There are times when I really want to eat that huge piece of cake, or a big slab of pie, or a quart of ice cream. But sometimes (especially after a huge turkey dinner) I just want a taste of something sweet, to tell my mouth that I’m finished eating for a while.
Something light, crisp, and airy. Sweet, chewy, and satisfying. Throw in gluten-free and almost fat-free, and you have Chocolate Walnut Meringues.
If you’ve never had a meringue, you’re in for a treat. This recipe produces little delicacies that look like cookies, but dissolve in your mouth, except for the perfect chewy part in the center. They can be a light ending to a heavy meal, or a sweet pick-me-up with an afternoon cup of tea.
Meringues cook at a low heat and then are left to dry out in the oven overnight, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. If you store them in an airtight container, they’ll stay crispy for days. They can be piped into any shape you want, which can be a lot of fun. (I had limited success piping the meringue around foil cones to make cornucopias. If you have cream horn molds it might be worth a try!)
I used walnuts in this batch, but pecans are lovely too. You can grate a little dark chocolate in the batter if you wish. I felt the cocoa powder gave it just the right level of chocolate goodness; you can be the judge of that. If you are baking gluten-free, here’s a great list of gluten-free chocolates. I was glad to see that Dove chocolate made the grade.
As always when making any kind of meringue, separate the egg whites and let them stand until they’re room temperature for best results. Use squeaky clean beaters and bowls, and you’ll get perfect results.
|Chocolate Walnut Meringues
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (or substitute pecans)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 5 egg whites (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- chopped walnuts or grated gluten-free chocolate for decoration
- Heat oven to 250 F.
- Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Chop walnuts (or pecans) finely. Set aside.
- Combine the sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until they hold a soft peak.
- Continue mixing as you add the sugar mixture ¼ cup at a time, mixing well between additions.
- Beat until the mixture holds a stiff peak.
- Gently fold in the chopped nuts.
- With a small cookie scoop (or you may pipe shapes if you wish) scoop onto the parchment. They will barely spread, so you can put them fairly close together.
- Sprinkle with topping of your choice. Nuts or grated chocolate look great. Use your imagination!
- Bake for 35 minutes. Do NOT open the oven door. Just turn off the oven and leave them in there at least one hour. Overnight is even better.
I love, love, LOVE these little sweeties. They’re simple to make and impressive to serve. Offer a bowl of them next to the pumpkin pie and you might be surprised about which gets eaten first!