Meringue kisses can be made with different nuts — try walnuts, pistachios or macadamias — or with no nuts at all.
Cooking With Eggs: Recipes for Every Meal
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 cups ground almonds (8 ounces)
Heat oven to 225°F.
In mixer bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, add confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks. Fold in almonds.
Drop meringue by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for about 1 hour, or until firm. Turn off oven and let kisses dry in oven, with door closed, for at least 1 additional hour, or until cool and crisp. Yields 60 kisses.
Chocolate Kisses Variation:
Omit ground almonds. Beat 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons vanilla into egg whites after stiff peaks have formed.
Citrus Kisses Variation:
Omit ground almonds. Beat 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange peel and 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract into egg whites after stiff peaks have formed. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring, if desired.
Mint-Chocolate Chip Kisses Variation:
Omit ground almonds. Beat 1/2 teaspoon mint extract and a few drops of green food coloring, if desired, into egg whites after stiff peaks have formed. Fold in 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Rocky Road Kisses Variation:
Omit ground almonds. Beat 2 teaspoons vanilla into egg whites after stiff peaks have formed. Fold in 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup finely chopped peanuts, pecans or almonds.
A dry day is best. Meringue kisses made on humid days absorb moisture from the air, causing them to flatten out when baked and to lose their crispness.
1 cup granulated sugar can be substituted for the confectioner’s sugar. Beat after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. Rub a bit of meringue between thumb and forefinger; it should feel completely smooth.
Baking sheets can be lightly greased and floured, if desired.
Kisses can be piped onto baking sheets from a pastry bag fitted with plain tip.
Place meringue kisses in tightly sealed container with waxed paper between layers.
If stored kisses lose their crispness, bake at 200°F for 15 to 20 minutes.
Egg whites beaten to the stiff peak stage stand in tall peaks and do not curl at the tips when the beater or whisk is lifted.
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