Flavorful and fragrant, Turkish coffee meringues are light, crisp, and full of sweet coffee and delectable spice. Not unlike the drink that inspired them, their little size delivers a robust burst of flavor and a welcome pick-me-up. They are crisp, light and satisfying, and they echo the festive feeling of their namesake brew. —ButterSugarFlowers
about 100 little meringue cookies, or 50 meringue sandwiches
1/2 cup egg whites (from about 4 eggs) at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder such as Medaglia D’oro
2 – 3 teaspoons ground cardamom, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Sprinkles and/or chocolate for melting (both optional)
Preheat oven to 200 F. Line 2 – 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Beat egg whites on high until foamy and becoming white. With mixer on, add the cream of tartar (if using -- it's basically a safety net to help your egg whites stabilize, but it's not always needed), then slowly add the sugar. Gradually add the espresso powder and spices, and keep beating until stiff, shiny, opaque peaks form.
Fit a pastry bag with the tip of your choice, fill with egg white mixture, and pipe small meringues onto the cookie sheets (about 1.25 – 1.5″ diameter. no larger), leaving at least 3/4 inch between one another. Before placing meringues in oven, if desired, decorate them with sprinkles.
Bake for 1 hour. (If using more than one oven rack, stop at the halfway mark and switch the baking sheets, top to bottom and vice versa.)
Turn off and crack open the oven. Let meringues sit inside 15 - 30 minutes, or just until pan is warm to the touch (not hot) and meringues feel dry.
If desired, sandwich pairs of meringues with a bit of melted chocolate. Making sure they are cooled to room temperature and chocolate has hardened, transfer meringues to cellophane bags or cookie tins. Seal the containers well, and store at room temperature away from moisture (if you live in a humid area, you may want to toss a desiccant packet in with the meringues).