Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Meringues

I believe this recipe comes from a  Cooking Light magazine.   I cannot date the magazine but I have been making these cookies, particularly around Christmas, for well over ten years.  A favoorite holiday dessert is this cookie paired with an orange or clementine and, more recently also and an Almond Macaroon (photo below).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


1cup slivered almonds

stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes until lightly toasted.

Beat on low speed until frothy then whip on high speed until firm but still moist peaks form. DO NOT OVERBEAT!**

4 large egg whites
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
1/4 t cream of tartar

Gradually add:

1/3 c sugar

Sift and then fold into the whipped egg white mixture:

2/3 c sugar
5 T Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 T cornstarch
1 1/2 t cinnamon

Then add and fold in:

1/2 cup of the toasted slivered almonds

Drop meringues onto wax paper on a cookie sheet. REDUCE oven heat to 200 degrees F; bake one hour or until meringues sound hollow when tapped on bottom [I often cook 1 1/2 hours]. Turn off oven and let meringues sit an additional hour in the warm oven.

Dip cool meringues in melted
bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 ounces) [I use Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa]
then toasted almonds.

Cool cookies with chocolate/nuts on top.

[* I have been using (and still use) Ghiradelli Natural Unsweetened Cocoa, but recently discovered that there is a difference between this and "Dutched" or alkalized cocoa. This dutching process raises the pH to a neutral 7 or alkaline 8 versus that of cocoa which is distinctly acid with a pH around 5. "The result is a cocoa powder with a milder flavor and darker color." This discussion in more detail can be found in Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking, pages 705-706.]

** I learned not to overbeat the hard way. In December 2021 I beat until stiff dry peaks formed. The mixture was too stiff to accept the cocoa and sugar I tried to fold in and resulted in a watery mix (like the last cookie or two in a normal batch). In On Food and Cooking Harold McGee explains the reason, "At the 'stiff peak' stage where the foam is still glossy but now retains a well-defined edge and clings to the bowl, the foam is approaching 90% air, and the egg liquid has spread so thin that the protein webs in the adjacent bubble walls begin to catch on each other and the bowl surface. There's just enough lubrication left for the foam to be creamy and easily mixed with other ingredients. [page 106]  

Reviewed 5/14/17
Revised 1/21/24
Revised 12/29/22

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