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Let egg whites stand in a medium bowl at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
Add almond extract, cream of tartar and salt to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the egg white mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).
Transfer egg white mixture to a disposable piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip. Pipe 1-1/2-inch "kisses" on prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between kisses.
Place cookie sheets on separate oven racks; bake for 12 minutes. Turn off oven; let cookies dry in oven with door closed for 1 hour. Carefully lift cookies off parchment paper. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely.
If desired, use a new paintbrush or a paintbrush used only for food to lightly paint luster dust atop cookies and/or sprinkle with cocoa powder.