Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus 2 hours drying time for the meringues
Servings: Makes 21 small ice cream sandwiches
Note: From test kitchen director Donna Deane. You will have leftover orange sherbet; reserve for another use.
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped blanched hazelnuts
1 pint orange sherbet
1. Heat the oven to 225 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy on medium speed, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat to soft peaks, a minute more. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice. Fold in the hazelnuts.
2. Use a 2 1/4 -inch ring to trace circles onto parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the meringue onto the center of a circle, and spread evenly to the edges. Repeat with the remaining meringue.
3. As you finish spreading each tray of meringues place them in the oven to bake for 1 hour to set the meringues, then turn off the oven but leave the trays inside for an additional 2 hours to allow the meringues to dry out. Remove from the oven, and gently peel them off the parchment paper. Store, loosely covered and in a dry area, at room temperature, until needed. The meringues will keep for 2 days.
4. Just before serving, spoon a tablespoon of sherbet onto a hazelnut meringue and top with another meringue, gently pressing the meringues into the sherbet to form a sandwich. Dust the tops lightly with powdered sugar. Serve two meringue sandwiches per person.
Each ice cream sandwich: 69 calories; 1 gram protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 12 mg. sodium.