Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Sarah Bernhardt Cookie recipe

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies are an irresistible combination of a light and crunchy almond macaron cookie and rich creamy chocolate!

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

This is one of those ‘best things I’ ever ate’ stories, which are always more interesting for the teller than the listener, so I’ll be brief…  I’ve had a weakness for Sarah Bernhardt cookies all my life.  I first tasted them in a Swiss bakery and they have ever since been my favorite sweet thing on the planet.  It’s the trio of textures that makes this cookie so special— the base is a crunchy/chewy meringue, the filling is a silky almond flavored chocolate ganache, and the hard shell is pure dark chocolate.  They originated in a turn-of-the-last-century Dutch bakery, where, as the story goes, the legendary actress loved the cookies so much that the baker named them in her honor.  It never occurred to me to try to recreate them until recently, when I Googled them and saw that there are several versions floating around out there.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies 2

These are so rich they are sometimes classified as a chocolate candy or a cake, rather than a cookie.  All that’s no matter to me, I just love them.  The only downside to these confections, besides their being addictive, is that they do involve a few steps to make.  An electric mixer (even better a stand mixer) will come in handy to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks for the base, but other than that, you won’t need anything special to make them.

stiff peaks

Like I said, there are a few versions of this recipe out there.   The one I’ve created is close to the original that I tasted many years ago, but not quite an exact match   I got the recipe for my meringue base from the gorgeous blog, Manger.  It is good, but didn’t turn out as chewy or as almondy as I remember it.  If you like a light, crisp meringue, these are perfect, but I crave that chewy center, so I will tweak the recipe next time.

macaroon base for Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

There is disagreement as to whether you should spoon the filling on the flat or rounded side of the cookie base.  I used the flat side.

The ganache filling for Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Once the ganache is placed, the dipping is easy…the cookies are supposed to look a little lopsided, so there’s no pressure to be perfect.  Just get lots of chocolate on.  And  let them set up before you devour them, they are at their best just out of the fridge, if you ask me.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies 4

The shiny chocolate will dull down as they set up.  Store them in the refrigerator, but they also can be frozen.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Yield: makes approximately 3 doxen, depending on size

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Ingredients

    for the meringues
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
  • 2 cups ground almonds
    ganache filling
  • 2 cups dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp almond extract
    chocolate coating
  • 1 pound dark chocolate, either baking squares or chips
  • 2 tsp vegetable or coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Put the egg whites and the extract in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer. You can also use a hand mixer. Beat the whites until they are foamy, and then slowly start adding the sugar, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated. Continue beating the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Carefully fold in the almonds.
  4. Spoon or pipe the batter onto a parchment lined baking sheets. They can be any size you like, but I made mine about 1 1/2 inches round.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, until set.
  6. Let the cookies cool for a minute before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  7. Put the cream and the chocolate into a glass measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and glossy. If necessary microwave it again for a very short burst. Don't over do this. Stir in the extract. Set the ganache in the refrigerator until it is cooled and thickened. This might take a couple of hours.
  8. When the ganache is scoopable, spoon a small mound on the flat side of each cookie, smoothing it into an even mound. Cover the entire surface of the cookie.
  9. Put all the cookies back in the refrigerator to firm up while you make the chocolate coating.
  10. To make the coating, I like to work with half the chocolate at a time. Put half the amount of chocolate and vegetable oil in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir to melt all the chocolate. If necessary, microwave again in 15 second bursts until the chocolate is smooth and glossy. Don't over do this or your chocolate will seize up.
  11. Let the melted chocolate cool for about 5 minutes, and then you can dip your cookies. Dip them head first into the chocolate, and set them upright on a tray. When you've used all the chocolate, melt the other half for the rest of the cookies.
  12. Store the cookies in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them..

Notes

For the outer coating, baking chocolate will melt down to a thinner consistency, the chips will be thicker. I prefer the thicker chocolate coating, so I use good quality bittersweet chips.

https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/sarah-bernhardt-cookies/

Sarah Bernhardt Cookie recipe

Irresistible, I tell you!

17 Comments

  • Reply
    Jill
    December 30, 2015 at 8:48 am

    These are my favorite cookies/desserts too! I’ve only had them from two places in the Midwest, but I think the base cookie was a macaroon. I’ll have to try yours though. Sounds wonderful!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 30, 2015 at 9:34 am

      I adore them, and I’ve only found them at one bakery, which is why I had to resort to making them myself!

  • Reply
    Foodiewife
    September 28, 2014 at 10:25 am

    This is food porn, at it’s best. I’ve heard of these, but didn’t really know the back story. Wow!

  • Reply
    Susan
    September 23, 2014 at 6:31 am

    They look delicious and so pretty, Sue! I’ve never made these but with all of those ground almonds and chocolate I know they would become an immediate favorite here too!

  • Reply
    Carol+at+Wild+Goose+Tea
    September 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    You are trying to recreate a past tasting. I am starting from ground zero. I know that this would be the version I would be using to compare other versions too. It looks stupendous!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's+Recipes
    September 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

    They look divine!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    These cookies look amazing!

  • Reply
    Laura+(Tutti+Dolci)
    September 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I’ve never heard of these cookies either but what a treat! Love the layers!

  • Reply
    Abbe@This+is+How+I+Cook
    September 19, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I have heard of these and they are pretty special. Beautiful, Sue!

  • Reply
    ahu
    September 19, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Wow wow wow! I have never seen this type of cookie before but I need to make it! love!!!

  • Reply
    md white
    September 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    And I just made meringues this week! I have a few left, I bet I could try adding the filling and the coating. Not almond meringues, but heck, why not try? Thanks for posting these!!

  • Reply
    Eileen
    September 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    These sound so delicious! Just imagine the excitement if you brought out a plateful of these after a dinner party. So good!

  • Reply
    Mimi
    September 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I’ve never heard of these but oh they look really incredible!!!

  • Reply
    SallyBR
    September 19, 2014 at 9:48 am

    I’ve never had one, and to be honest, had never heard of these cookies until now…. shame on me!

    they seem absolutely decadent, just the special thing to bake for a special someone on a special occasion…. lovely cookies!

  • Reply
    cheri
    September 19, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Hi Sue, I can see why these are your favorites, what’s not to like about them. They are gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Monique
    September 19, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Oh they are so pretty too!
    I had never even heard of them!

  • Reply
    Penny
    September 19, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Wow! I have never heard of these cookies before. They are beautiful and I can only imagine the taste. Guess that means I will have to find out for myself. Thanks Sue. PS. I love Manger too.

  • Leave a Reply

    Share
    Pin
    Tweet
    Stumble
    +1