I first fell in love with making merengue cookies when I found myself frequently searching for something to do with egg whites left over from ice cream making. That said, since we downsized our kitchen and the ice cream maker didn't make the cut (hold on sweet ice cream maker, I'm coming back to you in just a few short months!!), I've found myself looking for excuses to use yolks and treat myself to a batch of these cookies : )
These airy, crisp, and lightly sweet beauties are like crack to this work-from-home lady... in fact, I had to insist we didn't eat more than two each last night because I knew if we put the open container between us I wouldn't have enough to photograph today. And we still went back for seconds. In the midst of photographing the recipe and editing the photos, I ate most of them.
I have no shame.
Of course after any binge on these babies, one must tell themselves - they're mostly air. Because they are! So it's totally fine.
I've made a lot of flavors of merengue in my days (remember the gorgeous strawberry kisses?), but there is something intensely satisfying about this holiday almond nutmeg version. It's the lightest festive treat you'll find this year!
note: You could surely replace the freshly grated nutmeg with a ground nutmeg, but you'll get the best flavor possible with a freshly ground version - it's one of my favorite spices to use whole! Simply purchase whole nutmeg, and grate it with a fine grater like a Microplane.
Nutmeg Almond Merengue Cookies
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a handheld mixer, whip egg whites, sugar, and corn starch until stiff peaks form.
- Whip in the extracts and nutmeg until they're evenly distributed.
- Fit a pastry bag with a medium star frosting tip. If you don't have a tip, you can just scoop small piles of the batter onto your baking sheet, or use a plastic bag with the corner cut off to form small mounds.
- Fill the pastry bag with merengue, and form small swirls on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. They can be very close together as they won't swell, just make sure they aren't touching!
- Bake at 200 degrees for about 2 hours, then let cool with oven door cracked. cookies should be dry to the touch before turning off the oven, and one big crunch once cooled (tasting is the best way to test them!). If for some reason your cookies still have some gooeyness to them once cooled, just turn the oven back on for another half an hour or so, then let them cool again.
- Store these in an air-tight container to keep them at their crispiest!