Some things are worth making just for the name alone. Or in this case if you're travelling north to work with a colleague who's gluten-free and you need something sweet to power both of you through two days of script meetings. I was tossing up between lime polenta cake (made in a bar tin) or little lemon polenta cakes (small, stackable) when I remembered forgotten cookies. This recipe, from Chicago chef Sarah Gruneberg infuses beaten egg whites with sugar, cardamom and vanilla and winds through sour cherries, dark chocolate and toasted pecans. The dough - such as it is without flour or even, miraculously, dairy - is dolloped into spoonfuls onto a baking tray, sprinkled with sea salt, baked for five minutes and left in the oven overnight. In the morning, you're rewarded with little boulders of meringue. Crisp on the outside, with a chewy, marshmallow-like interior containing crunch, combining sweet and sour... once tried, never forgotten.
Adapted from a recipe by Sarah Gruneberg, as published on Food & Wine
If you can't lay your hands on dried sour cherries, cranberries would be a good substitute. Certainly you could play around with the combination of flavours generally - glacé ginger might be nice with dark chocolate, walnuts could be swapped for pecans... whatever you like.
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
1/4 cup dried sour cherries
coarse sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar til soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar. Add the vanilla and cardamom and beat til stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl and fold in the chocolate, pecans and cherries.
Using 2 spoons, drop 2-inch balls of the meringue mixture onto a large baking sheet lined with baking paper or foil. Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the cookies in for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.