Sunday, March 10, 2013
Brown Sugar Meringues Dipped in Coconuty Chocolate and Chopped Cashews
I could perhaps justify the malformed nature of these baked goods by:
a) rambling on about creating miniature abstract art sculptures, expressing myself by forming meringue batter into individual confections, each one displaying its own personality, its own story, through its unique set of peaks and valleys
b) blaming the toddler, who after getting to watch egg whites billow up into fluffiness, desperately wanted to help put the said fluffiness onto baking sheets
In a way, I guess these are sort of true. Max insisted on scooping some of the batter onto trays. And I do sometimes stiffen under the demands of Pinterest worthy beauty.
In reality though, it all comes down to my inability to make things look pretty. I've yet to do anything that resembles piping (Seth can do this...see Bus Cake). I've picked up pastry bags and tips and tried to do the things you do with them, but it just doesn't work out. My fingers and hands and wrists never communicate to each other in ways that produce even and controlled results. They instead choose to create blobs. Blobs of meringue. Blobs of frosting. And after the failure to produce "pretty," I once again hide the bags and tips in the back of a drawer until one day I optimistically, defiantly, get it into my head that I can get this. So it goes.
These meringues (adapted from this Cooking Light recipe), made with dark brown sugar and vanilla, are baked to a crispy, almost caramely goodness, and then dipped into a mixture of chocolate and coconut oil (with just a bit of espresso powder to intensify the chocolate taste). A roll in some chopped cashews finishes these off. Maybe they have appearance issues, but they make up for it in taste. A perfectly imperfect cookie.
5 egg whites
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1/3 cup roasted and salted cashews, finely chopped
Heat oven to 250. Pour egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip the egg whites until foamy, then add the cream of tartar and salt. Once the mixture reaches soft peaks, gradually add in sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Line two baking sheets, and either neatly pipe the meringue mixture into rounds, or just spoon the mixture Bake for an hour, until they are dry and no longer sticky. Turn the oven off, and leave the meringues in the oven for another hour. Put chocolate chips, coconut oil, and espresso powder in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on low power in 30 second intervals (stirring in between) until melted. Put the chopped cashews in a bowl. Dip the meringues in the chocolate and then the cashews. Let the chocolate set before eating. Or not. Totally up to you!