I’ve always thought of Turkish coffee as a special-occasion sort of drink. It’s not just coffee: it’s extra-rich coffee that’s often spiced, sweetened and presented in pretty little mugs.
Then there’s the way Turkish coffee is prepared. The coffee beans are ground into a very fine powder, then brewed filter-free using ornate metal pots made just for the process. Finally, the water nearly bubbles over the edge before the scrumptious concoction is ready.
Having only had it at friends’ houses and Turkish restaurants, I admit I may not have a grasp of authentic Turkish coffee. But the versions I’ve tasted have been distinct and delicious enough to remember with fondness and a craving for more. Not surprisingly, the brew has also often left me daydreaming of its rebirth as a dessert.
So I finally created these candy-like cookies in its honor.
Turkish coffee meringues (makes about 100 little meringues or 50 little sandwiches)
– 1/2 cup egg whites (from about 4 eggs) at room temperature
– 1 cup sugar
– 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder such as Medaglia D’oro
– 2 – 3 teaspoons ground cardamom
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
– Sprinkles and/or chocolate for melting (both optional)
Preheat oven to 200 F. Line 2 – 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Beat egg whites on high until white and foamy. With mixer on, very slowly add the sugar. Gradually add the spices and keep beating until stiff peaks form. Fit a pastry bag with the tip of your choice, fill with egg white mixture, and pipe small meringues onto the cookie sheets (about 1.25 – 1.5″ diameter). Before placing meringues in oven, if desired, decorate them with sprinkles or more spices. Bake for about 75 minutes, then let cool to room temperature. If desired, sandwich pairs of meringues with a bit of melted chocolate. Store in an airtight container at room temperature away from moisture.
Flavorful and fragrant, Turkish coffee meringues are full of sweet coffee taste and delectable spice. Not unlike the drink that inspired them, their little size delivers a robust burst of flavor and a welcome pick-me-up. They are crisp, light and satisfying, and for me, they echo the festive feeling of their namesake brew. And as a bonus to their deliciousness, meringues are gluten-free, fat-free and dairy-free — as long as your fillings and decorations are, too.
Moriah VanVleet is the voice behind butter, sugar, flowers where this post first appeared.