These were the very first cookies I learned to make. In fact, I used to make them in one of those toy ovens
that cooks food with a light bulb. Its low temperature and dry heat were perfect for meringues. Suspiros are excellent when simply flavored with vanilla, but they are even better when you fold in some toasted pecans and chocolate chips. Sandwich two cookies with some caramel dulce de leche
, and you've got suspiro alfajores
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: About 15-18 sandwich cookies.
- 5 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup dulce de leche
- Place the egg whites and the cream of tartar in the bowl of a standing mixer. The bowl should be very clean, with no residual oil or fat, which inhibits the formation of the meringue.
- Beat the egg whites (using the whisk attachment) until the egg whites are forming soft peaks.
- Add the granulated sugar gradually, while still beating the egg whites. Continue to beat the egg whites until they have increased in volume and are forming stiff peaks. Sift the powdered sugar together with the salt, then add the sugar/salt mixture gradually to the egg whites, continuing to beat, until mixed well.
- Gently fold the vanilla, nuts, and mini chocolate chips into the meringue, until just mixed.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Fit a piping bag with a large round tip (at least 1/2 inch in diameter), and fill the bag with the meringue.
- Pipe the meringue into small swirls onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
- Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 60-90 minutes, checking after an hour to see if cookies feel dry and crispy. Once the cookies feel firm and crisp, turn off the oven and let cookies dry out further and cool in the oven for at least an hour or two, or overnight.
- Spread 1/2 teaspoon of dulce de leche on the bottom of one cookie, and sandwich together with another. Repeat with remaining cookies.
- Serve immediately. If planning to store cookies and serve at a later time, don't sandwich the cookies with the dulce de leche. Store the cookies in an airtight container, then add the dulce de leche filling just before serving. Cookies will become chewy and lose their crispness in a humid environment.