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Oh merengues……Fluffy, airy, sweet, and light are what describes these cookies. There are different types of ways in making a merengue so unique. Some like it plain with just sugar, some like it with vanilla essence, and some like it lemony. But  mine (I’m sorry) beats it all! ^_^ I added Colombian Coffee to make it….Well, Colombian. My merengue’s have black coffee freckles that give it a unique look and taste. It also has aguardiente a well known Colombian anise-flavor liqueur that’s strong to the bone. I personally don’t like drinking it, but I don’t mind baking with it ;-) So make these cookies for fun, to share with family, friends, and co-workers or for the pleasure of having them on hand.

Makes 60-80 cookies (2-3 baking sheets)

Ingredients:

  • 6 Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 Tsp Cream of Tartar
  • Couple Drops of Fresh Lime Juice (I let 4-5 drops go into the mixture)
  • 1/2 Tsp Aguardiente (you can substitute with White Rum)
  • 3/4 Cup Powdered/Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1 Tsp Ground Colombian Coffee (Can use whatever ground coffee you prefer)
  • 1/3 Cup Walnuts, ground in small food processor or finely chopped, for garnish
  • Mint Leaves, for garnish
  • Butter or PAM baking spray, for greasing baking sheets
  • Flour, for sprinkling baking sheets

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease baking sheets with butter or PAM and sprinkle flour evenly. Or you can use parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer or hand mixer, start beating the eggs slowly until foamy. Once foamy add in the cream of tartar and increase speed.

Once the egg whites have reached soft peak and without stopping the mixer. Add in the lime juice, aguardiente, and vanilla essence. After, add in the sugar a spoonful at a time.

At this point the speed on the mixer should be on high. Mix until you reach a hard peak. Lower speed on stir and put in the ground coffee until well incorporated.

Spoon the mixture in a pastry bag or a heavy duty zip lock bag. Cut the corner of the bag and insert a pastry tip of any choice or you can do without it so you can pipe out the mixture onto the baking sheets. Pipe cookie-sized dollops about 1 inch apart.

Place the baking sheets in the preheated oven for 1 hour. 30 minutes into the baking rotate the baking sheets to ensure even cooking.

After 1 hour of baking turn oven off and leave the merengues in the oven, letting it dry out. Let it cool completely in the oven before serving. (to make sure if your cookies are done, poke one and see if it’s dry and crisp, not mushy)

When serving garnish with the ground/chopped walnuts and mint leaves. Enjoy!!

Note:

  • You can store these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to several days.
  • It’s easiest to separate the eggs when they are cold.
  • Leaving the egg whites at room temperature will help to give volume (so separate eggs half hour before preparing).
  • Make sure all bowls and utensils are spot clean and free from oils.
  • Avoid making these cookies on a humid or rainy day.
  • It’s best using a metal bowl for the whipping

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