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Icelanders beat back the cold, dark days with plenty of oven heat and fresh-baked treats. People take days off of work to prepare for the Þorláksmessa lunch on December 23, which honors Saint Thorlákur (Iceland’s patron saint), and cook for Christmas Eve dinner the following day.
During these festive feasts, the tables overflow with delicious desserts, such as kókosmjölskökur, small chocolate-coconut cookies and vínarterta, a cardamom-scented shortbread cake layered with prune filling.
Marens-kornflexkökur, fluffy, chewy meringues punctuated with dark chocolate and crunchy cornflakes, are particularly popular and, lucky for us, super easy to make. Sweeten your holiday with the following recipe.
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
4 1⁄2 oz. semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
3 cups cornflakes
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 300°. Using an electric hand mixer, beat whites while slowly adding sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in chocolate, cornflakes, and vanilla. Space tablespoon-size amounts of batter 1" apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Saveur.
For more Icelandic tips on how to keep cozy during the coldest months, check out our visit to Reykjavik.