Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cocoa Almond Meringues

Cocoa Almond Meringues
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours
Makes about 30 cookies

1 C. confectioner’s sugar (plus extra for dusting) *Note: I skipped the dusting
1/3 C. finely ground almonds
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/3 C. finely chopped bittersweet chocolate *Note: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the confectioner’s sugar, ground almonds, and cocoa. (Note: If you have a food processor, it’s incredibly easy to grind the almonds. Just toss a handful in and pulse until you have a fine meal.)

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large dry bowl (make sure the bowl is impeccably clean and dry), whip the egg whites and salt on medium speed until the whites are opaque. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip as you add the granulated sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. Then whip until the whites are firm and hold stiff peaks — they should still be very shiny. Beat in the vanilla, and remove the bowl from the mixer. With a large rubber spatula, quickly but gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the chopped chocolate. The whites will deflate a bit as you fold in the dry ingredients — just try to work rapidly and use a light touch so you deflate them as little as possible.

Drop the meringue by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the mounds. Dust the tops of the cookies very lightly with powdered sugar.*

Bake for 10 minutes. Then, without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temp to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour more. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the meringues to stand in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) until they reach room temperature.

Carefully peel the meringues off the parchment paper. Store in an airtight tin in a cool, dry environment.

Notes: I tried to make the cookies tablespoon-sized, but I still ran out of room on my two cookie sheets and had leftover dough. I baked two cookie sheets side-by-side in the oven, but I suspect you could do one sheet on each rack. Use the racks to divide the oven into thirds first.

If you like this recipe then you might also try Snow Caps.

No comments: