Espresso Walnut Meringues

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Preparation info

  • Makes about

    48

    cookies
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

Coffee and walnuts combine well with a sweet background, such as these meringues. The finely chopped chocolate adds an elusive flavor. Since there is so little of it, it adds to the flavor in general, but doesn’t overdominate.

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • cups (about 5 ounces/150 grams) walnut pieces, finely chopped, but not ground
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 ounce (25 grams) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans lined with parchment or foil

Method

  1. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Place the egg whites and salt in the howl of an electric mixer and whip with the whisk attachment on medium speed until white, opaque, and beginning to hold their shape. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip in ½ cup of the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing to whip until the egg whites are stiff, but not dry.
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scatter the walnuts, and then the espresso powder, chocolate, and cornstarch on top, one at a time, in order. (Don’t mix them all together beforehand.) Use a large rubber spatula to fold them in.
  4. Use a soup spoon to make rough mounds of the meringue, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on all sides, on the prepared pans.
  5. Bake the meringues until they are almost dry (poke one with a fingertip to see), about 30 minutes. If you know that your oven gives strong bottom heat, bake the pan on the lower rack stacked on top of a second one for insulation. Slide the papers from the pans onto racks to cool.

Storage

Keep the cookies between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

Variations

Substitute pecans or hazelnuts (with the skins still on) for the walnuts. Omit the espresso and chocolate and substitute 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon for a completely different flavor.