Just the Recipe: Chocolate Pecan Meringues
Original Posting: Chocolate Pecan Meringues
Chocolate and Pecan Meringue Smooches
These are crisp meringue "kisses" flavored with chocolate and pecans, dusted with cocoa, and topped with chocolate coated coffee beans. They are crunchy and sweetly chewy and delicious plain or with coffee. Or serve them along with bowls of ice cream.
- Be sure your mixing bowl and beaters are scrupulously clean as small traces of grease will prevent the formation of a stiff meringue.
- Use silicone baking pan liner, or cooking parchment, or line your cookie sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- 1/2 cup egg whites about 4 large
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- 2 oz pecans chopped
- Unsweetened cocoa for dusting
- Chocolate coated coffee beans
- Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet (14 x 17 inches) with cooking parchment, aluminum foil, or silicone baking pan liner.
- In a clean grease-free mixer bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until the whites are foamy.
- Add the cream of tartar and continue beating on medium speed until the whites form softly curling peaks when the beater is raised.
- While beating on medium speed, gradually sprinkle in the sugar in 2-tablespoon installments and beat about 30 seconds between additions. Stop to scrape the side of the bowl occasionally.
- When all the sugar has been beaten in, add the vanilla and salt.
- Beat on medium speed until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium high and beat until the meringue forms stiff, shiny, unwavering peaks when the beater is raised, about 5 more minutes.
- Fold in the chocolate and pecans.
- Spoon 16 mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet spacing them 1- to 2-inches apart. Dust the mounds with cocoa and stick a chocolate coffee bean into the top of each kiss.
- Bake 1 hour. During this time the meringues will have settled into puffy-looking mounds, their outsides will be dry, but their insides will be soft and chewy. The smooches are done when dry to the touch and you can pick one off the parchment without it sticking. Bake a few minutes more if not done.
- When they’re ready, turn off the oven, prop the door open slightly, and let the meringues cool in the turned off oven for 30 minutes more.
- Remove meringues from the parchment, and arrange them on a serving dish.
- Store leftover smooches airtight. They’ll stay fresh for up to 1 week.