My Bubby used to make these cookies for every holiday, family event or gathering. They're like a hybrid bun/cookie: made with a yeasted dough that rises overnight and then rolled out like cinnamon buns, they're filled with a heady mixture of cocoa, cinnamon, sweet meringue and walnuts. The filled dough is then rolled into a log and sliced into cookie-like swirls, and they bake up sweet, puffy, crunchy, and almost marshmallow-y. The combination of the bitter cocoa and smooth, sugary meringue is out of this world. I've yet to find a better holiday cookie and my whole family agrees- these are a classic! —retrochaya
approximately 60 cookies
For the dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons
active dry yeast
fine sea salt
eggs, whites separated and reserved for meringue
Combine the milk, yeast, and one tablespoon sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit, covered, until the yeast is proofed and bubbly, ten minutes.
Add the rest of the sugar, salt and egg yolks to the bowl. Mix well to combine.
Add the melted butter and flour to the bowl and again, mix well to combine. Refrigerate the dough overnight.
The next day, let the dough come to room temperature. Meanwhile, whip the reserved egg whites and the cup of sugar together until stiff, marshmallow-y peaks form.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Divide the dough into four sections. On a floured surface, roll each section into a long rectangle (the exact length doesn’t matter, so long as the dough is rolled thinly, to its capacity.)
Spread each rectangle thickly with meringue, leaving a 1″ border around the sides. Mix the cocoa and cinnamon to combine and divide into four, sprinkling it onto each rectangle, on top of the meringue.
Top each portion of dough with 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts. Then, roll the dough up, starting with the side nearest you, to the side across from you.
You will now have four long, thin logs. Slice each log into 1/2″ sections.
Place the cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake each sheet for approximately 25 minutes, or until the cookies are browned. Let cool and enjoy!