Hazelnut Meringue Cookies
1 ½ cups Diamond Chopped Hazelnuts
1 ½ cups sugar
6 egg whites (about ¾ cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet or in a shallow pan. Bake, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. In the bowl of a food processor grind the nuts with ½ cup of the sugar until they resemble breadcrumbs (do not overprocess or the mixture will turn to paste). Set aside. Lower heat to 250 degrees.
In a large copper, stainless steel, or glass bowl, whip the egg whites with a wire whisk until soft peaks form. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is shiny and stiff peaks form. Gently fold in reserved hazelnut-sugar mixture.
Drop by heaping 3 tablespoonfuls, 1 inch apart, onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or fill a piping bag fitted with a plain # tip and pipe 2 ½ inch teardrops, 1 inch apart.
Bake in 250-degree oven for 1 hour or until crisp and a very light ivory color. When they are completely cooked they lift off easily from the parchment. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, depending on the weather.
Yields 32 cookies