Meringue Acorns with Salted Pistachios and Chocolate
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Every year I love to make at least one new Christmas cookie. These Meringue Acorns are a real show stopper and taste heavenly. Imagine the sweet crunch of vanilla meringue surrounded by melted chocolate truffles and covered with salty nuttiness. It’s a winner!
P.S. If you have a Costco membership, get the chocolate truffles now while they are available for the holidays; you can melt them as an easy ganache over cakes and all kinds of baked goodies. Also get the salted pistachios. There’s just something about salt and chocolate that makes me want to do cartwheels.
I’m planning to serve these at my upcoming Christmas party (if I can keep them hidden from the Mr. and the mini Mr.). My friend Victoria (whom I met on Instagram), shared this recipe with me. These cookies remind me of her; stylish, gorgeous and really great taste!
Ingredients for Meringue Acorns:
3 egg whites, room temp (you can bring them to room temp in warm water for 15 min)
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Toppings and Coating:
1 cup truffle chocolate (sold at Costco) or melted semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups of nuts (I used a mix of 3/4 cup salted pistachios and 3/4 cup hazelnuts)
So, P.S. I tested these with both organic sugar from Costco and regular white granulated sugar and had much prettier results with the granulated sugar. Bummer.
I think it was because the granules were bigger with the organic sugar and they didn’t blend into the eggs very well. The granulated sugar meringue also had a better crunch. (Organic sugar on the left, Granulated sugar on the right):
How to Make Meringue Acorns:
Preheat Oven to 200° F.
1. Add 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp cream of tartar and beat on high speed for 7 minutes until you have glossy ribbons and the peaks stay fairly stiff. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla on high speed for another min or so or until well incorporated (scrape down the bowl if you see stray streaks of vanilla).
2. Use a 3/8″ piping tip. I used my Wilton 2A tip with a piping bag and pipe meringue kisses onto a parchment lined large cookie sheet (about 1″ apart). You want the base of your “kisses” to be about 1-inch wide.
Here’s my technique, squeeze until your base is 1″ in diameter then release pressure as you lift your bag up to create a pointy tip. Here’s a little video I posted to Instagram. This might work with a big ziploc bag and a 3/8″ round hole cut in the corner. I don’t see why not.
3. Bake at 200˚F for 1 hour 30 min. They should slide easily off the parchment paper easily when they are done. Remove from oven and pull the parchment paper off the baking sheet and let the meringues cool on the paper at room temp.
When they come out of the oven, they will be crisp on the outside a little marshmallowy on the inside, but will harden as they cool.
4. Once they cool to room temp. Grind up some nuts in a food processor by pulsing them until they are coarse crumbles. After about the 5th hazelnut, I was really wishing I had just bought the pre-shelled nuts. My poor fingers. My husband had to finish them off ;).
5. Melt some chocolate over very low heat just until melted. Dip the bottoms of the meringue kisses into the chocolate and let any excess poor off, then pat/roll the chocolaty bottom into your chopped nuts. You can also spoon the nuts onto your acorns.
P.S. If you are using chocolate truffles, you want it thin enough to coat a spoon. Don’t over melt them (they melt super fast) or it won’t coat well. If that happens, let it sit and cool down a bit so you get a real nice coating. You can also heat it back up again if needed. This chocolate isn’t as finicky as semi-sweet chocolate when it comes to re-heating.
The more nuts and chocolate, the merrier.
Come on, admit it, you want to bite that.
Credits: This recipe comes from my friend Victoria (who I met on Instagram) and was inspired by Martha Stewarts Coffee Meringue Acorns.
Meringue Acorns with Salted Pistachios and Chocolate
Ingredients for Meringue:
- 3 egg whites, room temp (you can bring them to room temp in warm water for 15 min)
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Toppings and Coating:
- 1 cup truffle chocolate, sold at Costco or melted semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups of nuts, I used a mix of 3/4 cup salted pistachios and 3/4 cup hazelnuts
How to Make Meringue Acorns: Preheat Oven to 200° F.
Add 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp cream of tartar and beat on high speed for 7 minutes until you have glossy ribbons and the peaks stay fairly stiff. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla on high speed for another min or so or until well incorporated (scrape down the bowl if you see stray streaks of vanilla).
Use a 3/8" piping tip. I used my wilton 2A tip with a piping bag and pipe meringue kisses onto a parchment lined large cookie sheet (about 1" apart). You want the base of your "kisses" to be about 1-inch wide. Here's my technique, squeeze until your base is 1" in diameter then release pressure as you lift your bag up to create a pointy tip. This might work with a big ziploc bag and a 3/8" round hole cut in the corner. I don't see why not.
Bake at 200˚F for 1 hour 30 min. They should slide easily off the parchment paper easily when they are done. Remove from oven and pull the parchment paper off the baking sheet and let the meringues cool on the paper at room temp. When they come out of the oven, they will be crisp on the outside a little marshmallowy on the inside, but will harden as they cool.
Once they cool to room temp. Grind up some nuts in a food processor by pulsing them until they are coarse crumbles. After about the 5th hazelnut, I was really wishing I had just bought the pre-shelled nuts. My poor fingers. My husband had to finish them off ;).
Melt some chocolate over very low heat just until melted. Dip the bottoms of the meringue kisses into the chocolate and let any excess poor off, then pat/roll the chocolaty bottom into your chopped nuts. You can also spoon the nuts onto your acorns. The more nuts and chocolate, the merrier.
P.S. I tested these with both organic sugar from Costco and regular white granulated sugar and had much prettier results with the granulated sugar. Bummer. I think it was because the granules were bigger with the organic sugar and they didn't blend into the eggs very well. They granulated sugar meringue also had a better crunch.
PPS. P.S. If you are using chocolate truffles, you want it thin enough to coat a spoon. Don't over melt them (they melt super fast) or it won't coat well. If that happens, let it sit and cool down a bit so you get a real nice coating. You can also heat it back up again if needed. This chocolate isn't as finicky as semi-sweet chocolate when it comes to re-heating.
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Hi Natasha, I see the meringue with 3 egg white and 3/4 will be very sweet. Is it possible to reduce sugar in the meringue? Would it collapse if I reduce the sugar?
Hi Han! I haven’t tested it that way so I’m not sure if it would work and if the meringue would form properly. I’ve just never seen it done with powdered sugar either. Meringue is typically made with white sugar.
Re: Organic sugar. If you find the grains are too big, just pulse them in the blender until they are the size you want. Whenever a recipe calls for caster sugar, for example, I just weigh out the amount of granulated (organic sugar) and pulse until it is finely ground. I have had not problems using organic sugar in anything I have made.
Thanks for sharing your tips with other readers Jeanette!
If these can’t be frozen to save for Christmas, how long can they be stored in an airtight container?
Andrea, I’ve had them at room temp for 5 day and they were still delicious! Just keep them in tupperware or on a platter covered in plastic wrap.
If I wanted maringue to be little soft on the inside would I bake them less. I like them little chewy. Because I made like u have in the recipe but they were very crispy and hard. Thanks. Wish they were little softer.
Hi Tamara, this meringue recipe is intended to be more of a firm crisp, fully dried meringue cookie. You may have had a different recipe in mind?
Hi Natasha. Did you use toasted nuts or not? Thank you
Hi Tammy, I did not toast the nuts. No worries, I will always tell you when I do toast them 🙂 I hope you enjoy the recipe!
I would like to make those and wondering if I can substitute white sugar for powdered sugar? If yes, how much powdered sugar should I use?
Hi Irina, I haven’t tested it that way so I’m not sure if it would work and if the meringue would form properly. I’ve just never seen it done with powdered sugar either. Meringue is typically made with white sugar.
What kind/size of a baking sheet did you use to bake these? Did they all fit on one sheet for you?
Hi Inna, I used a standard large 11×17 baking sheet to make these and they did all fit. If you want more space, I would recommend this BIG 3/4 baking sheet. I LOVE mine and use it frequently.
What if I put them in the refrigerator after I’m done with them? What will happen then?
Hi Liliya, meringue should not be refrigerated because moisture from the fridge will soften it and cause it to become mushy. These can safely be stored at room temperature just like you would regular chocolate chip cookies.
Another question should I coat them in chocolate and nuts if I’m making them for next day party? Will anything happen to maringue since I will dip it into warm chocolate? Thank you
Hi Tammy, once the chocolate is cool enough to coat a spoon (not overly liquidy), there is no worry about it hurting the meringue. it sets fairly quickly, just make sure you leave them at room temperature and do not refrigerate.
Hello Natasha umm is the cream of tartar necessary because I can’t find it at the store and maybe there’s a substitute for it?
Hi, have you looked in the baking section next to all the spices? The cream of tartar is important in getting the texture of the acorns right and not hollow.
Oh okay but there’s no substitute for it?
Not that I know of.
The baker I know consulted me about this and mentioned using a tiny-tiny-bit of citric acid (less then an amount of salt in this recipe), added at the end of mixing, which I did, and they turned out shiny and smooth. I couldn’t find this tartar cream eather (Europe here…). She also mentioned a tsp of some kind of vinegar…it all has to do with a little bit of adding acid
Natasha, when I make my meringues, theyre a fine texture, everyhing looks right until I take them out of the oven, the surface isn’t smooth. It is really wrinkly looking. I tried it 2 times, following the recipe precisely. Anything that you know causes it?
Mine came out wrinkly when I used organic sugar which was more coarse than granulated sugar. I don’t think it dissolves the same way. Did you possibly do the same thing?
Hmm, I used regular granulated sugar, Stop & Shop store brand. Maybe this brand is more course, so I could try sifting it?
If it is regular granulated sugar it should be fine without having to do any sifting. Did you make sure to use room temp egg whites and also beat for the full 7 minutes for the sugar to fully incorporate into the white?
Can these be frozen?
I don’t think meringue would freeze well.
I tried this recipe and after a second attempt they still for some reason didn’t turn out right. I’ve worked with meringue before so the consistency was all right like it should be, but when they finished baking for some reason the outside is sticky like marshmellowy but inside is perfectly baked & dry like it needs to be.. Any idea what happened?
Do you mean they were moist inside and dry outside – I’ve never seen it the way you mentioned – I didn’t even think that was possible :). Did you maybe make them very large? Did you use the regular bake setting rather than convection?
I know I didn’t even think it was possible either! But yes, inside they were perfectly dry but outside they became sticky and marshmellowy. I made them yesterday and even checked them after they cooled, they came out perfectly baked. But I left them in the oven overnight and today they were sticky outside. And it got worse over time :/ I read online that it can do that in humidity but I wouldn’t say our weather was at all humid today… So I’m not sure. And I made them pretty small. I guess for future I won’t make them ahead of time? Lol I just thought it’d be easier since meringue usually holds up nicely for days.
Yeah the first thing I thought was humidity also. Honestly I have no idea what else it could have been. I’ve never had that experience before – Idaho is a very dry place – and yes they should be fine at room temperature for several days when stored in a cool dry place. You’ve got me stumped 🙂
Hi, just made these. The taste is great. I agree with Olga above. The surface, although smooth and visually dry, did get sticky an hour later, I don’t think I can store them in a container, because they willl all stick together. I am going to leave them overnight in a dry place…in the oven. Thanks for the recipe! Happy Cristmas!
I’m happy you enjoyed the taste! Merry Christmas!
Wow, these are fantastic. I pretty much ate half of them before I got to the dipping. I made them on a rainy day and found that they got wet and sticky within minutes, so keep them in a dry area. I would double the recipe because you will probably eat half of them.
I know all about eating them before the dipping stage ;). Yeah, definitely store them in a cool dry place if you aren’t eating them right away. Great point!
I made these yesterday and ended up not having enough chocolate so i went and got more today and started making them and noticed they were super chewy. and i checked the ones from yesterday and they were chewy too. could it be because i didn’t bake them enough?
Yes, if they aren’t fully dried out, they will be chewy. Did you follow the instructions exactly, bake the full 1 1/2 hours and use cream of tartar? Was there anything else that you could have done differently? How large did you make them?
Hello Natasha! I cant wait to make this cookies.
What is cream of tartar for. Can i skip that?
It’s a white powder that is sold in a little spice jar in the spice section. It helps to stabilize the meringue so you don’t get air gaps in the cookies. It works best with the cream of tartar and I highly recommend it.
Hi natasha! Can I use something instead of cream of tartar?
That’s the only thing I’ve found that helps egg whites stay firm and hold their form without being filled with air pockets and gooey spots after they are baked.
made these lil ones for Christmas party. real tasty and delicious with the nut mix. except didn’t like touching every little one for the dipping process. maybe next time ill make them a tad bigger. thank you.
It’s definitely easier if they aren’t too tiny to pick up. Using a couple spoons is nice to since you can spoon the nuts over the sides of the chocolate and then lift them out without having to handle them too much.
I made these tonight for my family visiting! It was a huge hit. I think my fiancee’s exact words were “heaven in my mouth”. Thanks for the recipe. I love your blog btw. Great recipes and easy to follow!
That’s a good way to describe these! 🙂 Thanks Lisa! I’m so glad you all enjoyed them.
Thank you Natasha for sharing this recipe . I made them for our family Christmas party and literally had to hide them for my husband he didn’t wNt to share them . They are supper delicious and easy to make !! Were a big hit at a party 🙂
It sounds like what was going on in my house. My testers were very eager to get their hands on these 😉
Natasha, how many days in advance can I make this for Christmas? And how would I store them, tightly covered or leave them out?
The longest I’ve had them out at room temperature (in a fairly dry climate) was 5 days and they were just covered in plastic wrap sitting on a baking dish. The ingredients are not highly perishable and if you really wanted to, you could make them today 🙂
So cute how the pistachios give them a green color, naturally! Since truffles are pretty much chocolate with cream, I think it would be great to add a dash of heavy cream to melted chocolate for the same result 🙂 If one doesn’t have a box of truffles laying around…
Absolutely! That would make it like a ganache and that would be just as delicious! 🙂
Hi Natasha!!! I Want to make this babies, but have only tiny bag of phistashios on hand. Will it work with almonds or walnuts or mix of them?
Hi Ilona, I think almonds would be a nice substitute or you can use all 3 nuts. combined.
Then I better listen to , chef Natasha 🙂
Sheesh 🙂 Ha ha. You’re funny.
Can I replace cream of tartar with something else?
I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ve tried making meringues without it and they seem more chewy and sometimes are completely hollow inside. They will be “ok” without the cream of tartar but they will be great with it! 🙂
hey how long in advance can make these, before they go bad?
I’ve had them at room temp for 5 day and they were still delicious! Just keep them in tupperware or on a platter covered in plastic wrap.
Natasha these look lovely. Just a question what’s cream of tartar? Is it widely available and is it necessary to use in the recipe or it can be skipped?
It is available in probably every grocery store. look for it in the spices section. It’s a white powder. It makes the meringue sturdier and the texture is nicer. It’s a very good idea to use it in meringue.
You did it again! These look amazing!!!!
Thank you. 🙂
Wow, these look amazing and soo festive!. Definitely giving them a try.. 😉
Aren’t they super festive? They just sing Christmas to me 🙂
Perfect..:) love these!
Why thank you 😉
THESE are adorable! Sharing with our Fans. I need to make these 🙂
You’re awesome and thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Meringue…. Elegance in simplicity.. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
You’re welcome. The also taste delish! 🙂
These are super cute!!! Meringue..truffles..and hazelnuts/pistachios,got all my favorites!!!
Thank you. Yes, everything delicious in one desert. It just melts in your mouth!
Wow just wow, a 5 star
Thank you! Much appreciated 😉
I can’t wait to make these!! Ps, you can grind up the organic sugar in a blender, it’ll turn out powdery smooth and the meringue results will be just as pretty! Just not as white 😉
Oh now why didn’t I think of that?? I have a whole bag of it and I was wondering what to do with it 🙂
We love this kind of cookies, they are delicious. Thank you for sharing with us these adorable little sweet treats-) Wishing you the best!
Thank you Yelena! You’re so sweet.
Natasha you are such a sweetie! Thank you for the kind things you said about me, I feel very flattered. I am also really excited to have made it on your blog (I’ve been admiring it for years now). I hope you and all the ladies who make these enjoy them as much as I did.
Thank YOU for sharing these goodies with me 🙂 You are very talented and we sure loved these cookies. I’m sure all of my party guests will agree that they are delicious! Definitely bake sale worthy! 😉
Gorgeous! Haven’t had meringue cookies forever. On my list and will follow your instructions. Maybe I can try to make them with agave or honey? What do you think? I have big suspicion they won’t come out perfect as these.:)
Did you see the photo with the organic sugar? They didn’t work out as nicely. I’m not sure how honey or agave would change it. I just haven’t experimented with those in meringue. if you try it, I’d love to know if it works! 🙂
Perhaps you can use that organic sugar for ” Italian” meringues( when hot sugar syrup is used).
I might have to give it a whirl! Thanks so much for the suggestion! 😉
I saw those. I wonder how liquid sugar can work in meringue. I guess Italian meringue is the answer.
Beautiful! I will definitely be making them very very soon!!
Thank you and they taste as good as they look 😉 I hope you love them!
I’m definitely making these!
Oh I hope you love them!! 🙂
Love these!!! How much in advance so you think I can make these?
None of these ingredients really spoil easily. I’d say at least 3 days. I just ate one on day 2 and they are just as good as they were yesterday. 😉
Wow, this looks so amazing! I’ve been recently trying to get recipes from my heritage to turn out ‘right’ instead of ‘fright’…ful… and after a failure at making Golubtsi decided I’d try again with help… Found your website and got distracted looking at all the lovely recipes! 🙂 I’m not usually very fond of sweets, but these look tasty AND cute – do you think adding almonds as well would dilute the taste too much?
I mostly tend to lurk, but this is a great website and thank you *so much* for providing loads of excellent recipes! I can’t wait to try making them all!!
lurk; lol. Lurkers welcome. 😉 Thanks for your sweet feedback. I think almonds would be a nice substitute instead of hazelnuts or you can use all 3 nuts. combined. I don’t think it would dilute it at all 🙂
This is so wonderful! Thank You and Victoria for sharing, both of you are very sweet. Can’t wait to try these goodies and place in a pretty jar for my in laws:)
These would be super adorable in glass jars. What a great gift idea!
Natasha, you’re right these cookies look so stylish! What a gorgeous treat for Christmas! If you make at least one new Christmas cookie for the holidays, I wonder how many recipes you already have up your sleeve by now? 🙂 My mom used to make similar cookies with meringue and other nuts over the cookie part – I think this is actually a Russian recipe (at least to me 🙂 ).
That’s so cool!! Do you happens to have a pic of then posted somewhere? I’d love to see your moms version.
I don’t think so – back then I did not have a camera with me at all times. I need to ask my mom to make them again and take a photo!
That would be so cool! 🙂 Thanks Julia. It’s cool to know this recipe probably has some Russian roots 😉
Oh these are ridiculously cute! I am working on a meringue post too, great minds think alike!
You are a cooking genius and I can’t wait to see your post!!