I always thought meringues would be hard to make but they’re not. Classic meringues are simply made with egg whites and sugar.
For these Valentine treats, I combine egg whites with sugar, hazelnuts, melted chocolate and a dash of cinnamon.
While these little guys make an awesome “light” dessert, they’re also great with cappuccino as part of a romantic afternoon snack.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 to 17 minutes
Makes: 30 to 35 meringues
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups finely chopped hazelnuts (can be substituted with almonds)
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour two 18X12-inch baking sheets (do not use parchment paper as the meringues will stick to the paper).
2. In a double boiler or in microwave oven, melt the chocolate and set it aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a 4-quart mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (stand mixer or hand mixer should be set on high speed).
4. Stir in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. The egg whites will look glossy.
5. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold the chopped hazelnuts into the glossy egg whites.
6. Next, gently fold in the melted chocolate.
7. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon into the meringue mixture.
8. Drop meringue mixture by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.
9. Alternatively, fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and form 1-1/2-inch circles on baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart..
10. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until meringues look puffy.
11. With oven turned off, allow meringues to cool inside oven for 5 to 7 minutes.
12. Immediately remove meringues from oven and place on a serving platter.
13. Store cooled meringues in double freezer bags up to one month.
Note: If meringues are transferred to counter after baking, they will “fall” and become chewy instead of crunchy.
Text & Photograph ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real