From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...At some point, the neighborhood kids started calling Mrs. P's meringues porcupines. The adults, perhaps with a greater sense of propriety, refused to follow suit and continued to call her spiced meringues, Cinnamon Angels. These unusual melt in the mouth morsels were studded with slivered, half buried almonds that structurally created a void in the middle of the baked cookies. The cookies were sweet in the extreme and guaranteed to please even the most demanding sweet tooth. There were no electric mixers when I first saw these cookies being made. Mrs. P used an old rotary beater that required upper body strength and a perseverance that not all bakers of that time had, but she managed to make these cookies for the neighborhood every Christmas that I can remember. The addition of cinnamon and almonds set these meringues apart from others of their kind and folks who love sweet treats will adore them. They keep well, but they are hard to store because they are so fragile and it doesn't take much to reduce them to crumbs. I like to make these the day before I plan to serve them. I store them in the pantry away from kitchen moisture so they retain their just baked crispness. If you have an electric mixer you will find these cookies simple to make. They make a lovely, unexpected addition to Christmas cookie platters and I know your family and friends will enjoy them. They are, by-the-way, called angels because they are feather light. Here is how they are made.
Cinnamon Angels...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 small bag (2-ounces) slivered almonds
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
2) Beat egg whites until stiff peak form. Gradually beat in cream of tartar, cinnamon, salt and sugar until blended and sugar dissolves. Stir in vanilla extract.
2) Drop mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Poke 5 or 6 slivered almonds into top and sides of each cookie, allowing 1/2 of each sliver to show. Bake for 50 minutes, until almonds are toasted and cookies are slightly brown and dry. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen cookies.
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