Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Meringues


I went a little crazy on Sunday.  I got in the spirit of Christmas and dived in head first into a day of baking.  I do it every year and in a fit of what I will call holiday cheer, I make cookies.  Lots of cookies.  Usually this results in very happy friends, family and coworkers and one giant mess in my kitchen.  This year held two surprises though.  One, my kitchen was not a mess afterwards.  Flour did not cover my flour, walls and all my counters and somehow dishes only took 20 minutes tops.  I'm still not 100% sure how I managed that, but I chalk that up to me growing up and becoming a mature adult. (ha!)  And secondly, I love meringues.

I don't know what took me so long to come to that realization but by noon on Monday, I had eaten 7.  I'm not proud of this.  I am also, apparently, completely powerless when it comes to meringues.  Or, to put a much less fattening spin on the topic, these meringues are that good.  First off, just look how pretty they are.  All whippy and peaked.  And then you pick one up and they're light as air (which ties into how you can convince yourself that it's ok to eat more than 8 in one day...)  And then you bite into this puff of toasted, stale Peep-like sugary  concoction and I know that doesn't sound delicious, but it is. And the next thing you know, you've put 9 down your gullet and your hankering for number 10.  Damn, I want another one...

They're easy-peasy to make too, which if you're me is the scary part about this.  Now I can have meringues whenever I want.  You just put your KitchenAid on and start whipping the whites, then pour in some salt and vanilla, followed by small additions of sugar.  Once you got your peaks, you get to fold in yummy goodness (aka-mini chocolate chips and chopped cashews) and plop they go onto a cookie sheet, into the oven and 25 minutes later, these come out.  Bam.  One goes into your mouth, followed by two, three and four and then you just resign yourself to the fact that it's officially the holidays and you'll try to be skinny come January... More cookie recipes to come!  I just need to go work out first.  Happy Holidays!

Chocolate Chip Meringues
A la the Smitten Kitchen

The one thing I didn't do was to chop up the mini chocolate chips.  I have already gone back and forth about this in my head.  At the moment, I am liking the fact that they kind of big in there, not just a chocolaty swirl all through.  But that could be a good thing too.  My best solution?  Chop half, leave the other mini chips whole.  Also, if you start thinking about all the other wonderful things you could shove into a meringue, you are not alone.  I want to make batches with peanut chips, toffee bits and that yummy orange stuff inside of Butterfingers, aka Chick-O-Sticks.  If any of it ever happens, I'll let you know.

Also, I did not have any cream of tartar on hand.  You only need 1/8 tsp of it.  Little known fact, baking powder is 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 5/8 cream of tartar.  Tada-  I just subbed in 1/4 tsp. of baking powder and as far as I can tell, it did what it was supposed to.  This will make about 2-3 dozen.

2 egg whites, room temp
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
scant 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips, some chopped if you wish
1/4 c. chopped pecans, or whatever kind of nut you have lying around

Preheat oven to 300°.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites till frothy.  Add salt, baking powder and vanilla, continue to whip until egg whites hold soft peaks.  In small additions, start adding in sugar, letting mixture whip a few seconds in between each addition.  Whip until stiff.  Gently fold in chocolate and nuts.  Spoon batter by rounded tablespoon onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake in over for 25 minutes, till undersides are lightly tanned and cookies sound hollow.  

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this recipe! I am a lover of all things sweet and meringues are (a little) better choice than other cookies. I have bought them from the grocery before but thought they would be too hard for my non-kitchen savvy self to make. Not the case at all with my grandmothers KitchenAid mixer! Just put them in the oven - hope they turn out as good as yours!
    Krystal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too!! Good luck and ENJOY!

      Delete

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