Light, airy, melts-in-your mouth and gluten free! Meringues are surprisingly simple to make. The secret to crispy meringues are whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks. You can either use a standing mixer with the whip attachment, or a hand mixer. When I was in cooking school, we had to whip the whites by hand — it builds muscle!
The key steps are to whip room temperature egg whites until they’re a little creamy, slowly add the sugar, and then stabilize the whites with a little bit of cream of tarter. You’re looking for a dull sheen and a stiff texture to the whipped whites.
These meringues are a perfect treat for the upcoming holidays.
- 1 cup roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped (I use raw slivered almonds and toast them myself)
- 4 ounces dark chocolate (70% or higher) or 2/3 dark chocolate chunks or chips
- 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (coconut chips)
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
For the topping, toss together 1/4 of the almonds, 1/4 of the dark chocolate and 1/4 of the flaked coconut. Set aside.
Mix the remaining almonds, dark chocolate and coconut together. Set aside.
Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean dry bowl. Beat at medium-high speed with a mixer, until the egg whites are creamy white and hold a soft peak when the beaters are lifted. Continue to beat on medium to high speed, adding the sugar a little bit at a time. It’ll take 1 1/2 -2 minutes in all, until the egg whites are very stiff and have a dull sheen to them. Use a large rubber spatula to fold in the mixture of nuts, coconut, chocolate.
Drop generous tablespoons of the meringue 1 1/2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. Make sure all the batter fits on the two sheets, so they all can be baked at one time. Sprinkle each meringue with the reserved topping. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, rotating the pans from the top to the bottom and front to back, halfway through the cooking time. This will ensure even baking.
The best way to test if the meringues are done is to taste one. Let it cool and it should be dry and crisp. Turn off the oven at this point, and let the meringues cool completely in the oven. If the tasting yielded a soft and chewy meringue, then bake for another 15 to 30 minutes, before cooling in the oven.
Phew…a bit of work, but worth the effort, I promise! Once cooled, the cookies will keep in an airtight container for two weeks.
Source: Alice Medrich