Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dutch Chocolate Meringues

¼ cup finely chopped pecans
2½ T unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
3 large egg whites
¼ t salt
¾ c sugar
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 200°F. Line cookie sheets with foil; grease well. Set aside.

Place pecans and cocoa in medium bowl; stir to combine.

Beat egg whites and salt in clean large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until light and foamy. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in pecan mixture with rubber spatula by gently cutting down to the bottom of the bowl, scraping up the side of the bowl, then folding over the top of the mixture. Repeat until pecan mixture is evenly incorporated into the egg whites.

Spoon batter into pastry bag fitted with large plain tip. Pipe 1" mounds 2" apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 1 hour. Turn oven off. Do not open oven door; let stand in oven until set, 2 hours or overnight.

When cookies are firm, carefully peel cookies from foil. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Meringue Mushrooms:
Pipe same number of 1" tall "stems" as mounds. Bake as directed above. When cookies are firm, attach "stems" to "caps" with melted chocolate. Dust with sifted unsweetened cocoa powder.

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