I’m not allowed to make these anymore. Not for a while at least because I am incapable of restraining myself. My mother-in-law brought me a batch which I promptly ate within a few days. Then the batch I made disappeared just as quickly. My efforts to thwart my addiction by putting them in the freezer failed since they can nearly be eaten straight from there. Gluten-free and utterly tasty, I love the chewy almond-laced meringue that sandwiches the contrastingly smooth, buttery filling.
There are several recipes in Swedish baking that call for ground almonds and there is a special almond grinder, or mandelkvarn, that many Swedish cooks have at home. But it’s not a given that you need one. My zyliss parmesan grater produced the same fluffy consistency. Perhaps a food processor with the right grinder blade would work as well but since little bits of whatever I’m trying to slice or grate always get trapped between the lid and blade of my food processor I’m sticking with the official mandelkvarn.
You can use cream of tartar or lemon juice to help stabilize the egg whites but it’s not necessary, especially if you have a copper bowl to whip them in. The buttercream filling calls for vanilla sugar. Substituting vanilla extract would dull the color so I recommend plain powdered sugar if you don’t have vanilla sugar. Keep the finished meringues in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. And best of luck to you in not eating the whole batch yourself.
Almond meringues with buttercream filling
makes about 40 meringue halves
For the meringues
4 egg whites at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or lemon juice (optional)
7 ounces (200g) almonds (not bitter almonds), ground
2 cups (300g) powdered sugar
For the buttercream filling
10 tablespoons (140g) butter, room temperature
1 egg yolk at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or powdered sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
2. Using a nut or parmesan grater, grind the almonds and whisk them in a large bowl with the 2 cups (300g) of powdered sugar.
3. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold them into the almond and powdered sugar mixture until everything is well incorporated.
4. Drop teaspoons of batter onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. If the egg whites were whipped successfully the meringues won’t spread much but do keep a bit of space between each one. Bake in the lower portion of the oven for 8-10 minutes until the meringues are lightly golden. Once you remove them from the oven, loosen the meringues with a spatula after a couple of minutes otherwise they will unforgivingly stick to the parchment paper.
5. While the meringues are baking, mix the ingredients for the buttercream filling until smooth.
6. Once the meringues are completely cooled, spread a layer of the buttercream filling onto the bottom of one meringue and sandwich it with another meringue. Keep the finished cookies in the refrigerator or freezer.