Recipe for Halloween Tombstone Cookies:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5-6 minutes
Serves: 20 cookies
4 egg whites
1 heaping cup superfine sugar
1 cup Cheerios (original, honey nut, or multi-grain)
½ cup pecan pieces
Tube of black colored icing for garnishing
1. In a blender or food processor, grind the Cheerios and pecans together until a moderately fine powder. (If over-processed, the oil in the pecans will come out, thus causing the mixture to clump up.) Reserve.
2. Whip whites using the whisk attachment of a mixer. (You can do this by hand, but it requires a lot of muscle.) When the whites form soft peaks*, add 1/3 of the sugar. Whip until the whites form firm peaks. Take bowl off the mixer and fold in remaining sugar. Fold in reserved Cherrie and pecan mixture.
3. Place mixture in a pastry bag with a ¼-inch round opening. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe 20 tombstones about ¼-inch thick on the parchment paper. Try to pipe them as flat as possible.
4. Bake in a 200º F oven (basically warm) for 5-6 hours or until the cookies are very dry and brittle.
5. Remove from oven, decorate with black icing and keep in an airtight container until ready to serve. Warning: These cookies are very susceptible to humidity and will soften unfavorably if exposed to humidity. If the cookies do become soft, you can re-dry them again in the oven.
*To judge soft and firm peaks, turn off the mixer and pull the whisk from the egg whites. When whipped to soft peak, the whites will form a point that will then curl over. When whipped to firm peak, the whites will not curl over, but instead stand straight up.