Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Mrs. Sulzbacher’s Chocolate Hearts

Posted by bakinghistory on February 15, 2008

chocolate-hearts-1.jpg
Airy and light, these chocolate meringue cookies are nothing less than excellent.
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A heart for your Valentine This is my entry for Zorra’s A heart for your Valentine blog event. These wonderful meringue cookies are featherlight and chocolatey and incredibly good. Really wonderful!

The recipe is rather simple but it is important to follow the instructions to the letter or results can go quickly from heavenly to disastrous.

From the original recipe by Amelia Sulzbacher

In: The Good Housekeeping Woman’s Home Cook Book”, c1909—USA

Ingredients

3 oz. (3 squares, 85 g) unsweetened chocolate

1 lb. (454 g) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract

3 egg whites (or as needed), slightly beaten

granulated sugar as needed

The egg whites must NOT be added all at once, but little by little or the dough will be too soft and the recipe will fail.

Melt the chocolate over hot water then add it to the confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer.Using the flat beater attachment mix briefly on the lowest speed, adding the vanilla. The mixture will be lumpy and most of the sugar will not be incorporated. Add the egg white 1 tbsp at a time, mixing on the lowest speed. You won’t probably need all of the amount indicated. The dough is ready when it is stiff and holds together when you work it by hand. The final consistency should be like play-dough.

choclate-hearts-dough.jpg (click on the thumbnail to enlarge)

Keep the dough in a bowl covered with a plate–plastic wrap does not work well—the dough tends to dry if left exposed to the air even for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). If the temperature is higher, the cookies will puff up too fast and loose their shape.

Sprinkle a very generous layer of granulated sugar on a board and take an orange-size piece of dough, leaving the rest covered. Work the portion of dough briefly between the palms of your hands, then place it onto the sugar covered surface and roll it 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick (not thicker). Flip the flattened dough a couple of times while rolling it so that both sides are well covered with sugar.chocolate-hearts-rolled.jpg (click on the thumbnail to enlarge)

Form the cookies with heart shaped cookie-cutters and place the cookies on a very lightly greased baking sheet. The dough scraps cannot be kneaded again because of the granulated sugar, so try to minimize the spaces between cookies while you shape them. The scraps can be baked as well and will make cookies as delicious as the rest, albeit of less perfect shapes.

Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, they will puff up a little and dry like meringues. When they are ready switch off the oven leave them in the oven for a few more minutes to ensure they are really dry.

Cool the cookies on racks and store in airtight containers.

Note: these quantities will yield approximately 4 baking sheets of cookies. You can halve the recipe, but they are so good it would be a pity to bake a smaller quantity.

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9 Responses to “Mrs. Sulzbacher’s Chocolate Hearts”

  1. zorra said

    Yummy, I will bake these cookies soon.

    Thank you for your participation, I hope you had a happy Valentine’s Day.

  2. bakinghistory said

    @ Zorra: Thank you for hosting a great event, as always!!

  3. Always tough working with meringue, but you got beautiful results. The little hearts look charming!

  4. bakinghistory said

    @ T.W.: thanks! the only difficulty in making these cookies is using too much egg white at once, making the dough too sticky. Otherwise, they are are easy.

  5. bakinghistory said

    @ T.W.: thanks! the only difficulty in making these cookies is using too much egg white at once, making the dough too sticky. Otherwise, they are are easy.

  6. Eva said

    These look so cute! Seems like a guiltless indulgence, too, with no butter involved. One more reason to make the full recipe, I guess..;-)

  7. bakinghistory said

    @ Eva: Hi!Thanks for stopping by :-) . True, that these cookies are virtually fat-free is one more reason to make a full batch.

  8. Melissa L. said

    They look, as you say, nothing less than excellent! I will definitely give these a try – thank you for your post! Very nicely done :)

  9. bakinghistory said

    @ Melissa: Thank you! I hope you like them—let me know! :-)

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