Meringue Cookies Two Ways

I had a couple of egg whites sitting in the fridge leftover from when I needed six egg yolks for another recipe, and meringue cookies came to mind.  I found some sliced almonds in the pantry, but when I was shopping in Trader Joe’s, I saw these freeze-dried raspberries and thought it would be an interesting idea to pulverize and fold them into the cookie batter.  Being me, I couldn’t figure out which flavor I wanted to make or eat, so I made both.

So clearly I can get pretty excited when I have a fun idea for something new or different.

These cookies have everything going for them, from the delightful light-as-air interior to their crispy exterior.  There is no denying that they’re chock full of sugar (and that’s what makes them so tasty), but if you share them with friends, you’ll feel less guilty that way.  Unless you want to save them all for yourself.  I promise not to judge.  We’ve all been there.

Meringue Cookies
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker 
(makes about 40 cookies)

2 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt
2/3 cup sugar
Variation #1: ½ tsp vanilla extract and ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
Variation #2: ¼ cup freeze-dried raspberries, pulverized

Preheat the oven to 200°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Beat egg whites, on medium speed, until foamy.  Add salt and increase speed to medium-high.  Add sugar a tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is still running, until all of it has been incorporated.  Continue to beat the mixture until it becomes thick, glossy, and hold stiff peaks.  Divide the batter in half.

For almond meringue cookies, fold in vanilla extract.  Pour the batter into a piping bag, fitted with a large star tip, and pipe about a tablespoon worth of batter onto the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle some almond slices on top.

For raspberry meringue cookies, fold in freeze-dried raspberries, transfer to a piping bag, and pipe the batter onto the baking sheet as well.

Bake for 2 hours, until the cookies no longer have a shiny appearance.  They should be firm and hardened.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.

*To pulverize the freeze-dried raspberries, you can either use a food processor or put them in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.

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