Michele is a lifelong cook and baker with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Baking and Pastry.
From Concept to Reality
These cookies moved from concept to recipe to reality very quickly. I was already working on a recipe for my version of tiramisu cookies when I decided to add Bienenstich cookies as an additional experiment. The Bienenstich cookie base does not contain yeast, but the resulting cookie does indeed capture the essence of a traditional German Bienenstich cake.
Step 1: Make the Ganache Filling
It's best to stop at step 6 and keep the ganache under refrigeration until your baked cookie base is cooling. Remove from refrigerator at that point and then whip after cookies have completely cooled.
To make the ganache filling, you can use a bain-marie if you like. I made this one using a 1200-watt microwave.
- 11 to 12 oz. white chocolate (chips or bars)
- 3 oz. heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, cubed
- Pour the heavy cream into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30-45 seconds.
- Add the white chocolate chips, stir a bit, and then set aside for a few minutes. After the wait, continue mixing. Microwave another 10 seconds if necessary to make sure chips are melting. If it seems grainy, add more cream in small increments until it is smooth (you might need to heat it once or twice more with the microwave).
- Once the chips are completely melted and starting to look glossy, add in the butter a couple of cubes at a time and stir until well incorporated. It's okay to heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds if needed.
- Add vanilla and honey. Stir until well combined.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the ganache and put it in the refrigerator until cooled and thickened. You can also make this a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.
- Take the ganache out of the fridge and let rest on the countertop for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Using a spoon, stir the ganache and scrape the sides to make it easier for the mixer. If you have a stand mixer, just scrape it into the stand mixer's bowl.
- Whip the ganache until light and fluffy.
Step 2: Make the Topping
- 3 Tbsps. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsps. honey
- 2 Tbsps. confectioner's sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup of sliced almonds
- Cooking oil or oil spray (as needed)
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- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare silicone cupcake baking cups or muffin tins by either spraying them with cooking spray or brushing cooking oil into each cup. The topping will be bubbly during baking, so it's best to coat the entire interior of each cup.
- Put butter and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted.
- Add confectioner's sugar and salt, stir until smooth.
- Stir in almonds until well-coated. Remove from heat.
- Add some of the mixture to each baking cup, evenly divided. You won't need a lot in each cup because they don't need to be really thick. (See helpful tips at the bottom of this recipe.)
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely, or place in fridge to cool. (Leave the topping in the baking cups (or muffin tins) until ready to use.)
Silicon Baking Cups
Step 3: Make the Base
This recipe will make approximately 4 dozen cookies.
- 1 cup granulated sugar (I use Zulca Pure Cane Sugar)
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup honey
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- Melt shortening, honey, and sugar together in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Pour into your mixing bowl and set aside to cool until the temperature is low enough to safely incorporate eggs (below 135°F is ideal).
- While your mixture is cooling, sift flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
- When your liquid mixture is cool enough, incorporate eggs, add vanilla, and mix well.
- Add flour in 3 increments. Mix until incorporated.
- Cover mixing bowl and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.
- At the end of refrigeration time, remove cookies from the refrigerator and set aside.
- Set oven to 350°F.
- Prepare cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- Using a medium scoop, (I used 1.5 Tbsp. scoop for these cookies), place scoops of cookie dough about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. (My oven runs warm, so I opted for the shorter baking time. You know your oven, so adjust accordingly).
- Remove cookies from oven, allow to rest for 5-8 minutes before removing from cookie sheet and placing on racks (or plates) to finish cooling. Cookies must be completely cool before final assembly.
Norpro Cookie Scoops
Step 4: Assemble the Cookies
- Assemble all three elements: base, ganache, and topping.
- Using a piping bag (with or without a decorator tip), a small offset spatula, or a butter knife, spread 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsps. of whipped honey ganache onto cookie base. (The amount is really up to you, if you want more or less, go for it.)
- Place almond disk on top of filling.
- Repeat as needed.
- You might have a few leftover cookies. I had about eight left over. They freeze well, but they are also very tasty as they are, so you decide. I also had about 1/2 a cup of ganache left over, but that also freezes well. Hang onto it for next time or add it to your next batch of ganache for extra flavor.
- The Recipe: I have made this recipe exactly one time. There may be some minor adjustments that I missed, so bear with me, and please let me know immediately if you have any issues and I will do what I can to help you get them resolved.
- If You Use Muffin Tins: If you don't have silicone baking cups and are using muffin tins, keep an eye on them. I had to use some metal tart cups for the remainder of the topping because I ran out of silicone cups. The topping in the metal tart cups got darker much faster than the silicone baking cups, so keep an eye on your topping and lean towards a the shorter cooking time if you're using muffin tins.
- Silicone Baking Cups: I used muffin tins to hold the baking cups. A cookie sheet should work fine too.
- Cookie Scoop Info: If you use the 1.5 Tbsps. cookie scoop, using standard-sized muffin tins or silicon cupcake cups, the size is almost a perfect match for the size of the cookie base, resulting in great uniformity. I can't speak for other scoop sizes or using two spoons for dough, but I will experiment with different sizes in the future and adjust this recipe after I have the results.
- Ganache: I always err on the side of caution with the chocolate to cream ratio for ganache. It's always better to make it a little thicker than thinner because it's a lot easier to add cream to it in small increments than it is to add more chocolate.
- Topping: The topping is not rock hard as long as you follow the baking instructions. When you bite into this cookie, you should be able to bite through the topping with ease, and reach the decadent filling, which will titillate your taste buds until you reach the cookie base and your bite is completed. If this is not the case, please send me a message immediately!
© 2021 Michele Frazier