Cookie Love Letters

The Nigella Lawson Cookies I Make Every Year (That Cook Overnight!)

published Dec 10, 2019
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Credit: Lauren Kodiak

I have a bit of an obsession with meringue cookies. No, I’m not referring to the dry, chalky things you find in clear plastic tubs at the grocery store: Truly spectacular meringues have a delicately crisp outside that yields to a chewy, marshmallow-like center.

But achieving that meringue perfection when baking at home always proved difficult for me, until I tried Nigella Lawson’s “Merookie” recipe two Decembers ago after reading an enthusiastic post written by one of our contributing writers.

Give Your Cookies an Overnight Oven Rest

The “ingenious” part of that title above is not an oversell — these cookies are truly so, so smart. You see, after some light prep work (whipping egg whites, folding in some mix-ins, plopping the meringues onto a sheet pan with a spoon) you can set these cookies in the oven and literally forget about them — no timer, no opening the oven to peek in or assess the level of browning. In fact, there’s no babysitting whatsoever.

How is this possible? Because the cookies themselves benefit from spending a long time at heat — so long, in fact, that the easiest way to make them is to let them cook while you sleep. So you just preheat the oven to 350°F, then once you put the tray of cookies in, you immediately turn the oven off and leave the cookies in there overnight, and the residual heat bakes the meringues to a perfect consistency every time.

When I make these, I creep into the kitchen the next morning to check on my meringues, and I feel like a kid at Christmas. What delights await? Oh, just expertly cooked meringues, lightly laced with cardamom and chock-full of mini chocolate chips and chopped pistachios. And they are as good as they sound.

Ever since I found the recipe, a December can’t go by without me whipping up at least three batches of these beauties. They wow at holiday parties and are the perfect end to a Christmas meal. They feel like a special treat you’d pick up at a fancy bakery, but they really are a breeze to make, with less than 30 minutes of hands-on time before you let them do their thing in the oven — a true cookie win!

Get the recipe: Forgotten Cookies from BBC

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.