Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chewy Chocolate Meringues

     Young chefs are all about pushing culinary boundaries and breaking the rules. I think it's wonderfully fun when food's external experience leads the taster to expect something far from what's actually within; from a colorful 4th of July flag cake to shockingly tasty Earl Grey eclairs, playing around with expectations versus reality is what keeps things interesting!
     Upon first glance, these cookies appear to be traditional chocolate meringues, light and airy and crunchy. As soon as you take a bite, however, you realize that the inside is chewy and rich and incredibly tasty. I took these to a New Year's party, and they were the perfect culinary start to 2015.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, crazy, delicious year!
Chewy Chocolate Meringues
(slightly adapted from Bakerella)

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a clean, dry heatproof bowl, whisk together egg whites and sugar. Set over, but not touching, simmering water in a saucepan.
Whisk constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and remove from heat.
Beat the eggs on high using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until stiff and glossy.
Sift cocoa over the meringue. Sprinkle chopped chocolate on top.
Fold together gently with a spatula until combined.
Use a scoop to drop even amounts of batter onto prepared baking sheets about two inches apart. (I used a 1.5" scoop and got about 2 dozen cookies.)
Bake for about 8-9 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for another 8-9 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and have a few cracks.
Transfer the cookies, leaving them on the parchment paper, to wire racks to cool.