Monday, December 26, 2011

Apricot Almond Meringue Cookies

4 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of cream of tartar
¾ cups sugar, superfine is best
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. dried apricots, finely diced
¼ cup lightly toasted slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 225F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets or, if you prefer, grease parchment or waxed paper spread on cookie sheets. Beat the egg whites with the salt or cream of tartar until the whites make soft peaks. To make a tender meringue, gradually add all but 2 tbsp of the sugar as you continue to beat. Check to see if the sugar has dissolved by pinching the meringue. When you can no longer feel the crystals, fold in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla extract, and finally the apricots and almonds. Drop neat spoonfuls of the meringue batter onto the cookie sheets; give them attractive peaks, as they will not spread or change their shape. Bake 1 hour without opening the door. Turn off the oven and keep them in the unopened oven for at least another hour or as long as overnight. Remove the cookies with a spatula. Store them in airtight tins or closed tightly in a plastic bag.