Before making the meringue, whirl the almonds in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until finely ground. Add the cornstarch and whirl again. Make Meringue. Fold ground almond mixture into finished meringue by hand.
Here, cornstarch insulates the meringue from the fat in the nuts, which would otherwise cause it to break down.
Easy way to pipe out disks of a particular size: trace a plate or other object of appropriate size onto parchment paper. The turn the paper over and use the circles as your guide. Start piping in the center and form a tight spiral out to the edge.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved