Mint Chocolate Meringues
Well, the holidays are upon us! And you know what that means (besides gift wrap, Love Actually, and Bing Crosby)? Cookies!
Of course, last year I participated in the awesome Food Blogger Cookie Swap, which was such a great opportunity to make new foodie friends and get some delish treats via snail mail. My anise-scented fig and date swirls were also really great, still something I’d love to make again. However, this year I wanted to do a more traditional cookie swap with a few of my friends, as I did two years ago; For some festive cookie inspiration check out the treats from swaps of the two years past, here.
With this year being as busy as it was, I’ve really been making more of an effort to make plans and spend time with people. And of course, it gives me a fantastic reason to make hors d’oeuvres and drink wine! And so it was settled, the date set, and the choice of cookie recipe still up in the air. Eventually though, I came to my decision to make mint chocolate meringues based on the fact that they are great make-ahead cookies, since they freeze (un-coated) very well. So I set out making these very easy meringues a week ahead, stacked them between parchment paper in Tupperware, and froze them (which also alleviates the temptation to munch, since they were in my basement freezer. Out of site, (sorta) out of mind!). Then two days before the swap, I just melted the chocolate and dipped away.
I highly recommend giving meringues a try. I know whipping egg whites may be daunting to some, but since the recipe only involves a handful of ingredients, its such a cinch otherwise. Plus if you mess up, its easy enough to start a new batch! You can also experiment with different flavors and colors easily. Perhaps you’d prefer making lemon meringues or almond? Just swap out the extracts for whatever you please!
Mint Chocolate Meringues (makes about 5 dozen-adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
- 4 Egg Whites
- 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract
- 7-8 drops Green Food Coloring
- 8 ounces Chocolate, chopped (you can do some in white chocolate, some in dark like I did!)
After separating the eggs, let the egg whites sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Next, gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time with the mixer still running. This step is crucial in making sure the sugar is given the time to dissolve properly, otherwise your meringue batter will be gritty. Continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Then beat in the extract and food coloring until well blended.
Scoop the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the cookies onto baking sheets, about one inch apart. Bake for 1 hour then turn the oven off, leaving the cookies inside to continue to dry out for an extra hour. If you end up with more batter to pipe, your meringue should be fine sitting out for that hour in between batches, however do not refrigerate it.
Once all your meringues are dried out, remove them from the cookie sheets and store them between layers of parchment paper in airtight containers until you’re ready to dip them in the chocolate. If you are making them a few days ahead, you can stick them in the freezer this way.
When ready to dip, just melt the chocolate in the microwave for a minute or so, keeping a good eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Stir halfway through as the hot melted chocolate will help melt the solid bits. Then lay some parchment paper underneath some cooling racks. Dip each meringue halfway into the chocolate, shake gently to remove excess, and place onto the cooling rack to dry. Let the cookie sit out until completely solid, then store them as you did before, between layers of parchment in airtight containers.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!