Nut Butter Eton Mess

Beardy Boys Pecan Smash Eton Mess

In two days I leave for Paris, a city of coffee and kisses and catacombs of romance. Hand holding. Scarves. Fresh bread. Rain. I am excited; I haven’t been to Europe in six years. When I lost an uncle in the war and my best friend within a month of landing in Fiumicino. I’m excited in the way I cannot fully articulate. It’s a teetering point, a precipice. One English class called this feeling “the Sublime.” That Mary Shelley’s thematic approach to this concept  was the anxiety and thrill of peering at the edge of a cliff before jumping. This adventure feels that way, sublime and beautiful and a composite of a million memories that never fully formed, never fully alive. A chimera of emotion, rough-stitched together to make a whole. I run back to the only boy I’ve ever loved.

Beardy Boys Pecan Smash Eton Mess

But I have things to do before I go. Emails to write, jeans to buy. I think I may have gained weight since February, but I’m not so sure. I think all of my clothes are neutral and dark and I wonder if I am more myself than ever, or less so. I pack flannel pajamas, the house we are staying at might be drafty. I pack my camera and print out a list of one hundred things to see in Paris before I die. I kiss Milo this morning and wonder if he’d like France. He can barely remember words in English, though; he’s always running around, as wild and undisciplined as moths he chases in the morning light. I have things to do before I go, like make coffee and smoke a cigarette. I have things to do before I go, like learn French and cut my hair.

But I take a moment for myself, a moment just for me, and I baked these Eton messes last night. They’re mashmallowy, sweet. They’re soft and chewy. They’re something to calm me before our 8 hours in the air. They’re something to center me before I become unhinged at my lust for a world I haven’t seen in far too long: a world where I am content again with the mess I have created for myself.

Nut Butter Eton Mess

Beardy Boys Pecan Smash Eton Mess

Ingredients for Meringues:

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 TB pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup nut butter (I definitely loved using Beardy Boys’ Pecan Smash for this recipe)

Directions for Meringues:

  1. Preheat oven to 250*F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat your egg whites on medium-high until round peaks form
  3. Add your vanilla and continue to beat
  4. In a slow stream, add your sugar until your whites are thick, glossy, and hold a peak
  5. Fold in your nut butter with a rubber spatula and transfer to a piping bag
  6. Pipe onto your prepared pan—don’t worry too much about the shape, as you’ll be breaking these up (hence the “mess” part of this!)
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes until your meringues have a nice shell on them
  8. Turn oven off, but keep meringues in for an additional two hours to dry out
  9. Remove and use immediately for the recipe or store in an airtight container for a day or two

Beardy Boys Pecan Smash Eton Mess

Ingredients for Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions for Whipped Cream:

  1. In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat your heavy cream on medium-high until round peaks form
  2. Add your vanilla and continue to beat
  3. In a slow stream, add your sugar until your whites are thick, glossy, and hold a peak
  4. Turn mixer off and use immediately to assemble your Eton Mess
Beardy Boys Pecan Smash Eton Mess

To assemble: In any container (I used 2 Ball jam jars, but a small trifle dish would work, or even a bowl) layer your meringue cookies, then more almond butter (will need approximately 1 cup additional for this recipe), then whipped cream. Keep layering until you fill your container. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and a little confectioner’s sugar and enjoy immediately or refrigerate for a couple hours before ready to eat.

Beardy Boys Pecan Smash Eton Mess
Beardy Boys Pecan Smash Eton Mess
Beardy Boys Pecan Smash Eton Mess

This post was sponsored by my partners at Beard Boys, Inc. Their nut butters really are superb and provide a natural, delicate flavor in every spoonful of this dessert. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!