We finally found it: our perfect meringue cookie. Crunchy yet yielding on the outside, tender on the inside, and full of toasted hazelnuts and chocolate. We like these with an afternoon coffee or cup of tea but they’re also good crumbled on top of a bowl of ice cream. Here’s another idea: layer broken cookies, lightly sweetened whipped cream, and chocolate sauce together in glass cups for a Wintery Eton Mess. Because meringues are sensitive to humidity, be sure they’re completely cool before you store them.
1½ cups blanched hazelnuts, toasted
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
4 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place hazelnuts, salt, and ¼ cup of the sugar in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until mostly finely ground but with a few large pieces of nuts still visible, 4 to 5 times.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and gradually add remaining ¾ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to high, and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla.
Sprinkle hazelnut mixture over top of egg whites and gently fold until mixture still has a few white streaks remaining. Sprinkle chocolate chips over batter and gently fold in until mixture is evenly combined. Drop 2 tablespoonfuls of meringue 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake until lightly browned and set, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets about 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
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