Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hazelnut Meringue Cookies

Resistance is futile. (If you know where that quote is from, then live long and prosper). When the craving for a meringue comes upon you, there's no use resisting. So, I set out to make this recipe, which is entitled, "Hazelnut Meringues". The picture in the book looked nothing like mine when they came out of the oven. In fact, I almost threw the batter out and gave up on this recipe because I knew the egg whites weren't "whipped" as they should be for meringues. But, I followed the recipe and decided to make them anyway and WOW! Lee practically ate the entire batch of cookies (with a little help from me). They turned out to be more of a Macaron than a Meringue and that's why I call them a Cookie (does that make sense to you? because it does to me).

NOTE: The recipe calls for 1 1/4 C "blanched" hazelnuts. I'd never blanched hazelnuts before and pictured dumping them in some boiling water, as you would vegetables, for a minute or two, then rinsing. However, that didn't sound appealing so I scoured the Internet for nut-blanching options. Sure enough, to "blanch" nuts, means to remove the skins and the way to do it is this: in a 350 oven, put the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Then, take them out and put them in a towel, and cover them up. Let them rest for another 15. Then rub the nuts in the towel to remove the skins.  EASY.

Just outta the oven...

Beginning to rub the skins off...

et Voila!

Here's how to do it~


1 1/4 C blanched hazelnuts (6 oz) (if you don't have the patience to blanch and skin, go ahead and toast them for about 15 minutes in a 350 oven)

2 large egg whites, room temperature

1 C confectioner's sugar

kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 350, with racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.

2. In a processor, pulse hazelnuts until finely ground (pulsing is better than running the machine because there's less chance of it becoming hazelnut butter!). 

3. In a medium, heatproof metal bowl (or your stand mixer bowl), combine the egg whites, sugar and a pinch of salt. Set the bowl over, (not in) a pot with 2 inches of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes.  Remove bowl from heat and using an electric or stand mixer, beat on high until very thick and glossy, about 3 minutes.

4. With a rubber spatula, fold the hazelnuts into the egg white mixture.

5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small cookie/ice cream scoop, drop batter onto sheets, 2 inches apart.  (Or you can drop by heaping tablespoons).  Bake for 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on wire racks. 


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