Sarah Bernhardt Cookies
Originating in Denmark and named after the famous French actress who visited Copenhagen in the early 20th century, these decadent almond meringue cookies—topped with chocolate buttercream and dipped in chocolate—are a Christmas favorite in Iceland.
Yield: makes About 54 Cookies
- 8 oz. whole blanched almonds
- 1 3⁄4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
- Heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Process almonds in bowl of food processor until finely ground, 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar and process for 2 minutes. Scrape bottom and insides of bowl to loosen clumped almond mixture, then continue to process until very finely ground, 3 minutes more; set aside.
- Beat egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk on medium-low speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes more. Transfer whites to a large bowl. Fold in almond mixture a third time. Transfer to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄2" plain pastry tip. Pipe 1" rounds about 1⁄2" apart onto baking sheets. Set aside for 10–12 minutes; bake 15–18 minutes, until stiff. Leave to cool.
- Combine granulated sugar and 3⁄4 cups water in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium high; heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 242°, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl with a hand mixer; slowly add sugar syrup, then butter and cocoa powder. Mound 1 tbsp. to the bottom of buttercream onto each meringue. Freeze for 15 minutes. Pour enough water into a 4-quart saucepan that it reaches a depth of 1". Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Place chocolate in a medium bowl; set bowl over saucepan. Cook, stirring, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside. Dip cookies, buttercream side only, in chocolate to fully coat. Place meringue-side down on a baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate has hardened.