Five ingredients to heaven. Five ingredients, ten minutes of prep, and one bowl to an easy-to-make but impressive-to-look-at dessert that will last several weeks in an air-tight container- although there's no way these meringues will not be devoured in a day. Flavors of rich chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, and robust vanilla. Textures of crispy, crunchy, and melt-in-your-mouth sweetness.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer
2 egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
Hanging out on the sidelines
2/3 cup (131g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (21g) cocoa
3/4 cup (107g) hazelnuts, lightly smashed
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until white, pillowy, and you have soft peaks.
While the mixer is still running, slowly add in the sugar. Keep beating until the mixture is smooth, glossy and you have stiff peaks.
Gently fold in the cocoa powder and smashed hazelnuts.
If you have a large ziplock bag, you can fill the bag with the meringue mixture, snip one of the corners off at the bottom, and pipe the meringue onto the prepared pan- about an inch and a half wide per cookie, leaving an inch or two between cookies. If you don't have a ziplock bag or piping bag, use two large spoons to spoon the meringue into circles on the pan. Personally, I'm a fan of giant, messy, imperfect, but enormously lovable meringues; no need for precise piping here.
If you have some smashed hazelnuts left over, sprinkle them on the cookies. Place the pan on the center rack and bake for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, drop the temperature down to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for another 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, turn off your oven and let the pan of meringues continue to hang out in the oven for another hour. Sometimes I leave the pan in the oven overnight, especially on a rainy day.
Once the meringues are cooled, store them in an air-tight container for several weeks. Remember, moisture is the enemy of meringues, so keep them dry, cool but not cold, and preferably out of the sunlight for long periods.