Swiss Meringue Horns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These tender cookies with meringue and nuts almost melt in your mouth. Swiss Meringue Horns are easy to make, but they have several steps which make them seem difficult, but the cookies are worth the effort. The dough is rolled into circles, covered with a sweetened meringue, and sprinkled with chopped nuts. After baking a bit of icing and chopped nuts are spooned on top of the still hot cookies.
Recipe type: Dessert | Shaped Cookies | Meringue Cookies | Filled Cookies
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (or a combination of both)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For Rolling Dough:
  • About 1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons warm milk, plus more if needed (preferably whole milk)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Baking sheets may be ungreased, lined with parchment paper, or lined with a non-stick baking mat.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and yeast; whisk together to mix. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla; stir with a wooden spoon, electric hand mixer, or with your hands until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Divide dough into 10 equal portions, using about ⅓ cup for each portion. Roll each portion into a ball, cover and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  1. Finely chop the nuts either by hand using a sharp kitchen knife, or by pulsing in a food processor. Set aside.
  2. To make meringue: In a large mixing bowl and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar; continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla and continue beating about another minute until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate meringue until ready to use, and keep refrigerated while not using during cookie assembly.
Rolling Dough:
  1. Generously sprinkle a pastry mat or pastry board and rolling pin with some of the powdered sugar.
  1. Remove one of the balls from the refrigerator. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before rolling, if necessary, to soften the dough enough to make rolling easier. Roll the dough ball into an 8 inch circle. Tip: As you are rolling the dough, gently pick the dough up and lightly re-sugar the work surface. Make sure it is not sticking to the board when ready to add the filling or it will make rolling into cookie rolls difficult.
  2. Spoon ¼ cup of the meringue on the circle and spread evenly with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the chopped nuts over the meringue.
  3. Using a sharp kitchen knife, pizza cutter, or pastry cutter, cut the dough into 12 wedges. Tip: The easiest way to cut each piece evenly is to cut the dough as though cutting a pizza. Cut the dough into quarters, and then cut each quarter into thirds.
  4. Starting from the wide end, roll up each wedge. Place the cookie rolls on the cookie sheet with the point underneath.
  5. Bake: Bake for 15 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown and the meringue is a light golden brown. Remove from oven and ice the cookies while still hot.
  1. In a medium bowl, and using an electric mixer or hand mixer, combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Add warm milk in small quantities, start with 2 tablespoons of milk, then when it’s getting close to the right consistency add milk in teaspoonfuls or just drops of milk at a time, until it is the desired consistency; The icing should be like a sour cream or a little thinner.
  2. While cookies are still hot from the oven, spoon about ¼ teaspoon of icing on top of each cookie. Sprinkle about ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon chopped nuts (left over from the filling) on top of icing. Use a metal spatula to carefully transfer the fragile cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool.
  3. Repeat assembly, baking, and icing for remaining dough balls. Tip: Either use fresh parchment paper for each pan of cookies, or clean off the parchment paper, pan, or non stick baking mat between uses, otherwise any meringue, icing, or nuts that are left on the pan will burn when put back into the oven.
Recipe adapted from Redbooks Special It’s Almost Christmas Cookbook, November 1977
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Ungreased or Parchment Lined Oven Temp: 350° Yield: 10 Dozen Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips, Making Meringue

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