3/4 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F; place two racks near the centre of the oven.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, place the macadamia nuts and the confectioners' sugar. Process until the nuts are finely ground, about 20 seconds.
Do not over process or the nuts and sugar will turn into paste.
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the sugar and the water.
Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Be sure to stir constantly.
As soon as the sugar is dissolved reduce the heat to low.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites at medium speed until they're foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat at high speed until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Attach a candy thermometer to the pan with the sugar syrup.
Increase the heat to high and cook the syrup until it comes to a boil.
You want the thermometer to register 248 degrees F.
With the mixer off, add 1/4 cup of the hot syrup to the egg whites and then beat at medium speed until well blended.
Continue to add the syrup, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in 1/2 cup of the macadamia nut mixture.
You can either spoon the meringue onto the cookie sheets or you can use a pastry bag.
If you use a pastry pag, use a large plain tip. Pipe or spoon the meringue onto the sheet so that they're 1-1/2 inches at the base.
Sprinkle with the remaining macadamia nuts and bake, two sheets at a time, for 40 to 50 minutes.
The meringues will be dry on the outside but still soft on the inside.
Any remaining meringue batter will be fine for a second batch of baking.
Transfer the meringue kisses to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Pairs Well With
Adapted from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle.