These are a super easy confection to make with a list of ingredients you can count on one hand: egg whites, sugar, almonds, dates, and vanilla extract.
The almonds are ground up in the food processor. Rose prefers unblanched sliced almonds as they have a more almondy flavor. I could only find blanched so I gave mine a little toast to punch up their flavor, plus I was worried they would taste a bit raw in the final cookie, and I don't like that.
Next the almonds are removed from the processor so that the dates can be ground down into a sticky mass. Then the nuts are pulsed back in and set aside.
Then the whites get beaten in the mixer at supposedly medium-low speed until soft peaks are held. I decided this must be a typo (which I don't think it is) and beat them at medium-high. The sugar is added and mixed (now really at medium high) for exactly five minutes. Rose warns that at this stage the whites will not hold a peak but will be glossy. Check. Mix in the vanilla, then add the dates and almonds, and that's that.
|kinda looks like super milky oatmeal|
I suck at piping, so the first batch of piped meringues look like somebody who sucks at piping piped them. (Peter Piper piped a peck of peculiar patties!)
The second batch is a bit better (except I bumped the cookie sheet on the way to the table and that one cookie fell off)
The cookies baked for a bit longer than the maximum time suggested to get a pale brown color. I like them as is, which is to say crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. However, I wonder what they would be like if they were baked to a nice toasty brown? I might like that, too.
People who dislike the sickly sweetness of meringue have nothing to worry about here. Nuts do a wonderful job of offsetting sweet meringue, and the dates actually contribute some really nice jammy/fruity notes without adding more sweet. Super easy to bake, and super easy to eat. A surprise winner!