These elegant little cookies contain about half the sugar of traditional meringues, but you won’t miss it. A swirl of tahini adds a nutty flavor. We dip the cookies in dark chocolate and crushed pistachios, but that’s optional. Store the cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are cool to keep them crisp.
Ingredients for servings
Preheat oven to 200°F (93°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whip the egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar and salt on medium with the whisk attachment in a stand mixer, or on high with a handheld mixer, until soft peaks form.
With the machine running on high, gradually add the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue to beat at high speed until the mixture is stiff and glossy, 3–4 minutes. Gently fold in the tahini; don’t over-mix or the cookies will be flat. Drop by rounded tablespoons a few inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and let the cookies cool completely in the oven, about 2 hours.
Microwave the chocolate at 50% power in a microwave-safe bowl or melt over a double boiler, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Dip about 0.33333333333 of each meringue in the chocolate, sprinkle with nuts, and return to the lined baking sheet. Set aside until the chocolate is set. (Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to three days.)
Even a trace of egg yolk prevents the egg whites from whipping up to full volume. When separating eggs, it’s best to break each egg over a small bowl to make sure there’s no yolk in it before adding it to the mixing bowl with the other egg whites. If you accidentally end up with yolk in the egg white as you’re separating it, reserve it for another use and start over with another egg.