As a kid, I loved these puffy, white, cones of sweetness - still do, infact. They were crunchy for most part with a little bit of chewiness and had chopped cashews in the mix. Whenever my father went to Tuticorin he would buy these for me, even now he sends these along when possible. When I saw 'meringues' here in the US for the first time, I was thrilled thinking that I had found macaroons again but they didn't taste anywhere close to the 'real' one that I adored. I don't know if the box i bought was bad or if all meringues taste that way because I never ventured to taste them again after the first attempt.
Anyhow, when a friend of mine mentioned that these can very easily be made at home, I didn't hesitate to try. This is my 2nd attempt at these and even though I don't get the cone shape, the taste matches what we get in India.
Egg Whites - 2
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Cashews - 150 gms (unsalted, not roasted)
1. Let egg whites stay at room-temperature for 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (no need to grease)
2. In a large bowl, beat (with an electric mixer) on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).
3. Now, start adding sugar, 1 tbsp at a time (adding sugar little by little is key), while still beating.
4. Continue beating for about 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form (tips are straight) and sugar has almost dissolved.
5. Put cashews in a mixie and powder till slightly coarse. Fold this carefully into the beaten egg white mixture.
6. At this point, you can put this in a pastry bag / ziploc bag and cut off a tip to pipe this onto the parchment paper. I just kept it simple and dropped spoonfuls of this on the parchment paper leaving some space in between.
7. Put this in a 200F to 225F (low heat) oven and bake for 30 minutes. You can switch off the oven at this point and let the cookies stay in the oven for a while to make then even more crisp.
8. Let cool fully before storing them in air-tight containers.