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Coffee-Meringue Acorns

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It's fun to use pistachios for some of these and pecans for others, but of course you can stick with one or the other. It's best to bake them on a dry day; if it's even slightly humid, the meringues may take longer to crisp in the oven. The meringues can be made up to five days ahead and stored in a cool, dry place.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes about 100 meringues

Photography: ANITA CALERO

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2013

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Trablit coffee extract (available at culinarydistrict.com) or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups pistachios or 1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, and whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Whisk in salt and cream of tartar; remove from heat.

  2. Beat mixture with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue is mostly cooled, about 7 minutes. Beat in extract.

  3. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch round tip (Ateco #804) and fill bag with meringue. Pipe meringue "kisses," each 1 inch in diameter, releasing pressure and pulling pastry bag straight up to create each, 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until crisp on outside and able to release easily from parchment, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

  4. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth; remove from heat. Working 1 at a time, dip base of each meringue in chocolate, then coat base completely with nuts. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets and let stand until set, about 1 hour. Meringues can be made 5 days ahead and stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature.

Reviews Add a comment

  • penny.o
    15 DEC, 2015
    I didn't have any coffee extract so I made my own with instant espresso and hot water in the volume called for in the recipe. These pretty treats turned out delicious. I used 6 egg whites, so I made quite a few!
    Reply
  • jackiehope
    17 DEC, 2014
    These are pretty, plentiful per recipe, and easy to make. I would make only suggestion though: you might want to use chopped walnuts or chopped almonds instead of the pistachios. Somehow pistachio and chocolate made a strange-tasting combination to some palates, mine included. The flavors seemed to fight with each other. (They also look nice with chocolate sprinkles for those sensitive to nuts.)
    Reply
  • MS10151223
    23 JAN, 2014
    My friend, Earleen and I made these lovelies today. We are not use to using a pastry bag; consequently, the 'acorns' were a bit misshapened, not a big problem. These are a few hints for those adventurous enough to make these. The 'acorns' should be no bigger then a Hershey Kiss and should have the peak on top for holding. The small size allowed them to cook through which allowed them to come off the parchment paper. We had to 'milk' down the chocolate so that it would stick to the 'acorns'.
    Reply
  • MrsC
    21 DEC, 2013
    I had these at a party last night and they were delicious. You had one and needed another. They are small enough you can have 2! Guest who made them said only issue was when she dipped into the chocolate the tips broke off. But they looked adorable and who knew!
    Reply
  • neonwonderland
    10 DEC, 2013
    @cybsister At the end of Step 2. It says, "beat in extract." :)
    Reply
  • cybsister
    9 DEC, 2013
    When do you add the coffee extract?
    Reply