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This recipe is part of Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Meringue Kisses

Chocolate-Hazelnut Meringue Kisses

Cookies and Brownies, published in 1999, was really ahead of its time when it came out in terms of offering gluten and dairy-free options for really tasty and fulfilling cookies. Of course, the recipes aren't called out as alternative baking formulas - they are just designed to taste great, with the happy circumstance of being gluten and dairy-free.

I grew up eating meringue kisses, but they were usually scooped out and filled with fruit or ice cream. This was a revelation to me - basically a chocolate chip cookie without the dough, and all I had to do was add the ingredients to the meringue base.

A few notes on this recipe:

  • The recipe calls for 2/3 c sugar, preferably superfine. I made these cookies with store-bought granulated sugar, and I did not put it through the food processor to make it superfine. This was probably a mistake because I believe the larger sugar crystals will attract moisture faster and will break down the meringue faster than had I used superfine sugar.
  • My grandmother told me that meringues had to cook low and long, and were better when the air was dry. These cooked for 2 hours at 200F and were shiny at that point, but after 3 hours cooling in the oven they have gotten sticky. This might be because of the granulated versus superfine sugar, but it might also be because it's raining outside.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Meringue Kisses
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c sugar, preferably superfine
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c hazelnuts, toasted and skinned, coarsely chopped

2 cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper

  1. Preheat the oven to 200F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and vanilla with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted.
  3. Add the sugar gradually, about 1 T at a time, continuing to beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
  4. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the chocolate chips and nuts into the egg whites.
  5. Drop slightly rounded teaspoons of batter 1 1/2" apart on the cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for about 2 hours, reversing the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 1 hour.
  7. Turn the oven off and let the cookies cool in the oven.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven and set the pans on racks to cool completely before storing the cookies.

Makes about 60 cookies

May be stored, airtight, for several weeks

This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.


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