Cloud-shaped meringues offer a simple path to French royalty

Light, crispy, cloud-shaped meringue cookies have long been associated with French royalty, a decadent treat that required skill and dedication to pull off. Maybe once, but then the whisk was invented.

For those with a stand mixer, they’re surprisingly easy and adaptable to any extra bits of chocolate, nuts, or other flavors that might be left behind after a holiday baking marathon.

In this recipe from our “Cook What You Have” book, which draws on pantry staples for easy weeknight meals, we offer three variations of the cookie (which wasn’t French, by the way, but is attributed to a Swiss chef named Gasparini in 1720, from a town called Meiringen.)

For a salty peanut and chocolate variation, you’ll need about 2 ounces of chopped chocolate, some orange zest, and a handful of toasted walnuts. Or try them with toasted cashews, unsweetened coconut flakes, and lime zest. Or with pistachios, candied ginger and turmeric. Or experiment with different flavors using these ratios.

The meringues can be made into a dozen 3-inch cookies or six oversized 6-inch puffs. Serve plain or open and fill with whipped cream and sprinkled with fresh berries. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to five days.

Meringue Cookies with Salted Peanuts and Chocolate

Start to finish: 2½ hours (35 minutes active), plus cool down

Makes 12 small or 6 large meringues

¼ cup salted roasted peanuts OR almonds OR cashews OR pistachios, chopped

⅓ cup dark OR semisweet chocolate OR milk chocolate chips, chopped

6 large egg whites

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

¼ teaspoon table salt

1 cup of white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange zest

Heat oven to 250°F with rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment. In a small bowl, mix together the nuts and chocolate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *