This is easy… oh, so, easy! These are, I believe, a classic Nigella recipe that has recently become popular and everyone has their own version.
They are basically a meringue, but cooked very slowly, and filled with lots of goodies from the cupboard – I’ve tried to simplify things so that the ratios are easy, the steps are easy and you don’t even have to bother getting the scales out.
All you need is 2 egg whites, a bit of sugar and a cup full of whatever treats you fancy on the inside.
What are the best fillings?
Chocolate is great in these cookies – it melts a little, but in the low heat stays largely contained giving you rich little bites of chocolate throughout. I love dark chocolate, but a mix of dark and milk is probably my favourite.
Pistachios, raisins and sultanas are classics – but I love dates and mixed peel. The flavours are deeper and the texture more interesting for me. My girlfriend even said she loved the mixed peel experiment with is a golden thumbs up from her!
Beyond that, just dream up whatever you want – popping candy would be a fun addition. A little bit of rock salt has potential, but I haven’t tried it. Desiccated coconut, almonds, cashews, walnuts! All of it sounds delicious to me.
Why are they forgotten?
They get their name because you cook them in an oven that is warm, but turned off and then ‘forget’ about them overnight.
The brilliance of this is they end up dry on the outside, but chewy on the inside. The fruit, nuts and chocolate and whatever else you fancy putting inside them gives them an extra bite and a bit of richness that goes far beyond a typical meringue.
That said, you can still serve them with fruit and whipped cream or yoghurt, just like a normal meringue for an extra special dessert.
- 2 egg whites
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup of sugar (use 1/4 of a cup if you have a sweet tooth, less if you don't!)
- 1 cup mixed dried fruit/nuts/cherries/crystallised ginger/chocolate flakes
- Heat the oven prior to starting – ideally you will have cooked dinner in the oven so that there is plenty of residual heat left. Keep the oven on whilst you prep the rest of hte ingredients at between 180-200 degrees celsium, gas mark 5-6
- Whisk your egg whites until foamy, keep whisking and gradually add your sugar until you get stiff peaks that don't fall out of the bowl when it's turned upside down.
- Gently fold in your cup of mixed goodies.
- Spoon out onto a baking sheet or well oil baking tin into 6-8 roughly circular to oval shapes.
- Pop in the oven, and turn the oven off. Leave them in there overnight, or for 6-8 hours.