Walnut Meringue Cookies Sealed With A 'Kiss' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Walnut Meringue Cookies Sealed With A 'Kiss'

Play associated audio

Jamie Lynn Stevenson can still remember the smell of walnut meringue cookies wafting from her great-grandmother's kitchen. The "little piles of heaven," also known in her family as bussels, or "kisses" in German, were dense but chewy, with hints of caramelized nut flavor inside.

"I was just salivating waiting for them," Stevenson recalls. "And the great thing about these cookies is that they didn't take very long to bake!"

But when she tried to follow the recipe in her own kitchen in Ashtabula, Ohio, after her great-grandmother died, she realized the cookies were not so easy to re-create. Stevenson knew the list of ingredients but had no clue about her great-grandmother's measurement or technique.

So she sent in the recipe as part of All Things Considered's "Lost Recipes" series, and with the help of Gesine Bullock-Prado, a pastry chef and cookbook writer in Norwich, Vt., decoded the secrets of meringue.


Walnut Meringue Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Combine the chopped walnuts with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a food processor, and process until very fine.

Spread the mixture on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees F. Allow to cool completely.

Once mixture is cool, stir well with 1/4 cup of cornstarch.

Boil water in a pot large enough to sit a clean, metal mixing bowl on top.

Beat the egg whites and 3/4 cup sugar in the mixing bowl over boiling water until the sugar is almost, but not completely, melted.

In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine egg white mixture with 1/2 teaspoon of salt until mixture is foamy.

Slowly add the remaining sugar, then 1 teaspoon of instant coffee or espresso powder, and whisk until the meringue becomes very stiff.

Gently fold the walnut mixture into the meringue.

Dollop tablespoons of the meringue, or pipe silver-dollar-sized dollops with a pastry bag, onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Bake at 250 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender inside but not wet. You can open the oven door to check after 20 minutes but not before; otherwise, the meringue could collapse.

If you need help solving your own "Lost Recipe," submit it here to NPR's All Things Considered with "Lost Recipe" in the subject line.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Making Cheese In The Land Of The Bible: Add Myrrh And A Leap Of Faith

Spring in the West Bank means Bedouin herders' ewes and nanny goats are full of milk — and cheese making abounds. The traditional method relies on a few simple ingredients and a long cultural memory.
NPR

Making Cheese In The Land Of The Bible: Add Myrrh And A Leap Of Faith

Spring in the West Bank means Bedouin herders' ewes and nanny goats are full of milk — and cheese making abounds. The traditional method relies on a few simple ingredients and a long cultural memory.
NPR

Nigerian President Faces Tough Reelection Campaign

Nigerians head to the polls Saturday to vote for their new president. The incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who says he's tough on security and corruption.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.