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Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Sarah Bernhardt cookies are as multilayered as their namesake, the famed French actress who once starred in the title role of "Hamlet." An almond macaroon base is topped with silken chocolate filling and then covered in melted chocolate, resulting in a truffle-like cookie with a bit of crunch.

  • Yield: Makes about 60
Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2001


For the Filling

  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

For the Cookies

  • 1/4 pound almond paste
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Pinch of salt

For the Coating

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pure vegetable shortening


  1. Make the filling: In a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and simmer until clear, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Place egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer stand fitted with the whisk attachment; with machine on medium, beat in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high, and continue beating until cool and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  2. Reduce speed to medium, and gradually drizzle in cooled chocolate, beating until fully combined; if necessary, stop to scrape down sides of bowl. Refrigerate until firm and cold, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper; set aside

  4. Make the cookies: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine almond paste and sugar; beat until smooth. Add egg white, almond extract, and a pinch of salt; beat to combine. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip (Ateco #11). Pipe 1-inch cookies onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between each cookie.

  5. Bake until firm and golden around edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies may be stored at this stage in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

  6. Place cookies dome-side down on a cooling rack. Place filling in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip (Ateco #11), and pipe a peaked mound onto the flat side of each cookie. Transfer to freezer until very firm, about 1 hour.

  7. Make the coating: In a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Stir in shortening. Cool to barely warm.

  8. Remove cookies from freezer. Working quickly so that the filling doesn't melt, use a chocolate fork to hold cookie above bowl of chocolate, and spoon melted chocolate over cookie. Place filling-side up on cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook's Note

Will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Reviews (10)

  • salovell 25 Jan, 2010

    Baked these in a cookie baking class a few years ago. Wonderful! Our recipe didn't use paste, but used almond flour instead. We made it by putting blanched almonds in food processor until fine. Instead of the shortening, try using Ghiradelli's dipping chocolate or add a little paraffin wax to chocolate. It will set up nice

  • cakeline 25 Jan, 2010

    the best ever, i?Ǭ

  • Niconomicon 24 Jan, 2010

    What could I replace the shortening with?

  • LisaDavis 20 Mar, 2009

    The 'six cups' of chocolate is a typo. I believe it should read 'six ounces'.

  • aQTforever 30 Aug, 2008

    I wish these would turn out the way I thought they were going to. The flavors are nice, but I wouldn't make these again. I'm a good baker

  • RENGIN 29 Aug, 2008


  • Cheryl711 29 Mar, 2008

    These cookies' are over the top! Made them for Christmas and have made them one of my new cookies for my holiday platter and special occasions. A must try and a keeper.

  • dcruey 25 Mar, 2008

    This is great because they are gluten-free! I'm going to give these a try soon.

  • bakerchick 4 Mar, 2008

    These cookies are delicious! I made these as one of the cookies for Christmas as a gift from the MS cookie magazine.. Yummy!

  • mmsrjs 14 Feb, 2008

    I definately want to give these cookies a try, because they do not contain a whale of a lot of sugar. But will have to give many away, as eating 60 cookies in 3 days would be a disaster.

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