by Alice Medrich
This deceptively light textured cookie is very rich in chocolate flavor. I particularly recommend Valrhona Le Noir Gastronomie.
2 large egg whites (1/4 cup), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into pieces
Cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or greased or non stick
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper, or grease them if necessary.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave on medium 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or set the bowl into a skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir to complete the melting. Set aside.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla until soft peaks form when you lift the beaters. Add the sugar gradually, continuing to beat until the eggs whites are stiff but not dry. Pour the nuts and all of the warm chocolate over the egg whites. Fold with a rubber spatula until the color of the batter is uniform. Do not let the batter wait.
Drop tablespoons of batter on the baking sheets at least 1 inch apart. Bake 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets from front to back and top to bottom of the oven about half way through the baking period. The surface of the cookies should be shiny and cracked, firm when you press them but still gooey inside. If using parchment paper, cool the cookies on the baking sheets placed on racks, or slide the parchment sheets onto racks, otherwise transfer the individual cookies to a rack with a metal pancake turner. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Cookies are best on the day they are baked but still delectible for another 2-3 days. Makes about thirty 2-inch cookies.
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