The holiday season is really close, and the cookie platter are starting to be prepared. These are just one of many possibilities you have to adorn your cookie platter this year. Or make them any day, for that matter, when you wish to have a quick sweet snack.
I really do love how quickly they come together. Take the eggs out while you prepare the ingredients, turn on the oven when you start to mix, and you can have a sweet treat in under 30 minutes. They are so fudgy, almost like little brownie bites, but they have no flour, so they can easily be made gluten-free.
In addition, if you like, you can use gold leaf sheets to adorn the cookies, instead of the lustre dust. If you do use the gold leaf, I recommend decorating cookies in smaller segments, rather than covering the entire surface.
For the cookies
50 grams high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
150 grams icing sugar
3 medium egg whites, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon peppermint flavouring
50 grams real white chocolate, grated
For the decoration
¾ teaspoon gold lustre dust
¾ teaspoon Vodka
Sift together the unsweetened cocoa powder with the icing sugar twice, then set it aside. Take a large bowl (metal or glass works best), add in the room temperature egg whites, and beat with an electric mixer on high until frothy. Add in the vanilla and peppermint flavourings, and continue mixing on high until stiff peaks form. The meringue should look glossy, not dry, but be stable. Add in the sifted dry ingredients, and start folding them through very gently. About half-way through the folding process, add in the grated white chocolate, and fold everything together. The point is to mix the ingredients, without deflating the meringue.
Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle, and pipe 20 little mounds on a large baking sheet covered with baking paper. Since they do not have any leavening agents, the cookies should not spread very much, so there is no need to space them too far apart. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F), for about 12-15 minutes. They will be still soft when you take them out of the oven, so let them set up on the baking sheet, for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely, or serve them still warm.
Once the cookies have cooled down, make a thin paste out of the gold lustre dust and cold Vodka (adjust the amount of Vodka to get a consistency you are comfortable working with). Using a fluffy brush, take a small amount of the golden paste and gently brush over the entire surface of the cookies. Do not douse them too much with the paste, as they can become soggy.Baker’s note: If you are using gold leaf, be careful with it, because it sticks quite quickly to any surface, so use a toothpick or a pair of tweezers to transfer it to the cookie.