Light and fluffy meringue cookies made with a dulce de leche buttercream filling and dipped in hazelnuts and chocolate ganache. The ultimate meringue dessert for any occasion!
With folding motion (going under, and over) incorporate the hazelnuts into the meringue with minimal amount of strokes (under 15 strokes).
Fit a pastry bag with a large french open star tip and fill the bag with hazelnut meringue.
Pipe about 25 - 30 stars, spacing them about 1 inch to 1.5 inches apart OR use two spoons to spoon the meringues. Sprinkle meringues with chopped hazelnuts if you wish. You can make the mounts as even or rough as you want.
Bake in preheated to 225F oven for 2 hours. Turn off oven and allow to cool in the oven.
To a medium sized sauce pot add 3 egg yolks, 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
Add 1.5 Tbsp flour and whisk until smooth again.
Heat 3/4 cups milk until boiling and add a little bit at a time into the egg yolk mixture, whisking thoroughly after each addition.
Add 1/4 can dulce de leche into the uncooked custard and whisk until most of it is dissolved. Whatever didn't, will dissolve while cooking.
Set over medium heat and cook while constantly whisking with a whisk or a flat ended spatula to prevent scorching, about 2 minutes past boiling point. Allow to cool to room temp.
Whip 6-8 Tbsp room temperature butter on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until very fluffy and almost white in color. Remember to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times throughout whipping. If you're using a hand-held mixer it might take 7-9 minutes.
Add the pastry cream into the whipped butter in thirds, minimally whipping after each addition.
If the creme seems to have curdled or the butter particles are not whipping, but curdling when you add the custard, take 1/3 of the cream and heat in the microwave in 4-5 second intervals, mixing after each, until the cream is smooth. Make sure not to overheat the cream or it will run. Now add this smooth cream to the rest of the cream. Keep doing this until the filling looks smooth.
Store Dulce De Leche Mousseline Cream in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
Fill a ziplock bag with the creme, or use a spoon to add the creme to the cookies.
Pipe a good amount on the bottom part of half of the meringues, then press the other half on top.
The process is the same regardless of what kind of meringue you use to make these cookies.
Roll the exposed part of the frosting in some chopped nuts.
Refrigerate the sandwiched cookies, covered, for at least 6 hours, or better yet - 12-24 hours before consuming. They're best eaten next day, but can sit in the fridge for several days, tightly wrapped.
If you wish, you can dip the ends of each meringue into some melted chocolate, or chocolate ganache.
To make the chocolate ganache, pour 2-3 tablespoons of hot cream over 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate chips in proportions of 1:1. Let sit for 2 minutes then stir until smooth.
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