Hertzogkoekies – Coconut tarts

Hertzogkoekies (Coconut tarts)

The story goes that this recipe was the favourite of Gnl. JBM Hertzog, South African Boer general and later prime minister.  His supporters would bake Hertzogkoekies (also called Hertzoggies) when he was in town.

Supporters of his political rival, Gnl. Jan Smuts would have none of this and would bake Smuts’ favourite, called Smutskoekies.

As far as I know the biggest difference between the two recipes is the coconut in the meringue topping.  Of the two, Hertzogkoekies is my favourite.


400 g (750 ml) cake flour
10 ml baking powder
1 ml salt
250 g butter at room temperature
200 g (250 ml) sugar
2 eggs, beaten

2 egg whites
62 ml (5 Tbsp) castor sugar (the finer every day sugar in Canada will be OK)
187 ml (3/4 cup) fine coconut
apricot jam
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 – 425 degrees F).
  2. To make the crust, sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
  3. Rub the butter with finger tips into this mixture until it resembles bread crumbs.
  4. Add sugar and mix.
  5. Add the 2 eggs and mix into a stiff dough.
  6. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a thickness of about 3 mm .
  7. Cut circles , about 8 cm in diameter with a cookie cutter.
  8. Line the centre of greased patty pans (shallower than muffin pans).

To make the filling:

  1. Sift sugar and baking powder together.
  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold the sugar mixture and coconut in turn into the egg whites.
  3. Add 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) apricot jam in the centre of each little tart.
  4. Add 12.5 ml (1 tbsp) of the egg meringue mixture on top of the jam.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

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