Makes about 40 Cookies
Nothing says springtime in the kitchen quite like a classic meringue cookie! This light, airy treat, with just a slight chewiness on the inside, graces any platter and becomes a favorite of everyone. These irresistible morsels require only a few ingredients and a couple of easy techniques.
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup caster sugar (finely granulated sugar)
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground almonds, for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Use the whisk attachment and beat at medium speed until ingredients are combined and soft peaks have formed.
3. Beat the mixture on high speed, gradually adding the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Pause for about 15 seconds between each addition to ensure the sugar has dissolved. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed to incorporate the sugar with the egg white mixture evenly. Continue beating for several minutes until all the sugar has been added and stiff, glossy peaks begin to form. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts.
4. Use a large spoon to scoop the meringue batter into a large pastry bag outfitted with a star tip. Pipe small dollops, roughly 1-1/2" in size onto the parchment paper. Repeat this filling and piping process until all of the meringue batter has been used.
5. Top the meringues with crushed almonds and bake for 1 hour. Without opening the oven door, turn o the oven and let the meringues cool completely in the oven for an additional hour or two. (Cooling in the oven helps keep them crisp on the outside while the gradual cooling keeps them from cracking).
6. Remove meringues and enjoy! Serve with fruit compote and berries, or enjoy by themselves.