Friday, October 10, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Cookies


These beauties are perfect for fall. They have the light feel of a meringue but are dense and nutty as well.



Called "Hazelnuss Makronen" in German, these lovely, tasty cookies are very easy to make, but you do have to bake them at a low temperature for a much longer time than non-meringue cookies.




These might or might not be even better with a little schmear of Nutella on their flat side before indulging. Just sayin' 



Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Cookies
Prep Time: 80 minutes 
Bake Time: 30 minutes 
Yield: 2 dozen
Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cream of tartar 
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1+1/2 cups hazelnuts, ground into flour*
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract 
*To create your own hazelnut flour place the hazelnuts in a blender or food processor with two tablespoons of powdered sugar and pulse until the hazelnuts are ground.

Directions:
  • Line two baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Beat the egg whites at the highest speed in a stand mixer or use a hand mixer. Add the pinches of salt and cream of tartar. 
  • When the egg whites start to turn foamy, slowly add the white granulated sugar. 
  • Continue beating the whites until stiff peaks form. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites will stay put. 
  • While the egg whites are beating, in a separate bowl, whisk together the ground hazelnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, grated lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 
  • When the egg whites are the proper consistency, dump the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg whites and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, deflating them. Fold, do not stir. 
  • About halfway through the process add the vanilla and lemon extracts and continue folding just until everything is combined and the batter is smooth. Do not over mix the meringue. The mixture should have some stiffness to it and not be runny in texture. 
  • Use a tablespoon to portion out the cookies to drop them in equal sizes on the baking sheets.
  • Let the unbaked meringues rest on the cookie sheets for one hour before placing in the oven. 
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 
  • Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until they turn hard or are easily separated from the baking paper. 
  • Remove the from then and transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely. These cookies can last several weeks in a tightly sealed container. 

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