Chef Tom Franz - Passover Desserts - Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Cookies
These small, crispy meringues have an irresistible coffee flavor and chocolate coating. They are easy to prepare, aesthetic, and delicious. You can serve them at your own seder, or deliver them as a handmade gift for the holidays. They are simple, addictive, and a definite way to bring a smile to your friends and family. Dairy free and gluten free, too!
Ingredients (for about 40 cookies):
4 egg whites
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp instant espresso, or any strong coffee powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
5 oz of high-quality dark chocolate, melted in a double boiler and cooled to room temperature
½ cup of candied hazelnuts, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 100C or 215F.
2. Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to whip the egg whites, vanilla extract, coffee powder, salt and cream of tartar, until soft peaks form. Then, add the sugar very gradually, spoon by spoon, and continue to mix at high speed until the meringue is smooth and glossy.
3. Line a pan with baking paper. Using a spoon, scoop small meringue cookies onto the baking paper (you can use a piping bag, but it is not mandatory). Make sure each cookie is about an inch apart on the tray.
4. Bake for about two hours, until the edges of the cookies are dry and crispy. When the cookies can be easily separated from the baking paper, but their center remains a little soft, they are ready.
5. Turn off the oven, and leave the door slightly open (you can use a wooden spoon to prop the door open.) Allow the cookies to cool in the oven for another hour. Then, remove them from the oven, transfer them with the baking paper to a cooling rack, and cool completely.
6. Once the cookies have cooled, remove them from the baking paper, and dip them halfway with melted chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off the cookie, and then return it to the baking paper. Sprinkle the chocolate side with chopped hazelnuts. Transfer them to the refrigerator and wait for the chocolate to harden, about 25-30 minutes.
7. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh for about 3 days (but will probably be eaten sooner than that).