I want to announce that I just got back from the women’s shelter after delivering a huge trunkful of toys. Thank you so much to everyone who donated, and thank you to everyone who participated in your own communities.
I’m surprised I didn’t think of doing an online auction of the cookies. That would have been a whole lot easier. Next year, maybe.
I discovered the limitless possibilities of meringues when I was a kid and my friend came to school with one filled with M&M’s. I loved how the crispy cookie was chewy on the inside, and filled with something you couldn’t see from the outside. I wanted these to look really pretty for Christmas, so I filled them with something small and fine enough that could be piped through a large star tip. (Wilton 1M). If you want to fill them with something larger, just spoon them out onto the parchment paper instead of using a pastry bag.
For this recipe, it’s pretty important to use superfine sugar. If you don’t have any, you can put regular granulated sugar in a food processor for about 30 seconds, or you could also place the egg whites with granulated sugar in a mixer bowl, set it over a pan of simmering water, and whisk gently until the sugar dissolves. Remove the bowl from the water and place in the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add in cream of tartar, and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in remaining ingredients.
This recipe makes quite a few cookies, but can easily be converted to a half batch.
chocolate meringue kisses
6 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (285g) superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces (55g) very good chocolate, very finely chopped
1. In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add in cream of tartar, and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Very slowly, about a tablespoon at a time, sprinkle in sugar. Keep whisking until stiff peaks form, and sugar is dissolved.
3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees (95 degrees celsius), and place 2 oven racks in the center positions. Transfer the meringue to a very large pastry bag (18 inches) fitted with a large star tip (Wilton 1M). Pipe stars onto two parchment lined cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 90 minutes, until dry but not brown. Turn off oven and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon. Leave the meringues in the cooling oven until the it is completely cool.