Meringue Shell Cookies (Rakushki) – Video

Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. These walnut meringue cookies are completely irresistible Christmas cookies! | natashaskitchen.com

Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. Rakushki is the Russian word for “shells” and they do look like little shells with a treasure inside – the walnuts! These meringue cookies are lightly sweet and made perfect with a dusting of powdered sugar which makes them look and taste irresistible.

Each walnut meringue cookie is hand crafted so no two are exactly the same. These are charming and completely worth making. They take a little time because it turns out a big batch (60 cookies!), but the process is easy and therapeutic. Don’t let the number of cookies scare you off because they disappear quickly and are perfect for holiday gifting and munching (plus you can make them a few days ahead).

This is a treasure of a recipe and it comes from Tanya M., a friend from church who is known for these tasty cookies. Thanks Tanya!!

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Watch How to Make Meringue Shell Cookies:


I’m confident these will become a new favorite cookie for many of you. They are that good! If you make these for Christmas, tag me on Instagram or Facebook to let me know. I would love to see all your pretty cookies.

Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. These walnut meringue cookies are completely irresistible Christmas cookies! | natashaskitchen.com

Ingredients for Shell Cookie Dough:

1 cup (16 Tbsp or 226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (315 grams) *measured correctly

For the Meringue Cookie Filling:

3 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces (3 pieces per cookie)

*To measure flour correctly, spoon flour into a dry ingredients measuring cup and level off the top with the blunt edge of knife.

*Watch our easy video tutorial on how to measure correctly

How to Make Cookie Dough:

Prep: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line a 3/4 baking sheet with parchment (or use 2 regular baking sheets)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together: 16 Tbsp butter, 3 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sour cream and mix medium/low speed just until combined. It won’t be smooth and that’s ok.

2. Add 2 cups flour and add the last 1/2 cup slowly just until the dough is no longer sticking to your fingertips. When dough is ready, turn it out onto floured work surface then wash and dry your mixing bowl and make your meringue.

How to Make Meringue Cookie Filling:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat 3 room temperature egg whites on high speed 1 minute until thick and foamy. With the mixer on, slowly and gradually add 3/4 cup sugar. Once the sugar is all in, continue beating on high speed for 5 minutes or until the meringue forms stiff peaks when you slowly pull up the whisk.

Tanya’s tip: When you insert and push a spoon through the meringue, it should feel firm.

How to Assemble Meringue Shell Cookies:

1. While meringue is mixing, divide cookie dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a log. Cut each log into 15 equal pieces and roll them into balls between your hands. Roll each ball with a rolling pin into a 2″ diameter circle.

2. Dollop a teaspoon of meringue into the center of each rolled cookie then fold the cookie in half and in half again then lay it on it’s side on the lined baking sheet. Space cookies at least 1/2″ apart.

3. Stuff 3 walnut pieces into the meringue of each cookie then bake at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before dusting with powdered sugar.

Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. These walnut meringue cookies are completely irresistible Christmas cookies! | natashaskitchen.com

Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. These walnut meringue cookies are completely irresistible Christmas cookies! | natashaskitchen.com

Meringue shell cookies are so magical and pretty this time of year! Looking for more Christmas cookie ideas? Find all of our favorite cookies here. 

Meringue Shell Cookies (Rakushki)

5 from 21 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. These walnut meringue cookies are completely irresistible Christmas cookies! | natashaskitchen.com
Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. These cookies are lightly sweet and made perfect with a dusting of powdered sugar which makes them look and taste irresistible.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $8-$10
Calories: 82 kcal
Servings: 60 shell cookies

Ingredients

For The Shell Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (16 Tbsp or 226 grams)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 egg yolks room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 315 grams *measured correctly

For the Meringue Cookie Filling:

  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces 3 pieces per cookie

Instructions

How to Make the Cookie Dough:

  1. !Prep: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line a 3/4 baking sheet with parchment (or 2 regular half sheets)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add: 16 Tbsp butter, 3 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sour cream and mix medium/low speed just until combined. It won't be smooth.
  3. Add 2 cups flour and add the last 1/2 cup slowly just until dough is no longer sticking to clean fingertips. When dough is ready, turn it out onto floured work surface then wash and dry your mixing bowl and make your meringue:

How to Make Meringue Cookie Filling:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat 3 room temperature egg whites on high speed 1 minute until thick and foamy. With the mixer on, slowly and gradually add 3/4 cup sugar. Once sugar is all in, continue beating on high for 5 min or until the meringue forms stiff peaks.

How to Assemble Meringue Shell Cookies:

  1. While meringue is mixing, divide cookie dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a log. Cut each log into 15 equal pieces and roll them into balls between your hands. Roll each ball with a rolling pin into a 2" diameter circle.
  2. Dollop a teaspoon of meringue into the center of each round then fold the cookie n half and in half again and lay it on it's side on the lined baking sheet. Space cookies at least 1/2" apart.
  3. Stuff 3 walnut pieces into the meringue of each cookie then bake at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool to room temp before dusting with powdered sugar.

Recipe Notes

*To measure flour correctly, spoon flour into a dry ingredients measuring cup and level off the top with the blunt edge of knife.
**Nutrition label shows values per cookie (1 batch makes 60 cookies)

Nutrition Facts
Meringue Shell Cookies (Rakushki)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 82 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Potassium 25mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Sugars 2g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2.4%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 0.8%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

We had our Christmas music going making these with the “help” of my 2 1/2 year old. She was so eager to roll some of that dough. Her cookies didn’t resemble shells, but everyone starts somewhere lol.

Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. These walnut meringue cookies are completely irresistible Christmas cookies! | natashaskitchen.com

Do you have any Christmas traditions that happen every year? I’d love to hear all about it in a comment below!

P.S. If you’re up for trying something new, these meringue cookies won’t disappoint. Have a beautiful Christmas season, my friends.

Loads of Love,

Natasha

Meringue Shell Cookies have a crisp ribbon of meringue and soft crumbly center. These walnut meringue cookies are completely irresistible Christmas cookies! | natashaskitchen.com

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Yelena Lepekhin
    July 10, 2018

    I’ve made these again and again and for weddings, parties, holidays, etc. These are a real crowd pleaser and so easy to make and OH SO DELICIOUS 😋! Love this recipe and in general all of Natasha’s Kitchen !!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 10, 2018

      Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Ana-Maria Roata
    June 30, 2018

    These cookies were delicious!
    I think that this recipe might be easier to get away with any minor mistakes. I loved the flaky crust so much! Also I found that adding other toppings, besides walnuts, work just as well. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 30, 2018

      That’s so great! Thank you for sharing that with us, Ana-Maria! Reply

  • Oxy
    June 15, 2018

    Will these cookies turn out good without sour cream?? And butter substitue with non dairy butter Reply

    • Natasha
      June 15, 2018

      HI Oxy, I honestly haven’t tried those substitutions so it is difficult to guess. Since baking is so much of a science, I would have to try it before I could make a recommendation like that. If you experiment, let me know how it goes! Reply

  • Patricia
    May 31, 2018

    Hi Natasha,

    that looks so yummi. I am really looking forward to try this recipe. I also do have a foodblog called uhiesig (www.uhiesig.de) where I present a lot of international food. You blog is a real inspiration for russian/ukrain recipes.

    Keep on doing this awesome job and all the best.

    Greetings from Germany,
    Patricia Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 31, 2018

      Hello Patricia! I hope you enjoy the recipe, please let me know what you think. Thanks for following and sharing your encouraging comments! Reply

  • Zory
    April 16, 2018

    One of the best cookies i have ever made/had. WOW. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 16, 2018

      Awesome, I’m so glad to hear that Zory! Thanks for sharing your excellent review! Reply

  • Ania
    March 1, 2018

    Natasha,
    What do you think about using this dough to make rogaliki? I made your cookies and they were delicious but so much work when it came to rolling them out and stuffing them with merengue. I really liked the pastry, though… So may rolling it out like a pizza and stuffing them with poppy seeds with walnuts or guava and cheese? I think it would work great… what do you think? Ps. I love your dessert recipes… I made maybe 8 of your cakes so far… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 1, 2018

      Hi Ania, that could work but I haven’t tested those recipes with this dough. I do love this dough also! 🙂 I think it’s worth experimenting! Reply

  • Christine
    February 21, 2018

    What is the best way to store these cookies? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 21, 2018

      Hi Christine, once they are all finished and powdered with sugar, keep them at room temperature for 2-3 days. They still taste good up to 5 days later but the meringue doesn’t stay crispy that long. Keep them away from humidity and do not refrigerate or freeze since the humidity in the freezer will soften the meringue. Reply

  • Lyuba
    February 5, 2018

    So good! Reply

  • Cristina
    January 18, 2018

    I love all your recipes…keep them coming! Thank you for sharing them with us. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 18, 2018

      My pleasure, I’m happy to hear how much you’re enjoying the recipes Cristina! Thanks for following! Reply

  • Vera
    January 17, 2018

    I’m absolutely in love with these cookies! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 17, 2018

      I’m glad you enjoy them so much Vera! Thanks for sharing! Reply

  • Diala
    January 15, 2018

    Hi Natasha,
    Thank you so much for this yummy recipe but just wondering whether I can make it with less butter? because I found it heavy for me but other than that it was so good 😊 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 15, 2018

      Hi Diala, I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies! I haven’t experimented with these any other way. The butter helps to make the dough that perfect crumbly consistency. Reply

  • orkid
    January 2, 2018

    Its very delicious. thank you for recipe natasha .love you. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 2, 2018

      My pleasure! I’m glad you love the recipe. Thanks for sharing! Reply

  • Betty
    December 29, 2017

    Natasha- can these cookies be frozen? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 29, 2017

      Hi Betty, I would not try freezing them since they have meringue which will soften and become gooey in a moist environment. Reply

  • Dina
    December 26, 2017

    Just made these with my kids and we loved them. Thanks for another great recipe. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 26, 2017

      You’re welcome Dina! I’m glad to hear your family enjoys the recipe. Thanks for sharing! Reply

  • Alona
    December 22, 2017

    Hi, Natasha, can you please write the temperature also in celcius degrees, I’m from Israel and I love 💕 your recipes a lot but I don’t have fahrenheit oven Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 23, 2017

      Hi Alona, that is a great suggestion but the only reason I don’t do that is so readers don’t get the two mixed up which could cause disastrous results, so I keep everything in Farenheight. Google has a quick and easy conversion tool when you type “farenheight to celcius” in the google search bar. Reply

  • Tetyana Synyuk
    December 22, 2017

    Hi Natasha can I make this cookies ahead of time for example on Friday for Sunday? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 22, 2017

      Yes, that’s totally fine 😬. Have a very Merry Christmas! Reply

  • Ina
    December 22, 2017

    Hi Natasha, will it work if I roll out a sheet of dough and then use a cookie cutter instead of rolling out each individual cookie? Thanks, Ina Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 22, 2017

      Hi Ina, I think that would work great! 🙂 Just make sure it is about the same sized ring – these tend to unfold and inflate too large in the oven when they are over-sized (I’ve tried!) ;). Reply

  • Alina Markevych
    December 21, 2017

    Hi! Do you think I could use pecans instead?? 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2017

      Hi Alina, I have tried pecans and they get a little too brown in the oven. They still taste great in there though and powdered sugar covers everything in the end so if what you have is pecans, it will work Reply

  • Jane
    December 21, 2017

    I would like to make these this weekend. Do you think I could substitute plain yogurt for the sour cream? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2017

      Hi Jane, I haven’t tried that substitution but if I were to experiment, I would try a plain Greek yogurt since it is most similar in flavor and consistency to sour cream. Reply

  • Veronika
    December 21, 2017

    Just made these cookies with my girls and they came out delicious. (Although my kids did struggle a bit with the rolling part at first, but nothing a little extra powdered sugar can’t hid)
    ***we tweaked half by adding a few pieces of broken peppermint candy canes, in order to add some holiday flavor and the where AMAZING!!!***
    The ones with walnuts where on point as well. Thanks Natasha! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 21, 2017

      You’re welcome Veronika! I’m happy to hear your family enjoys the recipe! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review and Merry Christmas! Reply

  • Natalia A Barokha
    December 21, 2017

    I have been making these for years, and i can probably eat the entire portion myself, they are that delicious. A trick to perfect the recipe it is to pinch the sides that way the the meringuie doesnt drip out on the baking dish, and it gives it more of a shell look. I partially twist the dough similiar to pelemini. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 21, 2017

      I’m glad to hear you enjoy the recipe Natalia! Thanks for sharing your helpful review with other readers! Reply

  • Victoria Wolford
    December 21, 2017

    These look great and I appreciate reading the comments of those who have tried them. I’m going to try them for Christmas. But …. I don’t need 60. Do you think it’d work if I halve or quarter the recipe? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2017

      Hi Victoria, I think it would still work to make half of the recipe. I would do 2/3 (2 egg whites) for the filling for simplicity 🙂 Reply

  • Balogh Lajosné
    December 20, 2017

    Csodálatosak ezek a sütik, de nem kell bele sütőpor, vagy szódabikarbóna? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2017

      These cookies don’t need baking soda nor baking powder. I hope you’ll give them a try 😬 Reply

      • Balogh Lajosné
        December 21, 2017

        Köszönöm szépen a gyors választ! Kellemes Karácsonyi Ünnepeket kivánok! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          December 22, 2017

          Merry Christmas to you as well 😬 Reply

  • Kseniya
    December 20, 2017

    These are so good. Mine weren’t as pretty as yours but they were absolutely delicious. Thank you for this amazing recipe! I like how they are not too sweet. Oh and mine took about 20 minutes in the oven but my oven is kind of small. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 20, 2017

      I’m glad to hear the recipe is a success! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers! Reply

  • December 19, 2017

    Hi Natasha made the meringue cookies I couldn’t resist I ate 3 cookies these cookies are additive and delicious can’t wait for the family to try them,thanks for sharing. Susan in Cedar Creek, Tx. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 19, 2017

      You’re welcome Susan! I’m glad you enjoy the recipe as much as I do…. I hope your family does too. Thanks for sharing your review’ Reply

  • Tiny
    December 19, 2017

    I made these a couple days ago and they are so so addicting. It took 28 min to bake in my oven. You gotta add the big chunks of nuts, so good, and they toast so nice in the oven.. made a few without nuts but they weren’t as pretty.. the kids ate them tho..my husband ate 10 when they came out of them oven. Yup they are that good.. will make again.. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 19, 2017

      I’m glad to hear your family enjoys the recipe as much as mine does! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review! Reply

  • Lauri
    December 19, 2017

    I made these and they are tasty. The cooking time is way off, though.25-30 min. is too long.At 20 min. they tasted almost burnt.Th meringue was brown.15 min. is more like it.(my oven cooks a bit low too).I also think next time I will try my Air bake cookie sheets. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 19, 2017

      Hi Lauri, if they baked that quickly for you, I’m wondering if you were using a convection oven? Convection does bake considerably faster than conventional since the air is circulating. Reply

  • Cristina
    December 18, 2017

    Such a great recipe! That dough is absolutely gorgeous. The cookies are incredible delicate. I’m in awww after eating every one lol. Thank you so much. I was wondering if I could use the dough as pastry in tarts. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 19, 2017

      Hi Cristina, I haven’t tried that but I think it would be worth an experiment! If you try it, let me know how it works out 🙂 Reply

  • Beth Yodis
    December 18, 2017

    Beautiful! I was looking for something unique to add to my Christmas cookie list! This looks like it’ll be very tasty too! I’ll let you know how it goes! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 18, 2017

      I hope you love them! Please do let me know what you think Beth! Reply

  • Liliana
    December 17, 2017

    These cookies are so delicious! They also look very pretty and dainty with meringue and walnuts inside. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 18, 2017

      I’m glad you enjoy the recipe Liliana! Thanks for sharing your great review! Reply

  • Roux
    December 17, 2017

    Thank u natasha for great reverie, made today turn so good, big thanks! God bless! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 18, 2017

      You’re welcome Roux! I’m glad to hear you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing! Reply

  • Melissa C
    December 17, 2017

    Amazing recipe!👍 Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 18, 2017

      Thanks Melissa! I’m glad you like it! 🙂 Reply

  • Lavinia
    December 17, 2017

    I just made them and I actually toasted the nuts in the oven first and crushed them, and added them to the meringue:) Also added some vanilla sugar to the dough and the filling. The toasted nuts give it such amazing flavor. Thanks so much for this recipe! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 18, 2017

      You’re welcome Lavinia! I’m glad to hear the recipe is a success! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers! Reply

  • Rosie
    December 17, 2017

    Another great and easy recipe, Natasha! The dough is reminiscent of my mother in law’s Polish Kieflies. I love that nutty, buttery aroma in the kitchen. (These are waaay less labor intensive than Kieflies) This may be a new family tradition for my husband and I to make these every holiday season. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 18, 2017

      I’m so glad to hear how much you enjoy the recipe Rosie! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review with other readers! Reply

  • Larisa
    December 17, 2017

    Greetings, Natasha and all the readers !
    Made these cookies last night …. by the end of the baking process I started regretting for not making the Finnish meringue cookies … these cookies took me over 2 hrs to get done… but they definitely taste differently from the Finnish meringue cookies and are very delicious and beautiful… the dough is perfect ! I thought I wasn’t going to make them anymore last night but after I tasted them I think I’ll make them again:-)
    Maybe I’ll try rolling out a big sheet of dough and cut out with a round cookie cutter instead of rolling each cookie individually next time. These cookies are definitely a fancy and delicious addition to my cookie collection. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 17, 2017

      I’m so glad you loved the cookies!! They do take some time since it turns out a big batch (60 cookies!!). 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Reply

  • Ruth
    December 17, 2017

    Hi Natasha,

    Can i use Pecans instead of Walnuts? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 17, 2017

      Hi Ruth, I have tried that and they get a little too brown in the oven. They still taste great in there though and powdered sugar covers everything in the end so if what you have is pecans, it will work 🙂 Reply

  • Nicole
    December 16, 2017

    Would I still be able to make these without a stand mixer? Thanks Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 17, 2017

      Hi Nicole, yes it would work with a hand mixer, but you will probably need to mix with a stiff mixing spoon towards the end of the cookie dough since it will be too thick for the egg beater attachment on a hand mixer. Also, for the meringue, follow the same process (beat egg whites first 1 minute then gradually and slowly add sugar) and you may need to beat the whites a little longer since an electric hand mixer is not as efficient in whipping meringue as a stand mixer. Reply

  • Stéphanie
    December 16, 2017

    Bonjour, combien de temps se conservent ces biscuits?
    Une francaise qui suit toutes vos recettes Reply

    • Stéphanie
      December 16, 2017

      Le traducteur a fait des siennes….. :-/ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 16, 2017

      Hi, I tried to google translate your question ant it sounds like you are asking how long they keep? Once they are all finished and powdered with sugar, keep them at room temperature for 2-3 days. They still taste good up to 5 days later but the meringue doesn’t stay crispy that long. Keep them away from humidity and do not refrigerate or freeze since the humidity in the freezer will soften the meringue. Reply

  • Vicki
    December 15, 2017

    Hi Natasha those loot so good. I will make them next weekend. For this weekend I made your honey cake. My whole family loves honey cake. Thank you for amazing recipes. Keep them coming you are doing awesome job. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 15, 2017

      You’re welcome Vicki! I’m happy to hear how much you and your family are enjoying the recipes! Thanks for following and sharing your encouraging comments! Reply

  • Elena
    December 15, 2017

    Hey Natasha, these look really good! But the ingredients look almost exactly like the Finnish Meringue cookies, do they taste almost the same? Just running low on time and I don’t know which one to make if they taste almost exactly the same. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 15, 2017

      Hi Elena, the two recipes have differences and result in a very different cookie texture and flavor. Note this one does not have baking soda and it also does not have sugar in the dough. I tried to replicate these shell cookies using the Finish meringue dough and it did not succeed because the dough was different and puffed up too much because of the baking soda. These are definitely worth trying 🙂 Reply

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