Even if you’re not particularly food-obsessed, you probably have one. A bite, a dish, a sip that changes your life somehow. Perhaps an oyster started a lifetime of risk-taking. A restaurant meal introduced you to your soulmate. A family dish opened generations of stories.
For Tia, her dish was a plate of cookies. Dacquoise drops connect her with her family, give her national recognition, and finally put her face-to-face with Michael Saltz.
The cookie is light but sturdy -- a stiff meringue made even more hardy with four types of nuts. I love them with a nutty, milky coffee. Pro tip: save a packet of silica gel from some kale chips or freeze-dried fruit. They’ll help keep your cookies crisp.
Bring 4 egg whites to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In an electric mixer, whisk egg whites on high until foamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar and mix until fluffy, about another minute. Mix ⅔ cup of powdered sugar with ⅔ cup of granulated sugar. Add to egg mixture one tablespoon at a time while on medium-high speed. Continue to whisk until shiny and stiff (a peak stands up straight and doesn’t fall over). Gently mix 2 ¼ cups of chopped nuts (a mixture of pecans, pecans and cashews) and 1 cup of almond flour.
Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon meringues onto tray with two tablespoons, leaving about an inch between drops. Turn off oven and leave in there for at least two hours and up to overnight. Makes 40 cookies.