Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meringue Me!

Oh Meringue...my new arch-nemisis! This morning Amanda and I attempted to make Pecan-Mocha Meringue Cookies. Attempted. The look on my face says it all:
"Oh you sassy meringue, you!"
It started off really well. We had a wonderful, glossy and stiff peaking meringue base. And then it happened. We switched to a spatula to gently fold in the finely chopped nuts and chocolate chips (as per the instructions from a Food Network show). Our meringue lost all of it's air and became soupy. We started placing them on the baking sheet, realized it would be pointless and then just threw it all on there in an attempt to get something out of it. Which we did! They still tasted good, a nice balance of chocolate/pecan/espresso but the texture was sorely (and obviously) lacking. No nice fluffy meringues for us.
Quick! Find the fake meringue!
Pecan-Mocha Meringues
(Bon App├ętit)
Ingredients:
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
18 (about) untoasted pecan halves
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Press brown sugar and cocoa powder through sieve into small bowl to remove any lumps; whisk to blend. 
3. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites, coarse salt, and cream of tartar in medium bowl until very soft peaks begin to form. 
4. With mixer running, gradually add sugar, then espresso powder; beat until medium peaks form. 
5. Beat in brown sugar mixture by tablespoonfuls. Continue beating until meringue is very stiff and glossy, 2 to 3 minutes. 
6. The step of DOOM! Fold in chopped pecans and chocolate chips, if desired. 
7. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart. Place 1 pecan half atop each meringue, pressing very lightly to adhere.
8. Bake meringues until dry but still slightly soft when pressed with finger, about 25 minutes. Turn off oven. Cool meringues in oven with door closed until crisp, about 1 1/2 hours
So sad.

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