My mother is crazy about meringue cookies. I remember the first time I made these cookies, she quickly grabbed the plate and said, “These are mine.” Since then, every time I make meringues of any kind, I think of mom. For Mother’s Day I made two batches, so she would have enough to eat that day and take home for later. These cookies are delightful with all their nutty, chocolaty, chewiness and are gluten-free. They store nicely for a few days in a dry covered container, so go ahead and make a batch for your mother or that special someone.
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, most of the skins removed if possible
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 teaspoons cocoa nibs, found at specialty grocer’s or online
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
(Makes 1 Dozen)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Rough chop your hazelnuts and bittersweet chocolate.
2. Place the nuts and chocolate in a bowl along with the cocoa powder, cinnamon and cocoa nibs. Whisk the mixture to combine and remove any lumps.
3. In a stand mixer, add your egg whites and whisk on high until soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the cream of tarter, pinch of salt and vanilla to the egg whites and whisk on high for 1 minute.
5. Next, add the sugar and whisk on high until thick and creamy, about 4 minutes.
6. Add the fluffy whites to the dry ingredients in the bowl and fold the two together until combined, but slightly streaky.
7. Using 2 sheet pans, dollop the meringues into 6 cookies on each pan, making sure they don’t touch. Place the pans in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until they are slightly firm.
8. Remove the meringues from the oven and let cool on the sheet pans, about 30 minutes. With a spatula, carefully remove the meringues from the pans and give them away or place in your favorite cookie jar for later. Enjoy!