- 144 g egg whites, aged and room temperature. (I only aged for about 12 hours)
- 230 g powdered sugar
- 115 g almonds (I used blanched and slivered) - finely ground.
- 72 g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cocoa powder (I made them "red velvet"-y so there had to be a subtle chocolate flavour)
- a dab of red colouring paste
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Pulse the almonds in your food processor/blender until fine. Add half the powdered sugar and pulse until evenly ground. (I added the cocoa here)
- Sift until you see the bigger chunks. Throw back into the food processor with the other half of powdered sugar and pulse into fine again.
- Dump eggs and granulated sugar into a clean metal or plastic bowl. Whip on low setting until the eggs get a little foamy (about 2-3 minutes). Bring it up to medium speed until the eggs get a bit thicker (another 3 minutes). Once the eggs get to soft peak stage (see picture below), add the vanilla extract and colouring paste. Whip on high until the colouring is evenly distributed.
- Add half the almond mixture on top of the meringue. Fold the meringue and almond mixture together. After about 10 folds, add the second half of the almond mixture. Make sure you scrape the sides and incorporate it all in.
- After about 30 folds, it'll be kind of a lumpy, droopy mass. Around 40 strokes, when you hold up the spatula and drip the mixture back, it'll be a flat ribbon that'll incorporate back into the mixture.
- Fill a piping bag with half the mixture (all of it probably won't fit into one), and pipe equal-sized rounds onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Let them dry while the oven preheats. The shells should be dry on the edges in order for the shells to bake up instead of expanding in the oven (this is how the feet develop).
- Bake them for about 10 minutes, or until the meringue is completely set. You'll be able to tell when you touch the top of the shells and wobble 'em back and forth. If they still are wobbly, bake for another minute or two. Once they're stiff and lift completely off the paper, they be ready!
- Peel off the parchment and let cool on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, match the shells to another one that's the same size and whip up that icing. Put that stuff in a bag.
- Pipe a dollop of icing on one side of the shells, and gently sandwich on top. (Don't press in the middle, use the edges to squish down the shell)