Having just looked at Emeril's recipe for forgotten kisses, I embarked on a rustic variation. But I was curious about his technique of starting with a 350 degree oven, turning the oven off, and then leaving the cookies in the oven overnight. I do not like to use cream or tartar or caster sugar when making meringue, but they can help make a more foolproof meringue. However, if you work with egg whites at room temperature and a copper bowl, you can take more liberties making meringue. My photos show the batter in process, my black and white finished cookies, and a series of my pavlova variation with fresh blueberries. When I was starting this recipe out, I had in mind fresh ginger and chestnuts (which I just found roasted, whole and peeled). With the theme of corn this week, of course I added grilled corn, which works to add an earthy flavor. For the ground nuts I suggest hazelnuts, almonds, or even pine nuts (for those with nut allergies). You can play with many more variations to the additions. I did put fresh blueberries in the batter, but do not recommend that version- though it did inspire my pavlova variation. —Sagegreen
large egg whites
plus 2 tbl. organic cane sugar, or caster sugar
cream of tartar, optional
excellent vanilla extract
ground hazelnuts, almonds or pinenuts
grilled corn kernels
roasted chestnuts, peeled and coarsely chopped
fresh grated ginger
powdered sugar, optional for garnish
Dutch cocoa, optional for garnish
fresh whipped cream, optional for garnish with 1 cup fresh blueberries
Beat your room temperature egg whites preferably in a copper bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar if you are nervous about your meringue not getting stiff.
Gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time. When the mix begins to turn smooth, add the vanilla. Continue beating until the meringue is very shiny and holds peaks.
Fold in the nuts. Gently stir in your additions. Refrigerate for one hour to firm up the batter. If you don't do this your cookies will be runny, flatter and larger, like my first batch in the photo.....which will still taste delicious.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees just before the hour is up. Drop the meringue batter by the spoonful to cookie sheets lined with parchment.
Put the cookies on the sheets in the oven. Turn off the oven as soon as you do this. Leave undisturbed for 6-16 hours.
For black and white cookies after they are dry and cool, sift powdered sugar on top on half the batch and cocoa on the other half.
For an elaborate pavlova variation, especially good if you had any cookies break, and you want to conceal your misfortune, spoon whipped cream on top of a plated cookie. Top with fresh blueberries. Garnish with a sprig of lavender or mint. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.