I spent my birthday back in April in Paris, where every day was one delicious food experience after another. One of the most fun was eating these bite size bits of meringue! They look so simple, so I was surprised when I did research when I got home about how difficult they are to make. I think the research paid off, because using tips from other bakers, mine turned out pretty darn perfect.
I read My Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz and his blog for tips, but then I came across this blog that had very detailed instructions that were really helpful.
A few things before you begin:
Leave the egg whites out the night before.
Use a kitchen scale.
Use an oven thermometer (my oven was off 20 degrees)
Make the ganache filling before you make the cookies if you want to fill them right away.
Pick a day when it is not humid outside (not usually a problem in my home state).
4.5 oz powdered sugar
2.5 oz almond meal (I used Bob's Red Mill brand-expensive, wish I could have found it in bulk so I could just buy what I needed, about 3/4 of a cup)
2 lg egg whites, room temperature
pinch of cream of tarter
1.5 oz superfine sugar (baker's sugar)
Filling of your choice (jam, ganache, buttercream)
The cookies cooled for about 2 minutes, then I put them on cooling racks. I had no trouble with sticking.
I filled mine with dark chocolate ganache. Yummy.
1/2 c. cream
3.5 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 T. butter, softened
Bring the cream to a boil slowly, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for a minute, then stir until combined. Add the butter and keep stirring until mixed in. Chill to stiffen before using as filling.
I ended up with 40 individual cookies, so enough for 20 sandwiches. I filled some right away, the rest I froze without filling and will use later.
It took about 2 hours of hands-on time for these cookies, so they are more of a special occasion cookie-but they sure are tasty. I had zero trouble with these cookies--there are lots of steps involved, but they weren't too terrible.