Meringues are my favorite "light" dessert. And light they are—like puffs of air turned into slightly crisp sugar clouds. Though they can't support many add-ins, they happily absorb some instant espresso powder. I've found that it adds just the right amount of coffee flavor, which is heightened by the sugar. The sugar also takes away any bitterness the espresso might have, and makes these taste just like chocolatey, sweet coffee.
- Yield:makes about 2 dozen cookies
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:2 hours 45 minutes
- 3 egg whites, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 3/4 cup (about 5 1/4 ounces) sugar
Adjust oven rack to lower and middle positions and preheat oven to 275°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric beater on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add salt and beat 1 minute more. Add espresso powder and sugar in a slow stream, beating on medium speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat until whites are glossy and stiff peaks form when the beater is lifted from the bowl, about 4 minutes.
Drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake, turning pans halfway through cooking, until outside of meringues is dry and firm to the touch, about 2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour. Meringues can be stored in a sealed container for up to 5 days.