We needed biscuits and we needed biscuits badly. I go through stages where I don’t make anything sweet because “I’m too fat” or “They are bad for us” or a similar wimpish reason. I don’t know why I refrain. When there is nothing sweet in the house, we just go on a rampage searching here and there for anything remotely sweet. We have even been known to eat cooking chocolate when things were desperate.
I decided to do something about it. I went to eatyourbooks and typed in “pumpkin”. I know that sounds like a strange thing to search for when you want to make a biscuit but the freezer is overflowing with pumpkins. My endeavour to keep them in the cool room over summer didn’t work. About Christmas time, I noticed they were going soft so it was a matter of chopping them up and freezing them or throw them in the compost bin. Those who know me would know I chose the freezer.
Next, I searched under “semolina”. As I have mentioned before, I have an inordinate amount of semolina. I bought two packets of coarse semolina thinking it was fine and then lots of packets of fine when I found some.
My heart was not in the semolina search. I don’t really like semolina biscuits.
I then decided to search for one of my favourite ingredients, “walnuts”. Walnut shortbread by Damien Pignolet in French popped up. I have been thinking of making some shortbread since my Christmas effort left a bit to be desired. I got French off the shelf and checked out the recipe. It was a jackpot – a post will be forthcoming. On a few pages before the walnut shortbreads recipe was this recipe for “Widow’s Kisses” which is, essentially, a walnut meringue. I love meringues. They use up the inevitable supply of egg whites I have in the freezer… and I love walnuts. I was also intrigued by the use of the grated zest of green (unripe) lemon. It is not citrus season here so unripe was all I could get my hands on. Perfect.
Damien advised that the recipe comes from a Viennese friend who migrated to Australia in the late 1930’s.
- 4 egg whites
- ⅛ tsp white vinegar
- 240g caster sugar
- finely grated zest of 1 green (unripe) lemon
- 100g walnuts, chopped
- cocoa, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Beat the egg whites until frothy.
- Add the vinegar, increase the speed a little and, gradually, add the sugar.
- Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
- Using a metal spoon, fold in the zest and walnuts.
- Using two dessertspoons, drop rough mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking tray.
- Bake for one hour then reduce the temperature to 70ºC and bake until dry (about 30 minutes or so).
- Allow to cool then store in an airtight container.
- Dust with cocoa to serve.
If you like this recipe, you may also like my hazelnut meringue recipe. Here is the link.