Krembo cookies, beloved store-bought treats from Israel, become even more irresistible when you make them at home, stuffed with chocolate ganache. Are you up to the challenge?

By Oset Babür
Updated February 28, 2020
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I’m of the camp that marshmallows make everything better. There’s the Fluffernutter sandwich (Fluff, in case you were wondering, hails from the wonderful city of Somerville, Massachusetts). There’s crispy marshmallow treats. And then, there’s the krembo. This beloved Israeli confection is easy to spot in grocery stores across the country, but at Boston's Tatte Bakery, pastry chef Tzurit Or, the creator of these gorgeous cinnamon "roses," supercharges the treat. Unlike the store-bought krembos you'd spot in Israeli supermarkets, these DIY krembos have a rich chocolate ganache filling, a hefty sprinkling of cacao nibs, and a delightfully crunchy (and gluten-free) chocolate-coconut cookie. Oh, and they’re a lot bigger—for the better.

Michael Piazza

While this recipe has takes almost half a day to make, there’s also a lot of hidden freedom embedded into various steps of the process: You can chill the dough for up to three days, and the assembled ganache and cookie bases will keep in the freezer up to one whole week. That means this recipe can take anywhere between two days to two weeks, making it ideal for birthday celebrations or graduation parties where you want to take care of as much as possible before the big day.  

1. First, Make a Crunchy Shortbread Dough

The krembo starts out innocuously enough, with a super-simple shortbread dough. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, In a stand mixer, beat your butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then, slowly add in your egg yolks (be sure to save the whites for the marshmallow filling you'll make later) in 3 batches––don’t try to speed this process up, or you’ll end up with a goopy mess. Then add a sifted mix of gluten-free flour, cocoa, unsweetened coconut, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and beat until just combined. Divide the dough into 2 disks and chill, then roll out to about ¼ inch thickness. Then, put your rolled dough in the freezer (parchment paper intact) and keep it there until it’s nice and hardened. Speaking of freezers, you'll be needing quite a bit of real estate in there for trays of dough, ganache, and finished krembos, so now would be a good time to do a little shuffling if you need to.

2. Bake Those Cookies Until Crisp

After you preheat your oven to 325°F, grab your frozen dough and get rid of the top sheet of parchment paper. Using a cookie cutter, cut 18 circles from dough, and arrange them across two baking sheets. If your dough becomes too soft to work with at any point, don’t be afraid to return it to the fridge to firm back up. Once the edges of your cookies are firm to the touch, set them to cool on wire racks. You’ll end up with 36 little cookies. 

Michael Piazza

3. Scoop Chocolate Ganache on the Cookies

Ganache sounds fancy, but this couldn't be easier to make: Just heat chocolate and heavy cream in a medium-size heatproof bowl, which you’ll place over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir often until the mixture is smooth, then remove the bowl from your saucepan (use an oven mitt, here!) and let the mixture cool. Lastly, chill your ganache until it’s hardened but still pliable. Use a 1 1/4-inch scoop (about the size of a melon baller) to scoop your ganache into semicircles, pressing the mounds against the side of a bowl to flatten them ever so slightly. Freeze the ganache balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. You'll take them out of the freezer when you're ready to assemble the krembos.

4. Whip up the Marshmallow

OK, get ready: You'll be doing two things at once in this step. First, you'll beat your reserved egg whites (you'll need 2 extra to make the 10 egg whites the recipe calls for) with sugar over low speed just to combine. As your egg whites beat away in the background, stir together water and more sugar in a small saucepan. When the mixture reaches 200°F on an instant-read thermometer, increase that meringue mixer speed to high (ok, now you can whip!) to bring your egg whites to stiff peaks. The goal is to have the sugar syrup heated to 240°F at the same time egg whites reach stiff peaks, so feel free to tweak the heat on the stove and the speed on your mixer to nail the timing.

Then, while the mixer is still whipping, quickly stream the sugar syrup into the whipped egg whites and beat the heck out of the marshmallow fluff until it cools down to 90°F. This process will take about 15 to 20 minutes, so feel free to start testing the temperature after the first 10 minutes, stopping the mixer first, of course! It’s important to gradually decrease the speed of your mixer to allow the meringue to cool slowly and achieve an elastic texture. Lastly, beat in a little vanilla.

Michael Piazza

5. Place Ganache on Cookies, Then Pipe Concentric Swirls of Marshmallow

Arrange the frozen ganache balls, flattened sides down, on the cookie rounds. Fill a large piping bag with your marshmallow fluff. Pipe a smooth mound over the ganache mound on 1 cookie, completely covering the ganache and ensuring that the marshmallow is sealed down the cookie on all sides. Pipe 2 additional, smaller rounds of marshmallow on top to achieve the traditional, pyramid-esque krembo shape. Freeze your piped krembo cookies until the marshmallow is set, at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Michael Piazza

6. Dip Your Krembos in Chocolate

To make the chocolate shell coating, melt chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water—make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water! Stir until the mixture is nice and smooth, then pour your chocolate mixture into a narrow, deep vessel–– this could be a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or a plastic quart container. Cool at room temperature. Invert and dip your frozen, naked krembos into the bowl of chocolate until chocolate is about 1/2 inch from the cookie base. Quickly remove krembo from chocolate and let the excess drip off, arranging them back on the baking sheets.

Michael Piazza

7. Decorate Krembos with Cacao Nibs

Finally, the krembo-decorating moment you've dreamed of. The special time when you get to sprinkle your krembos with pretty cacao nibs. Chill the krembos for just 30 minutes more as you chill on the couch and congratulate yourself on climbing Mount Krembo. Then take your pick and take a bite—you’ve earned it!