Bohemian Christmas Cookies

These simple Christmas cookies may look ordinary, but they contain an unusual ingredient…hard-boiled egg yolks!

Although I had never heard of it before finding this recipe, using cooked egg yolks in baked goods is a traditional technique used in many parts of Northern Europe (“Bohemian” in the title of the recipe refers to the region of Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic). The cooked egg yolks help prevent too much gluten from forming, keeping the cookies tender and light.

1920s cookie recipe

Bohemian Christmas Cookies:

  • yolks of 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/3 cup softened butter or shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • yolk of 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup flour, plus more for rolling
  • finely chopped blanched almonds
  1. Mash up the yolks of the hard-boiled eggs and push them through a sieve or a ricer. Cream them with the butter or shortening.
  2. Add the sugar to the butter and cream again.
  3. Stir in the uncooked egg yolk, the milk, and the flour. The original recipe doesn’t specify what amount of flour to use; I found that about 1 cup worked well. The dough will be slightly sticky.
  4. Chill the dough for 20-30 minutes before rolling out.
  5. Roll out the dough, cut into small round shapes, brush with beaten egg-white, and sprinkle with the chopped almonds. The original recipe calls for 3 tbsp of almonds; I didn’t measure, but I’m pretty sure I used more than that.
  6. Bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start turning golden-brown. I rolled my cookies fairly thin; thicker cookies would require more time. This made about 60 small cookies.
plate of cookies

Tasting notes:

These are lovely, light little cookies, perfect for enjoying with tea. They are similar to typical sugar cookies, but not quite as sweet. The almonds add a subtle flavor and a nice crunch. If I hadn’t made them, I never would have guessed that they contained hard-boiled egg yolks!

References:

Delineator Home Institute. (1929). New Delineator recipes. [New York?]: Butterick Pub. Co.. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924089587186&view=1up&seq=7

Saffitz, C. (2016, June 5). This ingredient will turn your pastries into bakery-worthy desserts. Bon Appétit. https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/baking-with-hard-boiled-egg-yolk

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