“Don’t judge the taste of these cookies by the crags and cracks,” says sous-chef Merrin Mae Gray of L.A.’s Rossoblu. (Their Italian name is brutti ma buoni, “ugly but good.”) The pecans and potent grappa are unexpectedly elegant, and the crisp outsides and chewy centers make these meringues seriously addictive.
Slideshow:More Meringue Recipes
3/4 cup shelled pecans
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grappa
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 300°. Spread the pecans on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing them halfway through, for about 20 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a work surface and let cool, then coarsely chop.
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until the whites are stiff and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in the grappa, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chopped pecans.
Spoon heaping tablespoons of the meringue onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200° and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the meringues are firm on the outside but still chewy in the center. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool completely.
The meringues can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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