Czech Christmas Cookie #7
A nutty meringue cookie with a hint of chocolate flavor. This cookie can last for weeks. Because of that, during WWII, my Czech mother-in-law sent a large batch of these cookies to Jewish friends that sadly were taken to a concentration camp. These were a favorite of my husband’s father. My mother-in-law spread the batter in a pan, then cut them into squares. I prefer to bake them in individual traditional small rounds. I think they’re prettier that way. As with many others, these taste even better as they age.
- 3 large egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 7 oz (200 grams) confectioner’s sugar
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 5 1/3 oz (150 grams) ground walnuts
- 1 3/4 oz (50 grams) of grated bittersweet baking chocolate
- ~ 2 oz (50 grams) sliced or slivered almonds (I prefer sliced)
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites, with salt, until they just form stiff peaks. Then, little by little, beat in the confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon at low speed.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the ground walnuts and grated chocolate, until incorporated. The batter will obviously deflate a little. [Note: I literally grate the chocolate using the small-holed side of my box grater.]
Spoon small rounded coffee spoon sized globs on the parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches (5 cm) between mounds. Quickly decorate with the almonds and bake for about 15 to 17 minutes in the heated oven. Cool briefly on the cookie sheets, then transfer the cookies (still on the parchment paper) to cooling racks. Cool completely before removing to platter or container.
Kudos to any non Czech that can say the Czech name for these cookies really fast, three times in a row.