Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Recipe | Gather and Graze

A few weeks ago, I shared with you a recipe for Afghan Biscuits, which I mentioned at the time, ticked all the boxes for biscuit perfection. Now I’d prefer not to retract that statement, as I really did mean it at the time… however, this little delight, the Sarah Bernhardt Cookie has to be the most celebratory, luscious and decadent of all the biscuits/cookies I’ve ever tasted. It ticks all those same boxes for perfection and then quite incredibly ticks a few more! Verging on the sublime, I hope you’ll agree that these are a fine choice for celebrating Gather and Graze’s 2nd Blogiversary, which just happens to be today!

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies were created by a Danish pastry chef in the early 1900’s, to honour the famous French actress. My recipe is a mélange and adaptation of several that I discovered online. The 3 stage procedure will keep you in the kitchen for perhaps longer than you think is appropriate for baking a batch of cookies, but I assure you that it’s worth every minute! The recipe indeed makes A LOT, but I feel that if you’re going to go to the trouble of making these little beauties, it’s far better to make the full quantity and freeze a few dozen cookies to be enjoyed at your whim every now and then… paired most beautifully, in my opinion, with a post-dinner coffee.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 70-80 Little Cookies
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


For the Meringues:

  • 4 Free-Range Egg Whites
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 240g (2 Cups) Icing (Powdered) Sugar (sifted)
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 200g (2 Cups) Ground Almonds

For the Filling:

  • 250g (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 240g (2 Cups) Icing (Powdered) Sugar (sifted)
  • 3 Free-Range Egg Yolks (*See Note below)
  • 1 Tablespoon Espresso Coffee (entirely optional, but oh so recommended!)
  • 1 Tablespoon (Good Quality) Cocoa Powder (sifted)

For the Chocolate Coating:

  • 200g (Good Quality) Dark Chocolate
  • 200g (Good Quality) Milk Chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon Sunflower (or Vegetable) Oil


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking (parchment) paper.

To make the meringues: place the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment) along with a pinch of salt. Whisk until soft peaks, then slowly add the icing sugar. Continue whisking until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. Gently fold in the vanilla and almond extracts as well as the ground almonds. Using a piping bag, pipe small discs of meringue (about 4cm in diameter) onto the lined baking trays.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Gather and Graze

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and crisp on the outside. Allow to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. When all of the meringues are cooked place them in a single layer on plates (or trays) and place into the freezer, while you prepare the filling.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Gather and Graze

To make the filling: place the butter and icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the 3 egg yolks until they have paled in colour and thickened beautifully. Gradually add the whisked egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar, stirring to combine, then fold in the coffee and cocoa powder. Remove one plate of meringues at a time from the freezer and using a small palette knife, top each one with a little dome of the filling. Place the plate back in the freezer when you have finished, repeating with the next plate of meringues.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Gather and Graze

For the chocolate coating: break up the chocolate into small chunks and place into a medium mixing bowl. Melt gently over a double boiler or very carefully in a microwave. When completely melted, stir in the sunflower oil. Allow to cool slightly until warm.

Once again, remove each plate, one by one, from the freezer and dip each cookie (filling-side down) into the melted chocolate. When you have completed each batch, place the completed cookies back onto the plates and into the refrigerator (for at least 10-15 minutes), to allow the chocolate to set.

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Recipe | Gather and Graze

These Sarah Bernhardt Cookies can be kept (in an airtight container) in the fridge for up to 3 days. You may also wish to freeze a portion, to have on hand for another day…

* Important Note: The filling in these cookies contains raw egg yolks. Please ensure that your eggs are the absolute freshest that they can possibly be. You may wish to use pasteurised eggs as a precaution. It is also recommended that young children, pregnant women and the elderly should avoid eating any raw egg whatsoever, due to more serious consequences should they become ill with Salmonella poisoning.


21 thoughts on “Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

  1. Fae's Twist & Tango

    Congratulations, Margo! Sorry for being late to congratulate you for your 2nd blog anniversary!
    I was vacationing for a week, and still banging my head to the wall to make my blog run smoothly. You are a busy lady. Beautiful posts one after another and managing two successful blogs!
    I believe your comments about these Sarah Bernhardt cookies. So much richness in the flavor. I shall make them in the near future and report back to you.

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks so much Fae! Still very, very early days for The Dinner Party Collective, but exciting all the same! I hope you enjoy these little cookies – I’d love to hear your thoughts on them! Cheers, Margot

  2. Stefano

    Hi Margot, sorry I am late to the party: happy second blog-anniversary! 🙂
    I love your cookies, which look and sound fabulous – also in their being dedicated to Sarah Bernhardt!

  3. jothetartqueen

    I think you outdid yourself, Margot. These cookies really do sound and look delicious. Quite a bit of work there too but I think you’re right to say it’s best to make the whole quantity and freeze them. I think they are perfect for an after dinner treat!

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks so very much Jo! We’ve already taken one batch out from the freezer and they still tasted wonderful… which is reassuring to know. My new favourite cookie! 😀

  4. tinywhitecottage

    First of all I love your eloquently written post. I felt like I was in your kitchen for a moment there! The cookies are gorgeous and photographed so well, especially the one with the two sheets waiting to go to the oven. Beautiful post Margot. Lovely cookies.

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Very sweet of you Seana, thank you. I love that photo too… SO many cookies and that was only about half of them! Felt a little crazy, but rather wisely I’ve frozen quite a lot, so that we’re not completely overindulging. 😉

  5. lapetitepaniere

    Congratulations on your second year of blogging and can’t wait to see what year three has to offer 🙂 Another great recipe, these look gorgeous and sublime. I’m for sure going to make these, Margot 😉

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thank you dear Linda! Can’t believe how quickly these past 2 years have flown by! I’m looking forward to my third year too… and our first with TDPC! M.xx

  6. ladyredspecs

    Margot, these sound seriously delicious. You got be with the coffee filling, I know I’d love them. Thanks for sharing, and happy blogging anniversary

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Oh that little mocha hit is really quite lovely Sandra! However it’s subtle enough that the whole family loves them. Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend! M

  7. Kitsch n flavours

    They do look and sound amazing. Is there no way you could cook that filling? I don’t trust the eggs I can buy. And thrilled to see that you’ve written sound advice at end of post. Actually, I’ve forgotten what temp is needed to pasteurise eggs. As I was thinking (not such a good thing) melted butter and actual coffee – I don’t use instant. And wouldn’t the egg yolks thicken that. Hah, I can envisage a mess! And a challenge. 🙂

    Happy, happy 2 years blogging! Here’s to many more.

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      You’re right Johnny, it would be great to come up with a filling that doesn’t require that element of trust in the freshness of the eggs. The eggs I buy are from a great local supplier, who delivers several times a week to our local supermarket and also sells on Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market. From what I can see though, 71.1°C/160°F is the temp you need to get any mixture containing raw eggs up to, to ensure that it will be safe. A couple of recipes I saw used a sugar syrup, which the yolks were then added to… perhaps that’s an option too.
      Thanks for your kind wishes! M

  8. apuginthekitchen

    Wow, Margot those cookies sound amazing. I’ve never heard of them before but every layer is sublime. They really look elegant and would make a delicious end to any meal.

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks so much Suzanne! I froze a couple of dozen of them, but I’m guessing that I’ve had way more than my fair share… they’re just that little bit addictive! :o/


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