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...|
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
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.