Overview

These crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside treats are exactly of the opposite of their name: Unforgettable. The name comes from an old method — popular in Jewish bakeries such as Gottlieb’s Bakery in Savannah, Ga., but not used here — of letting meringues cool in a turned-off oven after baking. If you’ve never made meringues, there’s no need to be intimidated. All the ingredients are simply mixed together and scooped onto a baking sheet.

Recipe notes: As written, the recipe is gluten-free, with cornstarch as a binder. You can also more closely follow the Gottlieb’s model by substituting 2 tablespoons of flour. To make these cookies kosher for Passover, you can use potato starch in place of cornstarch.

We do not recommend leaving out the nuts, as they are key to providing bulk to the dough.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Ingredients

2 3/4 cups (275 grams) confectioners' sugar

Generous 1/2 cup (42 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

1 tablespoon cornstarch (see above)

Pinch kosher salt

3 large egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (234 grams) finely chopped pecans or walnuts


Steps

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Step 2

Place the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Beat on low speed just to combine the dry ingredients. Add the egg whites and beat on low speed to incorporate the whites, then increase the speed to high and beat until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla and pecans or walnuts.

Step 3

Scoop or drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets (about 15 per sheet). Bake one sheet at a time, 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are shiny and firm on the outside but still a little soft on the inside. (Smaller cookies will bake faster.) Remove the sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest for 2 minutes on the pan. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the other baking sheet.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from “American Cookie” by Anne Byrn (Rodale Books, 2018).

Tested by Becky Krystal and Jacob Brogan; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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Nutrition

Calories: 100; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Carbohydrates: 11 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugars: 9 g; Protein: 1 g.