This recipe has been around for a long time. Every Spring as Easter draws near, I dig through my recipes to find it so we can make it once. I first tried it when The Boy was in elementary school and he loved beating up the nuts. Not a surprise as he always did get a crazed look on his face when handed a hammer. Now Phia was methodical, working her way from one end to the other and every nut had to be properly smashed. When Boo does it, just get out-of-the-way if you don’t want your fingers smashed!
The story that goes along with the cookies is located at the bottom of the recipe.
1c Whole Nuts
1 tsp White Vinegar
3 Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
1 c Sugar
If you are allergic to nuts substitute Grape Nuts or other favorite cereal, Granola Bars, crunchy candy bar or even chocolate. The idea is to have something to beat so you can get very creative.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. This is an absolute MUST that it is done BEFORE you start anything else. The oven must be heated for this to work and make the hollow cookies.
Use whatever your favorite nut is, or what you happen to have on hand. The cookies will take on the flavor of the nuts so make sure you like them. I have used walnuts and pecans but this time we gave pistachios a try. Place them into the zipper bag and using the wooden spoon, beat the daylights out of them.
The bowl you use to whip the egg whites must be clean, free of any grease and dry. If whipping by hand it is best to use a copper bowl. The copper ions drift into the egg whites so they will not denature (unfold). Since my last cheap whisk broke, I used my mixer.
In the bowl, place the egg whites and start to whip. Add the vinegar as you work. Keep whipping and add the salt. Slowly add the sugar as you keep whipping. If whipping by hand it can take up to 10 minutes to form a stiff peak. It will vary depending on the mixer you have. Stiff peaks mean the egg whites will literally stand up. Plan on whipping those whites for a good 12 minutes, but keep an eye on them so you don’t over beat them.
Quickly and gently, fold the chopped nuts into the whites. Do this by placing the spatula under the whites and flipping it over. Rotate the bowl and keep doing it. Folding, rather than mixing, keeps the air you worked so hard to get into the eggs.
Fold the top of the zipper bag you used for the nuts over. This prevents any food from getting on the top of the bag and making a mess as you pipe. Spoon the meringue into the bag and twist the top. Snip 1/2 an inch off a corner to pipe through. Don’t make the cookies too big or they won’t become hollow. You should be able to get 18 to 20 cookies.
I used a silicone mat on the cookie sheet but have also used parchment paper. If you use nothing you risk the cookies sticking to the tray and losing the effect.
Place into the oven and turn it off. Yes you read that correctly, TURN OFF THE OVEN. Now walk away and go to bed. In the morning you will have some lovely white cookies. To go fun part is letting the kids open the oven, eating a cookie for breakfast, and finding they are hollow on the inside. Beautiful memories for years to come!
THE RESURRECTIONS STORY
When you place the nuts in the bag and beat with the spoon, explain how Jesus was beaten by soldiers John 19 1-3
Eggs represent life. Explain how Jesus gave His life for us John 10:10-11
Smell the vinegar and explain how Jesus wa given this to drink. John 19:28-30
Taste the salt and describe the salty tears shed by the followers of Jesus and the bitterness of our sin. Luke 23:27
So far the ingredients have not been very tasty. So now it is time to tell the sweetest part of the story, that Jesus died because He loves us and wants us to know Him. Ps 34:8 & John 3:16
The white color of the egg whites represents our purity in God’s eyes when we have accepted Him. Is 1:18 & John 3:1-3
The mounds on the cookie sheet remind us of the tomb where Jesus was laid Matt 27:57-60
Tape the door to symbolize how the tomb was sealed. Matt 27:65-66
As we go to bed talk about the disappointment in leaving the cookies till morning and how the followers of Jesus felt when they left his body in the tomb. John 16:20&22
On Easter morning open the oven and give everyone a cookie. They are hallow, just as the tomb was empty! Matt 28:1-9