These nutty pecan meringues are crispy on the outside but a little bit gooey in the middle! They're just perfect as a snack or smothered with cream, fruit and sauce for a tasty dessert!
What to do with leftover egg whites?
I had 3 egg whites left over. What should I do with them? I'd already made plain meringues and macaroons. What else could I make? A quick internet search revealed a few ideas and I soon decided I liked the idea of adding some nuts to meringues. The result: pecan meringues!
Meringues are quick and easy to make!
The good thing about meringues, or indeed a lot of baking, is that they are so quick to make. Basically you mix the ingredients and put them in the oven. That's all you need to do to make so many cakes and biscuits. So, it's surprising to me that a year ago I never made desserts. Well, perhaps I did once a year but I certainly never made meringues. It was easier to buy a dessert if I felt like one.
How things have changed! I'm not making desserts all the time, not even once a week, although I did make 2 yesterday! But what has especially changed is that I'm excited by making them. I keep thinking of ways I could adapt things I've made once already.
What ingredients do you need for pecan meringues?
To make these simple pecan meringues you just need just 3 ingredients:
- Pecans - You could even use another nut such as walnuts or hazelnuts
- Egg whites
- Caster sugar
- Vinegar - Helps the meringues to have that slightly gooey centre
How do you make pecan meringues?
First you need to turn the oven on to preheat and chop the pecans and toast them gently in a dry frying pan. This intensifies their nutty flavour.
Then put the egg whites and salt in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks begin to form. At this stage you can start adding the sugar but very gradually. Just a spoonful at a time. Make sure each spoonful has fully dissolved before adding more.
When all the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy you can add the vinegar. Continue to whisk until you get stiff peaks.
Stop whisking and fold in the pecans gently.
Put spoonfuls of the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven but turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven overnight.
In the morning you can peel them off the baking paper and put in an airtight box.
Why add vinegar to this pecan meringue recipe?
For a long time it puzzled me why some meringue recipes had vinegar in. I still don't really understand how it works but I do at least know why. Adding vinegar helps to make the meringues crisp on the outside but stay gooey and marshmallow-like in the middle.
Do I need to know any more? No, but I love meringues with that gooey centre so I will definitely keep on adding the vinegar to this recipe.
Can you adapt these nutty meringue cookies?
Personally I find these meringues a little sweet although they are perfect for the rest of my family. If you don't have a sweet tooth then reduce the sugar a little. I think 100g of sugar would be perfect.
My husband is not always a fan of nuts so I put a few spoonfuls of mixture onto the baking tray before mixing in the pecans. This means that anyone who doesn't like nuts can still be able to enjoy these as just plain meringues.
You can also swap the pecans for another kind of nut. Walnuts or hazelnuts would both work really well in these.
How long do they stay fresh?
In an airtight container these meringues will keep well for a couple of days. After that they will start to lose their crispiness.
- 40 g pecans
- 3 egg whites
- Pinch salt
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C
- Roughly chop the pecans and then toast them in a dry frying pan. Keep moving them so they don't burn.
- Put the egg white and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk. After about a minute add the sugar. Keep adding a little at a time and whisking.
- Add the vinegar and whisk for about 4-5 minutes until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Cover a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. If you want some plain meringues, spoon some of the mixture onto the parchment first. Add the pecans to the rest of the mixture. Fold in then continue to spoon onto the baking paper.
- Put in the oven. Turn the oven off and leave overnight.
Recipes for More Sweet Treats!
How about trying one of my other cookie recipes? They're perfect for when you need a small sweet snack!
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make these pecan meringues. I love to get feedback from readers.