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- 9 ounces walnut halves, toasted and finely chopped
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Spread the walnuts in a single layer on one of the baking sheets. Toast the walnuts in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 12-14 minutes. Once cool enough to touch, chop the walnuts to a fine texture and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - sugar, cocoa and salt. Add the finely chopped, toasted walnuts and stir to combine. Add the room temperature egg whites and a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Using a spatula fold the ingredients together until combined. Do not over-beat. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets (6 per sheet) in 12 equal and evenly spaced mounds.
- Bake the cookies for a total of about 16 minutes. After the first 8 minutes, shift the pans from top to bottom and from front to back. Continue baking for another 8 minutes or until the tops are lightly cracked and they feel firm to the touch.
- Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies still on it) onto a large wire rack to cool. Cool completely and store remaining cookies in an airtight container.
(recipe by New York pastry chef Francois Payard)