Incredible how fast time goes by… I’ve been meaning to get into Holiday Baking much earlier, but life got in the way. December… Gotta love this season! So many plans, so little time. As it turns out, this Sunday was the first opportunity to simply bake something (not strictly necessary).
So I got into the kitchen, armed with dozens of room temperature eggs and butter. I started with confidence, whipping egg whites and melting chocolate. Slightly smugly, I told my love today – while everything was running smoothly – that baking is fabulous, because you grow every time and with every experience you get better. It’s like a steep learning curve. Every hour spend swinging the spatula brings you closer to patissière stardom!
Turns out I was praising the day before the evening… Smh. And so I made a couple of dozens of mini chocolate meringue. The first batch exploded in the oven (oven too hot). The second batch melted, proabably due to an oven that wasn’t hot enough (for a change). The result after hours of baking? No result (at least: not worthy of picture). Dozens of eggs were whipped to stiff, shiny peaks, like snowy mountains. And the oven was running high all day. All the while, my better half was building a x-hundred pieces Lego Technic car. Alas, the more determined you get to proceed with the next batch, the more doomed you are as a baker.
But, this story wasn’t meant to turn out like a sorry-story. On the contrary. I want to show you the positive side of the Sunday: these chocolaty and coconutty version of the classic Cinnamon Stars. These are made with coconut meal instead of almonds, and with some freshly grated black chocolate. They are nicely chewy inside and the frosting (egg whites and sugar) hardens just a little once baked. The best part – apart from eating – is always decorating the cookies. I had to create a forest of christmas trees. Because, who isn’t dreaming of a white Christmas come December…?
200 g confectioners’ sugar
200 g coconut meal
80 g almond meal
3 egg whites
1 pinch salt
70 g Lindt Créman Noir 49%, finely grated
Whip the egg whites with the pinch of salt until very stiff. Then sieve in the confectioners’ sugar and whip for another 10 to 20 minutes (yes, you heard correctly. I recommend using the Kitchen Aid). Save a small bowl of the glaze for frosting the cookies late; put aside. Add the nuts and grated chocolate to the remaining egg whites, and combine thoroughly. You can leave the dough to dry for a while, if you want. Then roll out to about 1cm thickness and cut out. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the egg glaze carefully. Bake for 20 minutes at 160º C / 320º F, until the egg whites on top have hardened and are a little golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.