The theme this week seems to be the color green. Not only because of this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day holiday—though that certainly accounts for some of it—but because of the escalating promise of warmer weather. The first official day of spring is March 20, and there are even a few spots of green popping up around the city where ice has started to melt (finally!). Not to mention the sun is still shining when most people leave work. We’ve gotten through one of the most brutal winters in recent memory; warmer days are on the horizon.
To that end, this week’s recipe is representative of the “greening” of the city. There are lots of food color-laden dishes being passed around right now, but these cookies rely on the more subtle hue of pistachios for their color so there’s just a hint of it—kind of like the hint of spring that’s in the air this week!
Pistachio and Chocolate Meringue Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
¼ cup pistachios
⅛ teaspoon cardamom
3 large egg whites, cold
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch table salt
⅔ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup chocolate chips, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Place racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Place pistachios in bowl of food processor. Pulse until pistachios are finely chopped. Add cardamom and pulse once.
3. Transfer egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla and table salt in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until egg whites reach soft peaks. With stand mixer on medium, slowly add sugar. (Don’t add sugar too quickly.) Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl. Increase speed to high and mix until egg whites reach glossy, stiff peaks. (Do not over- or under-mix here.)
4. Remove bowl from stand mixer and gently fold in half of pistachio/cardamom mixture and half of chocolate chips. Either spoon or pipe meringues onto parchment-lined sheet pans, leaving at least one inch between cookies. Sprinkle remaining pistachio/cardamom mixture and chocolate chips over tops of cookies. Transfer to oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let sit in oven for 1½ hours. (They should dry out and firm up during this time.) Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.
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