It takes some time to prepare but the efforts are well worth it. Usually, labor-intensive recipes are left for special occasions like Christmas, Easter and weddings, and such is the case here. When prepared right, these cookies look exactly like small, ripe peaches. And when you cut into them, the cocoa filling looks like the space where the stone would be. Gorgeous!
Makes about 2 dozen Croatian Peach-Shaped Cookies - Breskvice
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 4 ounces (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons peach brandy (optional)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 1/2 cups pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cocoa
- 2 teaspoons dark rum or rum extract
- 2 cups peach or apricot jam
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups ground (not chopped) walnuts
- 1/4 cup water
- Red food coloring
- 1/4 cup peach brandy
- Yellow food coloring
- 1/2 cup coarse white sugar
- In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, confectioners' sugar and vanilla sugar, until frothy. Beat in the softened butter, brandy, if using, and lemon juice, until smooth and thoroughly combined.
- In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir 1/4 of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remaining whites, trying not to deflate them.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Sift it over the batter in three additions, carefully folding it in after each addition, being careful not to deflate the volume. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Using your hands, take about 1 teaspoon batter and roll into a ball. Place balls 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes until only very light golden in color. Do not overbake. Allow to cool completely.
- With a sharp paring knife, cut a circle on the bottom of each cookie, being careful not to poke through the other side, and scoop out the insides, saving the crumbs in a separate bowl to make the filling.
- To make the filling: Put the cookie crumbs in a food processor. Add the cocoa, rum, jam and 1 tablespoon milk. Process until well mixed. Transfer to a medium bowl and thoroughly mix in the walnuts and remaining 1 tablespoon milk, if necessary. The filling should be moist.
- Fill each cavity of the cookie. Take two cookies and sandwich them together. Repeat with remaining cookies.
- Place 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and add 2 drops red food coloring, mixing well. Place 1/4 cup peach brandy in another small bowl and add 2 drops yellow food coloring, mixing well. Place 1/2 cup sugar in another small bowl.
- Take one cookie and quickly dip it halfway into the red food coloring bowl. Then dip the other half quickly into the yellow food coloring bowl. Roll cookie in sugar. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan to dry completely before storing in an airtight container.