Chocolate-Hazelnut Clouds with Cocoa Nibs
- ACTIVE: 20 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: Makes 16 cookies
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa nibs
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for 14 minutes, until the skins blister. Transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub together to remove the skins. Coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl. Add the cocoa, cornstarch, nibs, chocolate and cardamom. Lower the oven to 300°.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar in a thin stream and beat until the whites are stiff and glossy. Beat in the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients, leaving some streaks.
- Scoop 8 level tablespoon-size mounds of the meringue onto each baking sheet. Scoop the remaining meringue directly on top of the existing mounds, as if forming little snowmen.
- Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 30 minutes, until firm when tapped; shift the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer the sheets to racks and let the cookies cool before serving.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.