When I'm stuck at home, without much to do, I tend to bake things. Most recently, I had a stash of egg whites in the freezer and some walnuts that needed using up. So I came up with these lovely little cookies, spiced with cloves and nutmeg and studded with bits of toasted walnut. I brought these into work to share, and our office manager said, "You could sell these, they're so good!" I like my meringues a little on the squishy side inside, so I didn't bake these all the way through; if you want them crispier, leave them in the oven a bit longer. —ieatthepeach
about 1 1/2 dozen
(about 1 cup) raw walnut halves
large egg whites, at room temperature
superfine (caster) sugar
Pinch of ground or finely grated nutmeg
In This Recipe
Place a medium skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add walnuts in a single layer and toast, stirring frequently, until the nuts are fragrant and starting to brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to a cutting board. Let the nuts cool, then finely chop them--you should end up with a mix of textures, from small chunks to pebbles to dust. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300º F, and position a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Slowly beat in sugar, about 1 tbsp at a time. Continue beating until the meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks. Fold in walnuts, cloves, and nutmeg.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined baking sheets. (I find it easiest to use two spoons--one to scoop and one to push.) Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the meringues are firm on top and a pale ivory color all over. Turn off the oven, open the door, and let the meringues cool in the open oven for 1-2 hours (or overnight), until completely cooled.
Once the meringues are cooled, transfer to an airtight container. They will keep in a cool, dry place for up to a week.