The enamel on your teeth might spontaneously dissolve when you pop this basil meringue in your mouth. It is very sweet! My own variation of the classic suspiro cookie from Costa Rica has a nice light green color and even though it is sweet, the basil makes for a rather grown up taste. I had not expected the color to stay so nice after the meringues had been baked, but the low oven temperature keeps them from discoloring. I liked the subtle taste of the basil in this cookie and will try some other green herbs in my meringues. Rosemary should be good! If you would like a treat that is not so sweet you could make the filling with cream cheese or whipped cream and mix in the basil and sugar to taste.
for about 15 cookies
for the meringue
10-12 basil leaves
2 egg whites (room temperature)
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon lemon juice
100 grams caster sugar
for the filling
10-12 basil leaves
200 grams icing sugar
about 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Puree the basil leaves in a small blender or mortar and pestle.
Preheat the oven to 90˚C/194˚F. Beat the egg whites until they are just foamy. Add the salt.
Beat for a few seconds and add the lemon juice.
Beat until the egg whites are a little bit firmer and slowly start adding the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon.
Add the basil puree.
Keep beating until the egg whites are firm and shiny.
Spoon the egg whites in a piping bag with an open star tip and pipe little rods of about 8cm/3inches onto a cookie sheet covered with baking paper.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 ½ hours. Turn off the oven and leave the cookies to cool in the oven. They should be crisp on the outside and just a little chewy inside.
Puree the basil leaves in a small blender or mortar and pestle. Mix with the icing sugar and just enough lemon juice to make a dough-like filling. Divide the filling over the bottoms of half the meringues and cover with the rest.
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