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Almond Meringue Cookies from The Wicked Healthy Cookbook by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, egg-free, dairy-free)

Almond Meringue Cookies

In the fall of 2015, we featured these cookies on several catering menus. We usually made them with dried fruit powder like raspberry, then dried the meringue in sheets and broke it up into shards, as in Brûléed Pineapple with Spiced Panko, Berries, and Meringue. Flavor the cookies however you like (see the Options), but try to stick with freeze-dried fruit powders. Liquid extracts and flavorings tend to make the meringues fall. —Chad
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Yields 50 small cookies
Author Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim

Ingredients

  • Plant-Based Meringue (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Seeds scraped from ½ vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup finely ground unsalted roasted almonds, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Make the meringue until it is fully whipped. Whip the almond extract and vanilla seeds into the meringue.
  3. Spoon the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Or use a zipper-lock bag and cut off a corner. If your parchment is curling up from the baking sheets, dollop a little meringue under each corner to secure it. Pipe cookies into pointy mounds about 1½ inches in diameter. They should look like big Hershey’s kisses. You need only about ½ inch space between cookies because they won’t expand much during baking. Sprinkle the ground almonds, if using, evenly over the cookies.
  4. Bake until the cookies look dry and off-white in color, 2 hours. Rotate the pans halfway through the baking for even heating. Cool completely on the baking sheets. Store in well-sealed containers. Humidity and moisture will make the cookies sticky, so store them in a cool, dry cupboard.

Recipe Notes

Options

Raspberry Meringue Cookies: When making the meringue, add 1/3 cup powdered freeze-dried raspberries (buzzed in a clean spice grinder) along with the sugar. Omit the vanilla and almonds, and substitute raspberry extract for the almond extract.

Lemon Meringue Cookies: When making the meringue, add 2 tablespoons lemon peel powder (buzz the dried lemon peel in a clean spice grinder) along with the sugar. Omit the vanilla and almonds, and substitute lemon extract for the almond extract.

Candy Cane Meringue Cookies: When making the meringue, reduce the sugar by 2 tablespoons and add 3 to 4 tablespoons crushed candy canes along with the sugar while whipping. Omit the vanilla and almonds, and substitute 1 teaspoon peppermint extract or a few drops of food-grade peppermint essential oil for the almond extract.

Excerpted from the book THE WICKED HEALTHY COOKBOOK by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim. Copyright © 2018 by Chad Sarno and Derek Sarno. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved. Photos by Eva Kosmas Flores.