Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Gingerbread Meringues

I had plans of ending my posts for 2015 with a meaningful quote about the spirit of Christmas and the meaning of family.  I had two lovely quotes all picked out.  Then, while scanning through ones of those websites that is full of quotes, I found this one and all thoughts of being deep, and truthful went out the window.

"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live."
         -George Carlin

So while I do believe in sharing the true spirit of the holiday with my family through, I realize laughter is just as important.  Laughter bring us all together.  So, thank you George for the joke that I will be telling tonight as my friends gather to toast each other over glasses of egg nog.  It will surely go a long way to lifting our spirits and making yet another holiday away from our families just a little more merry.

And a very merry Christmas, friends.

Gingerbread Meringues
Makes about 50 2 inch cookies.  Recipe adapted from Lara Ferroni.
For the printable recipe, click here

These little cookies are a fun mash up of two classic cookies- the crisp airy meringue and the spicy gingerbread.  And I have to admit that I might like them better than the originals.  What takes them a little over the top is the chopped dark chocolate hiding inside.  Matched with the molasses and wintery spices, the chocolate is right at home.  It's not essential, I've made them without the chocolate and they are just as wonderful, but the flecks of deep flavor make the cookies just a little bit more special.

1 tsp lemon juice
5 egg whites, room temperature
250 g (1 1/4 cups) cane sugar
3 tbs molasses
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 oz (about 5 tbs) finely chopped dark chocolate, at least 65% cocoa

Preheat the oven to 250F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together the ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Pour the lemon juice into the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using a hand mixer).  Wipe the juice around the bowl with a paper towel.  This will eliminate any oils that may be bowl and possibly keep the egg whites from whipping up.  Add the egg whites the egg whites to the bowl and whip on medium high speed.  After about a minute of whipping slowly stream in the sugar as the mixer is running.  When the egg whites are at soft peaks, pour in the molasses.  Continue beating the eggs until they are stiff and glossy.  Sprinkle over the spices and beat a few more revolutions.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate by hand just until incorporated.

Using a pastry bag or tablespoon, mound the meringue batter onto the prepared cookie sheets in two inch dollops.  Space the cookies about 1 inch apart.  Bake for about an hour until the cookies are dry to the touch.  Turn off the heat and leave the cookie sheets in the oven for a further 2 hours until the cookies are fully dried out and cool.  Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.

No comments:

Post a Comment