Raspberries and lemon, caramel and almonds, orange and cardamom: almost too many ideas were playing in my head to choose from for my variation of the traditional ricardito cookie from Uruguay. In the end I chose a filling with walnuts and ginger because the large walnut tree in my parent’s orchard produced a bumper crop of big fat creamy nuts this year. Bags of nuts are still waiting in the basement to be eaten and this seemed like a good way to start. The crunchy nuts and spicy ginger work very well in the soft meringue coated by the dark chocolate. Maybe my walnut cookie with meringue and ginger turned out looking more like an octopus than a star, but it still tastes heavenly.
Walnut cookie with meringue and ginger
For about 20 cookies
20 ice cream wafers
150 grams / ⅔ cup sugar
60 ml / ¼ cup water
50 grams / 2½ cups honey
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
juice of ½ lemon
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
50 grams / ½ cup walnuts, chopped finely
150 grams / 1¼ cups dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
15 grams / 1 tbs butter
With a cookie cutter cut out 7 cm / 3 inch ø stars.
Put 110 grams / ½ cup of sugar, the water, the honey, the vanilla, the ginger, the lemon juice and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is melted. Boil softly until it reaches 121°C / 250°F (soft ball stage).
Meanwhile beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form.
Pour in the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream while beating at high speed. Continue beating until the egg white has cooled down to room temperature. It should be nice and stiff. Keep 2 tbs walnuts for decoration and carefully mix the rest through the egg whites.
Put the mixture in a piping bag with a large nozzle and spray nice turrets on the wafers. Let them dry for about 2 hours.
Melt the chocolate with the butter in the microwave or au bain-marie.
Put the cookies on a wire rack and spoon the chocolate over the walnut cookie with meringue and ginger or dip them in (you will need more chocolate). Let the chocolate harden.
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