Few desserts truly melt in your mouth the way cloudlike meringues do. So light and luscious, this easy recipe is a heavenly finale to a hearty meal.
Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degree F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper.
Meanwhile, place almonds and the 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor. Cover and process until almonds are finely ground (you should have about 1-1/3 cups). (Or, if you have a coffee grinder or nut grinder, work in small batches to grind the nuts and sugar.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, almond extract, and salt. Beat on medium speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks from (tips stand straight). Fold in almond mixture.
Spoon mixture into a decorating bag fitted with a small open star tip or a round tip with a large opening. Pipe into 1-1/2-inch circles 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets, building up the edges. If the tip gets clogged, use a toothpick to unclog. Bake on separate racks in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and let cookies dry in oven with door closed for 1 hour. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Just before serving, spoon about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the raspberry preserves into the center of each cookie. Sift powdered sugar lightly over filled cookies. Makes about 40 cookies.