Last month I took part in The Sweet Swap – a sweat treats exchange between Australian food bloggers. It was beautifully organised by Sara and Amanda and was a great way to interact with the fellow bloggers.
I had couple of failed attempts on making my treats, pressure was high and time was running out. Then a couple of days before the deadline I decided to start I quit sugar program (I picked the least convenient moment to do it!). I had to make the decision – if I failed creating my first two “great” ideas, I have to do something that I know will taste great. And finally I went with something that my Grandma was making for special family occasions – she called it Słoneczka in Polish, which is a diminutive of the word sun. It takes a lot of time to make, bake and assemble them, that’s probably why she wasn’t making them too often.
Słoneczka are sandwich butter biscuits with a walnut-vanilla filling, baked icing on top and coated in coconut around. I couldn’t force the icing to stay on top like it was perfectly done on Grandma’s cookies and they didn’t look as perfect as I wanted them to look (“rustic” sounds better than “not perfect”, right?).
Here’s the recipe:
- 3 cups plain flour
- 250g butter (unsalted)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- pinch of salt
- 3 egg whites
- 250g icing sugar
- 6 tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 250g walnuts (ground)
- 200g butter
- vanilla beans of 1 vanilla pod
- 50ml vanilla essence or 50ml rum
- cup of shredded coconut to coat
- Biscuits: Mix flour and butter in a food processor. Add egg yolks, sour cream and salt and process until dough comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Shape into a ball, wrap in foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
- When ready, roll out the dough to about 0.5cm thick and cut out circles (about 4-5cm diameter). Brush each circle with the icing and bake in 165C/fan forced (185C traditional) for 15 minutes.
- Icing: Combine egg whites with icing sugar and mix well.
- Filling: Heat milk close to the boiling point, add sugar and the ground walnuts. Take of the heat and leave to cool. Beat the butter with vanilla beans in your electric mixer until fluffy and slowly add the milk with walnuts. Add vanilla essence/rum at the end and fold it in.
- Assembling: put a teaspoon of the filling on a baked biscuit (on the INside = no icing sugar side) and sandwich with another biscuit. Using a knife or small spatula coat the sides with the filling cream and then roll in the coconut. Be careful not to crack the baked icing.
- They can be stored up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
My matches, to whom I’ve sent the cookies, were:
And then the treats I received and (sadly) had to share them with others 😉
– Perfect choc-almond snickers bars from Phuoc. My husband smashed them in one evening.
– Beautiful, delicate coconut + currant + orange balls from Chanel. I shared them in the office and they disappeared in 2 minutes, instant hit!
– Espresso fudge from Alex. Wow, they smelled so good I barely contained myself from eating them. Again, it made my collegues very happy.