Coffee-Meringue Acorns

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
Coffee-Meringue Acorns

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.

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