Mocha Hazelnut Meringues

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 6 ounces miniature chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate, chopped small

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a skillet over medium heat, toast hazelnuts until nicely golden. Let cool completely on a dishtowel, then roll them around so that the skins largely come off.

Transfer toasted, peeled hazelnuts to a food processor and add 2 tbsp sugar and the salt. Grind until well-chopped but not fully powdery.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until very foamy. Slowly pour in remaining sugar, beating the whole time. Beat until stiff peaks form; when you lift the beater, they should flop over slightly after forming a peak. Fold in nuts, espresso powder, and chocolate.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Scoop batter into about 1 tablespoon mounds with about an inch of space between them. Bake for 25 minutes, until very faintly golden. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, after which they’ll be easier to remove with a thin spatula. Let finish cooling on racks.

From Smitten Kitchen. Makes 15-20 cookies

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