Czech Christmas Cookie #8
Bite into these chewy nutty meringue-style sandwich cookies to reach the bliss of a delicious chocolate buttercream filling. My mother-in-law usually used roasted hazelnuts or walnuts for the meringue cookie, but some Czechs use blanched almonds. The nut choice will affect the color, a bit. Meant to be a one or two-bite cookie – that is, if you can stop at only one cookie! These were my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie, as a child. The pictured Princezky were made using finely ground roasted hazelnuts, our favorite nut choice. This combination, with the chocolate buttercream, is a little reminiscent of Nutella. Even yummier, in my view. They do crisp up a little over time, but are still great.
- 5 large egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
- 1 ½ cups (6 oz or 170 g) confectioner’s sugar
- 3 ½ oz (100 g) ground nuts (raw or roasted hazelnuts/filberts, walnuts, or almonds)
- 3 Tbs (40 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 50 g coarse flour – hrubá mouka (OR, combination of ¼ cup Wondra flour and 2 Tbs US all-purpose flour)
- 6 or 7 Tbs (100 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup (3 ½ oz or 100 g) confectioner’s sugar
- 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
For cookie portion
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, then slow the mixer to low speed and gradually add confectioner’s sugar. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in, in stages, the ground nuts pre-mixed with the flour. Then gently fold in the cooled melted butter, as you pour it into batter in a thin stream. [The point is to not deflate the egg white mix any more than possible.]
Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Line two or three large baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat. Important, as the baked cookies would stick too much, if baked directly on a metal cookie sheet.
Spoon small same-size rounded globs (the size of a coffee spoon) onto the cookie sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges and tops are just getting browned. Remove from oven and completely cool cookies on the parchment paper, before filling. The cookies will be chewy, and may seem slightly sticky feeling the day they are baked.
Filling the cookies
Beat together the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the cocoa until fully combined. To fill the cookies, spread or pipe a layer of the filling on the flat sides of half the cookies, then create a sandwich using the remaining cookies. Let filled cookie “sandwiches” set for a while before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.