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Vegan Pistachio Meringue Cookies - No Egg Whites Needed!

One of my favorite parts of visiting the French bakery by my house is being able to see the giant meringue cookies sitting in their baskets in the pastry display case. There's chocolate meringues, lemon meringues, coconut meringues, but I think that pistachio meringues add a bit more exotic flavor to the standard meringue recipe. (Cover these with coarsely ground pistachio for an extra touch. Or if this is a St. Patty's recipe for you, you can even add a couple drops of green food coloring to achieve a luxurious-looking pale green!)

Vegan Pistachio Meringue Cookies

(Makes approximately 30 cookies)
INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup water

1/4 cup wheat starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons soy protein isolate
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup toasted pistachios chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (chopped in half)

DIRECTIONS:
1) Toast the pistachios. Preheat your oven to 200F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.Learn more about how to toast nuts.

2) Beat the structure building ingredientsIn a medium mixing bowl add the water, wheat starch, xanthan gum and beat for 1 minute. Add the soy protein isolate and beat for 2 more minutes. Add the cream of tartar and beat for 4 more minutes.
3) Beat in the flavor building ingredientsCarefully sprinkle half the sugar into the mixture and continue to beat until incorporated which should take about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla extract and caramel sauce. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting on your mixer and slowly add the remaining sugar. Mix until just incorporated. Now fold in the pistachios.
4) Pipe the vegan meringue onto the baking sheet then bake to perfectionI recommend piping them into 1 1/2 inch rounds on a baking sheet using the biggest star tip you can find. If you're unable to pipe then use two spoons to arrange about 3 tablespoons of meringue on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 3 hours and 30 minutes. Store the cooled in an open container at room temperature for up to three weeks. The meringues will dry out and become more crisp, losing their chewy centers the longer they sit around.

3 Comments
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I totally thought meringue was all egg white! You're a magician!
My great aunt was famous for her meringues! This makes me want to try!
@galinda That's what I aim for! ;)
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Serve immediately with some hot sauce.
Creamy French Vanilla Crème Brûlée
There's simply no way to go wrong with this classic French dessert. It's all the joy of a day spent in Paris, wandering the galleries of the Louvre and the sunny streets along the Seine... encapsulated in one perfect little dessert. Smooth, creamy vanilla custard contrasts with a crackling disc of caramelized sugar in this purely authentic recipe from Alton Brown. It's sweet without being cloying, and satisfying without being heavy – basically, the perfect dessert. Great for impressing dinner guests (with little effort required on your part), or for a sweet after-work indulgence that you can pop out of the fridge at a moment's notice. Classic French Vanilla Crème Brûlée Ingredients 1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream 1 vanilla bean 1 cup sugar* 6 large egg yolks 2 quarts hot water *You can use vanilla-flavored sugar if you like. 1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F. Cut the vanilla bean in half length-wise with a small, sharp knife. Scrape the back side of the blade down each half of the bean to remove its pulp. 2. Place heavy cream, vanilla bean pulp, and the scraped bean halves into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. When it reaches a steady bubble, shut off heat and set aside. Remove the vanilla bean shells; you can throw them away, or pop them into a tupperware of sugar to make vanilla sugar for your next batch of crème brûlée (or whatever vanilla-flavored dessert you happen to bake next). 3. Place your egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk them until they're slightly lighter in color. Add cream, still hot (but not hot enough to cook the eggs) slowly, whisking as you go. 4. Place a tea towel at the bottom of a large roasting pan, one with enough room to comfortably fit your ramekins. Pour the liquid into six 7-8 ounce ramekins (6 ramekins holding 7-8 oz. each, in case that wasn't clear! Haha). Place them in the roasting pan. The tea towel will keep them from sliding around. Finally, pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins; this will help with even heat distribution. 5. Bake just until set, around 45 minutes. It might still seem raw, but it should be trembly in the center. Since it's egg-based, you definitely want it to seem "underdone" when you remove it from the oven; it'll continue to solidify as it cools. Remove ramekins from roasting pan, and refrigerate anywhere from 2 hours to three days. Take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before caramelizing. 6. Complete this step just before serving. Divide remaining 1/2 cup of sugar equally between the 6 ramekins, sprinkling sugar evenly over the custard's surface. Shake each ramekin a little to allow the sugar to ensure equal sugar distribution. Using a cooking torch, melt and brown the sugar until it forms that classic, gorgeous crispy top. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Voilà! Crème brûlée does require a few kitchen tools that you might not have laying around at your disposal – so I've saved you the hard work and hunted down a few low-cost, high-quality materials! The BonJour Professional Grade Culinary Torch from Amazon ($23) has excellent reviews from casual cooks and real-world chefs alike. Amazon also carries the corresponding butane fuel ($3.25) for the torch, which unfortunately you do have to buy separately. Finally, my fave kitchenware store, Crate&Barrel, has perfect round, fluted 7 oz. Crème Brûlée Dishes for only $2.95 each! I cannot wait to whip up this lovely, decadent dessert for my next gathering of friends. Thanks to Alton Brown for inspiring my adaptation of the recipe! If you enjoyed this traditional French dessert, check out my recipe for Kir Pêche, a classic French cocktail! Bon appétit :)