By ALISON LADMAN
Lemon meringue pie was an easy dessert to rethink as a cookie. Though we left off the crust, these cookies have all the same elements as that delicious pie.
Meringue cookies are baked with dimples in the center until crisp. The dimples then are filled with creamy tangy lemon curd. If you like the idea of a crisp meringue, fill the cookies just before serving. If you prefer the meringue to be soft, fill the meringues up to 24 hours in advance.
LEMON MERINGUE COOKIES
Start to finish: 2 hours (30 minutes active)
Makes 3 dozen cookies
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
8 ounces lemon curd
Heat the oven to 200 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to beat until the whites are foamy. Very slowly, while continuing to beat, add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Use a spoon to dollop the mixture in walnut-sized mounds onto the prepared baking sheets. Using a slightly dampened finger, press an indent into the center of each mound. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meringues are dried and crisp.
Store the meringues in an airtight container, at room temperature, between sheets of waxed paper.
For crisp cookies with a soft lemon filling, add a teaspoon of lemon curd to each indent just before serving.
For soft, marshmallow-like cookies, fill the cookies at least several hours (and up to 24 hours) before serving.