.
      Much love,
      Sarah B

  • I used the sunflower seed substitution and I also had trouble getting the mixture to form on the sheet. I pulsed it in the food processor a few times and added another tablespoon of melted coconut oil, which helped!

    • Hi Bee,

      That’s great! Glad it worked. So frustrating that people are struggling with this recipe since I tested it three time and they always came out perfectly. I hope you enjoyed the finished product 🙂

      xo, Sarah B

  • Hi I also had trouble with these crumbling. They tasted delicious but became granola. Any suggestions on how to get the cookies to stay together more?

    • *Caveat* I haven’t tried making the recipe yet myself and am waiting until others problem solve it before making an attempt myself.

      I wonder if the texture is impacted by use of almond meal, versus almond flour (e.g., one would help the cookie hold together better), or whether level of toasting the buckwheat goats (amount of golden brown-ness) would impact the final texture and likelihood of it holding together. My other guess is that it could be an issue of whether the ingredients are being weighed versus measured in measuring cups. I was surprised to see that there wasn’t any type of binding agent like flax, chia, or eggs to hold them together. Also, it is 5 tablespoons wet ingredients to 1 and 1/3 cup dry ingredients, which is interesting too.

      They look super-yummy and I want to be successful when I attempt them! Anyone else have any thoughts re the crumbliness?

      • After a few rough starts, I doubled the oil/syrup and it worked out a lot better for me! Classic Florentines have no binding ingredient like eggs/chia, it’s the sugar and fats that cook to bind. My solution wasn’t perfect, but it was a start.

    • Hi Kiko!

      If you’re having issues (so sorry to hear that BTW, mine came out perfectly three times!) I would try adding more maple syrup and coconut oil. I hope that works for you.

      xo, Sarah B

  • I just finished the batch and should’ve doubled the recipe. The orange rind is not to be skipped, yum!

    • Great Katie! And I agree…it was my husband who wasn’t so into the orange, but I love it 🙂

      xo, Sarah B

  • These are so delicious! Perfect Sunday morning breakfast for our family! Thanks for this gem!

    • Hi M,

      So sorry to hear that…try adding more maple and coconut oil next time. It seems like people are also struggling, which is strange since I tested the recipe three times! I hope you give it another go.

      Much love,
      Sarah B

  • Delicious! I made them yesterday with sunflower seeds instead of the silvered almonds, the taste and texture are incredible – even before baking, but they didn’t bake well, they are so delicate that I couldn’t lift them up without braking them.
    I put a teaspoon from the remaining of the unbaked mix in little paper cups and refrigerated it so we can have a bite of the mixture straight from the refrigerator – really yummy…

  • Hi Sarah! I’m a big fan of all your recipes. I’ve just baked this one but instead of florentines, I end up with granola (by the way a delicious granola!!). The batter didn’t hold together like in your pictures. I’ve never had the melted oil effect in the borders of each cookie inside the oven. I think I followed your instructions and measures with no fault, what can went wrong? Please forgive my English, I’m from Chile 😉 Thanks in advance for your advice!

  • Hey Sarah,

    I made these exactly to your recipe but the cookie dough came out super crumbly and he cookies didn’t stick together in the oven. What went wrong?


  • Hi Sarah,
    These look absolutely delicious + completely perfect (I would never have known they weren’t if you hadn’t said!). I have some buckwheat groats that I have already soaked + dehydrated so they are crunchy. If I use these can I skip the toasting part or do you find toasting raw is tastier?
    BTW i’m loving your new book. I have both + love them equally but the new one will definitely get more of a workout until my children are older + time doesn’t completely evaporate every day!
    Thanks for all your excellent work.

  • Perfect rarely happens, but I err on the side of ‘genuinely happy with’ rather than ‘done’. Thoughtfulness and quality for the win!

  • They look so so good, can’t wait to try them! How many florentines per person would you recommend for breakfast?

    • Hi Sarah! I tried making them, but unfortunately the mix would not stick together. Any idea what might have gone wrong? Thanks!

      • Hello Marieke,

        It looks like you’re not alone! Try adding more maple and oil – hopefully that will help! Thanks for your patience.

        xo, Sarah B

  • I totally understand! I have the same mindset as you – but it just makes it that much more satisfying to know that when you publish or release something, it’s absolutely perfect. 🙂

  • These cookies look lovely, I am a sucker for a good breakfast cookie! And thanks to all the previous comments my questions about the buckwheat groats have been answered 🙂 I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of buckwheat, although I do enjoy it in my millet and buckwheat crepes, but I just made some buckwheat bread and feel that it is very gentle and soothing to my digestive tract. So definitely in need of some new ways to eat buckwheat that are both tasty and healthy for me, trying these this weekend. And…the cashew butter glaze sounds perfect, I love cashew butter!

    As for the strive for perfectionism goes, I think it is something many creative types struggle with, myself included and inherited from my dad who is an amazing baker but often unhappy with his results while the rest of us happily devour everything he makes 🙂

  • Hi Sarah, Thank you for this beaut of a recipe. Can’t wait to these yummies! My antidote to perfectionism is hard deadlines 🙂 I’m an artist and when it’s show time, it’s show time. Sometimes the decisions made under pressure are ones I’d probably not make if I had all of the time in the world. Often that is a good thing. I learn so much from the process no matter what. oxoxo

  • Sarah, I think you just posted my diary. The whole ‘perfectionism’ as a best and worst quality is so true. You wrote books. I mean: BOOKS! Without a bit of perfectionism you can’t write a book. My father once told me that you need to be temporarily crazy to write a book, as you need to have so much focus. He likes to write books (why? haha) about history, so that’s probably where I got it from, I just changed the subject to food ;). I had the same during my book-writing days and still have it when writing blog posts and recipes. But I also learn to sometimes just push ‘publish’ … Hard, but sometimes very needed with a few deadlines. Same as you: I don’t have a solution yet. But it is nice to relate with other crazy (food) writers sometimes!
    Thanks again for your story, hang on there. You will be able to post a very unperfect post one day! 😉

  • My mum just shared this recipe with me and it’s close to perfection for my very intolerant diet – but the ground almonds are on my no-list 🙁 do you have a suggestion to what I could swap it out for?

    Since finding out about my billion intolerances I’ve missed cake and cookies the most and have weekly almost meltdowns about the lack of them in my diet – these look amazing!

    • Hello Kat,

      Can you eat sunflower seeds? If you ground those up in a coffee mill or food processor, I think they’d be just the right texture and substitute. Let me know how it goes!

      Good luck,
      Sarah B

  • I’m wondering the same thing about the buckwheat being crunchy. I have delicate teeth LOL. I’ve only baked with the flour not the whole grain.

    • They are crunchy for sure, but not in an over-the-top way! The toasting part really helps this 🙂 I hope you try them, Teya!

      xo, Sarah B

      • Thank you for answering. I appreciate that. I will order some more from Azure next month. I gave the groats I had to my chickies cause i didn’t really have a plan for them. Now I do;o) BTW have you ever heard of light buckwheat. supposed to have a milder taste. Saw some at Natural Groceries last week

    • Most definitely! I’ve been storing mine in the freezer. Even when eaten straight away, they’re delicious 🙂 But it’s also nice to let them thaw for a few minutes…if you can wait that long.

      xo, Sarah B

  • Your post could not have come at a better time Sarah! Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about this perfectionist tendency with creating content. And I’ve been repeating the quote: “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.

    And these florentines?! Gaaah. Just finished up my batch of cashew butter so better go make some more!

    • Hey Katie!

      It’s hard, eh?! As much as you want to put yourself out there, it’s hard to be “out there” and “imperfect!” It’s a vulnerable place for sure. But I like your quote very much and will add it to my mantra 😉

      Go get some cashew butter!

      much love,
      Sarah B

  • Hi these look great – I have just rushed out to buy all the ingredients – but no where had Buckwheat – only Bulgar Wheat is this the same thing?? Maybe this is a UK thing – not so popular?

    • Hello Anouk!

      Oh bummer! Bulgar is definitely NOT buckwheat! Confusing, I know 🙂 Any health food or natural food shop will sell buckwheat – often in the bulk section if yours has one of those. Or just ask! Good luck with the recipe, and I really hope you didn’t already try and make them with bulgar!

      xo, Sarah B

  • Yes, I was wondering the same thing as I usually soak the buckwheat overnight prior to using. Does the toasting give it the edible crunch?..

    • Hi Cindy,

      I usually soak mine overnight as well, but that is for wet “applications” like porridge or pancakes. The reason I toast them here is because we really need the buckwheat to be dry. The toasting process also neutralizes some of the phytic acid, which prevents mineral absorption, and improves their digestive qualities. It also helps crisp up the buckwheat and make it tastier 🙂 I hope you try them…super tasty, I promise!

      xo, Sarah B

  • I hear you about the perfectionist tendancies holding us back from sharing our work. It is a fine balance. I also think it is important to be proud of the work we out out there and your dedication to putting out a really good recipe shows and is much appreciated!

  • This sounds and looks so delicious!!!
    I will make them this weekend 🙂
    Can you tell me where is the health food store in Cph -that you mentioned? I have been looking for a good one for some time!

  • I relate to this tenfold – my perfectionist ways have led me to hold back from putting out so many things so many times. And then I see others putting out an idea that’s been in my head for a while or I realise that something that I was fretting over, people loved it as it was and it makes you think, what is up with this monkey mind of mine?! So, I feel you. Can’t wait to make these!! <3

  • Is this buckwheat groats, or buckwheat flour, or some other variety of buckwheat? They sound really yummy and I want to be able to successfully make them 🙂 Totally feel you on the inner perfectionist!

    • Hi Annie,

      Buckwheat groats, and I’ll make that distinction in the ingredient list. Thanks!

      Sarah B

  • Hey ya, sounds lovely. Do you then not cook/boil the buckwheat at all? Doesn’t it come out to be very crunchy?

    • Hi Olskee!

      Yes, the buckwheat is toasted in step 2, and then even further in the oven. It’s very crunchy and lovely! Hope you enjoy 🙂

      Sarah B

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