Thursday, December 16, 2010

Espresso Chip Meringues

Can we agree, that meringues are the least evil, of all the cookies? I mean, they are made of egg whites and sugar, so the fat content is significantly lower that that of a typical cookie, right? Okay, so now that we have that bit out of the way, let me tell you about these lovely, giant Espresso Chip Meringues, courtesy of Giada. These light, puffy, sweet clouds are a great gift. They are really gigantic, and look gorgeous in a cellophane bag, stacked and ready to hand out to friends or teachers. The only issue, is that they are quite delicate, and aren't meant to sit in a lunch bag all day, among bags of chips and sandwiches. Kevin took them for lunch on several work days, and brought them home, completely crushed. Oh well. Anyway, another thing to know about these cookies, is that Giada has the temperature all wrong. She claims that these meringues should be baked "low and slow," but her temp is way too high, and would result in a burnt cookie. Therefore, it's important to keep your oven about 25-50 degrees cooler than directed. Next time, I'm going to make these cookies smaller. I think they'll be a perfect cookie, when bite sized. This was my first stab at meringues, and I'm quite pleased!

Make these, but read my notes, and they'll be better! We'll call them 3.5 bowls. (Gotta take off some pointage, for being crumbly, and the recipe being "off-temp.")

Espresso Chip Meringues

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 12 meringues



*Can be found at specialty cooking stores

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt until frothy, about 1 minute. With the machine on medium-high speed, gradually add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and espresso powder. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is thick and holds stiff peaks, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely while still in the oven, about 2 hours.

Store airtight in a plastic container for up to 4 days.

Cook's Note: The meringue mixture can also be placed in a pasty bag fitted with a large, plain tip (recommended: Ateco # 9808) and piped onto the baking sheet.

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