Cookie Exchange Countdown: Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

The term “Diva” was most likely first attributed to Sarah Bernhardt, a dramatic and tragic French actress who was famous in the early part of the 20th century.

Andre bakes his way through Martha Stewart’s Cookie book  has an excellent history of the Sarah Bernhardt cookie. Apparently while Sarah was touring in Amsterdam, she tasted this cookie and the bakeshop owner named it after her. It was also a secret code during WWII as the cookies looked like radio dials. If someone asked for the cookie in a bake shop they identified themselves with the resistance.

The cookie exchange is five days away!! I have two more cookies to try before deciding which one to take. Like Sarah herself these cookies are divine but take some some finesse to perfect. The flavor combination of almond paste with chocolate makes me swoon. I had to try it at least once.

I stayed with the Martha Stewart Holiday cookie recipe theme. There are three parts: the cookie, the filling and the coating.

The cookie: I used a piping bag to form the cookies on the cookie sheet to bake. After they cooled I popped them into a plastic bag and put them in the freezer.

The filling: The filling has to be refrigerated for several hours or overnight. I used a piping bag to put the filling atop the cookies. Then they are popped back into the freezer to stay firm before applying the coating.

The coating: I balanced the cookie with filling atop a serving fork and poured the coating atop using a ladle. I then put them on a rack where the coating could drip off the cookie to a wax paper sheet below.

Patty’s Points:

1) Lots of steps that takes time and planning and a freezer to accommodate.

2)  Oh my gosh!! Messy!!! The coating was disastrous. I think it would have been better to place the cookies on a rack with wax paper below so that  I wouldn’t have to handle the cookies at all during the pouring of the coating.

3) Yummy! As I anticipated, the combination of almond and chocolate is melt-in-your-mouth wonderful.

4) I wrapped the cookies individually and placed back in the freezer to keep formed. I am afraid that once they come out of the freezer, they will melt easily.

As Sarah herself said, “He who is incapable of feeling strong passions, of being shaken by anger, of living in every sense of the word, will never be a good actor . . .”

Oh Sarah, you are Divine!

One more cookie to go!

11 thoughts on “Cookie Exchange Countdown: Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

  1. Love the history on the Sarah Bernhardt/Resistance connection! I will try to use something like this in my next novel. And you can’t go wrong with cookie exchanges. Enjoy!


  2. Hi Patty-

    I grew up enjoying this cookie every year at Christmas- at $16 a pound, it was deemed a very special treat! As a surprise to my family this Christmas, I hunted down the recipe and will be serving them tomorrow night. It did take 4 practice runs in order to get them perfect. If you do want to try your hand again at these, I wanted to let you know that:

    1. Use the macaroon recipe found most times on the inside label of a can of Almond Paste. If you follow the recipe, I found that doubling the cookie ingredients, just the cookie, works better.

    2. Also, each time I found that the filling came out perfect when only cooled in the fridge for an hour, which is perfect timing in order to make and cool the cookie.

    3. The cookie never melts outside the fridge, only in your mouth 🙂

    I hope your guests enjoyed all your hard work! Merry Christmas!



  3. I am so impressed by your efforts. I think if I had more time I would have made them again to perfect them. They were fabulous and did melt in my mouth. The recipients of all my treats were happy 🙂

    Thanks for the tips. I wonder if the filling was a little thicker if it would’ve helped? mmmmmmmm.

    WOW $16 per pound really!. That really means they are divine.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. Happy baking and cooking wherever you are!


  4. Pingback: Food on Fridays: Sarah! | Two to TÜ

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