I am partial to old and eccentric recipes. When my grandparents moved a few years ago, I jumped at the chance to dig through my grandma's old cookbooks. My favorite recipe from the collection is titled 'Potato Soup for a Barn-Raising,' and it begins (I kid you not) with "1/2 ton potatoes, peeled and diced." Now that's a recipe! Buried in the pages of these Mennonite and Amish community cookbooks from the 1940s, I found multiple recipes for popcorn cookies with a meringue base. Intrigued, I started experimenting. I knew I had a winner when Rebecca kept polishing off the still warm cookies before they were cool enough to photograph. These Old-Fashioned Popcorn Coconut Meringue Cookies are a snap to whip up, they are chewy, nutty, not too sweet, and amazingly addictive. And as a bonus, these flourless meringues are gluten free.
Yield: 2 dozen small cookies
- 1 1/2 cups freshly popped popcorn
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch cream of tarter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a food processor, combine popcorn, pecans, and coconut. Pulse to chop into small pieces (about pea size). Set aside.
- Combine the egg whites, baking powder, salt, and cream of tarter in a medium bowl and whip until white and creamy (but sill loose). Add the sugar, and continue whipping until you have stiff peaks. This is easily accomplished in a stand mixer, hand mixer, or if you're feeling particularly old fashioned...a hand crank egg beater.
- Gently fold the popcorn-nut mixture into the egg whites.
- Drop tablespoon-size cookies onto a greased baking sheet or silicone baking mat. If desired, extra sprinkle popcorn, pecans, or coconut on top before baking.
- Bake for 14 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before transfering to a cooling rack. These meringues are very soft, so be gentle until they cool completely. They will keep well in a sealed container for 3-5 days.