The Problem with Leftovers

March 10th, 2010

Well, not so much leftovers as bits of ingredients. A few egg whites here, a handful of walnuts there…

Such humble-looking little cookies.

Such humble-looking little cookies.

A bit of honey and a dash of cardamom later and I had some delicious, slightly exotic cookies. So what’s the problem?

They don't really look much like meringues.

They don't really look much like meringues.

For something made with things I wanted to use up they were unexpectedly wonderful. So wonderful that Z requested I make more as soon as possible. But…that would require buying more nuts and separating more eggs.

Lumpy bits mean walnutty goodness!

Lumpy bits mean walnutty goodness!

See, I would actually like to make these again. They were a bit overdone due to my panicking at them not crisping up at all in the oven. I think it was the humidity, they were very rubbery outside and wouldn’t hold their shape. Since it was late, I turned off the oven and left them in there and went to bed.

Could be fluffier, could NOT be tastier.

Could be fluffier, could NOT be tastier.

I guess I should have cracked the oven door open – they were crispy, crispy, crispy in the morning. Which was actually kind of interesting in that around the edges the walnuts were the softest part about them. So yeah…don’t do what I did, do what I SHOULD have done if you make these.

Odds and ends can make a wonderful thing.

Odds and ends can make a wonderful thing.

Honeyed Walnut Cardameringues

  1. 3 egg whites, room temperature
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup honey
  4. 2 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed finely, pods discarded
  5. Small splash of orange flower water
  6. 1 cup walnuts, chopped finely

Preheat the oven to 350. In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the whites to a foam, then gradually add the sugar and honey. Add the cardamom and orange flower water and beat to medium-stiff peaks. Carefully fold in the chopped nuts. Plop onto lined cookie sheets (I find Silpats do a better job at not burning the bottoms of meringues but parchment is ok too) in medium-sized mounds 1″ apart. Bake for 20-30 minutes, then turn the oven off and crack the door open a little bit. Let rest in the oven for a few hours or overnight. Keep in an airtight container.

If you don’t have walnuts on hand, these cookies would also be lovely with almonds or pistachios. The honey works beautifully to carry the flavor of the cardamom, and the orange flower water is nearly imperceptible but adds a tiny extra layer of mysterious flavor – just as it should.

4 Responses to “The Problem with Leftovers”

  1. Bob says:

    They look awesome, I love the deep, even browning on them. Doubly impressive for something you just whipped up!

  2. Ahh thanks for the warning! I tend to do things like that when it’s late. Well done for using up the extra bits!

  3. Ted says:

    It’s hard to tell just how tasty they are. Send some up and I’ll let you know.

  4. Crispy edges are the best! I always do hair brain things in the kitchen. I once toasted some nuts in the oven and was very careful about the timing. Once the time was up I turned off the oven and forgot to take the nuts out of the oven… yeah… they burned.

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