Guest Post: It’s Cookie Time! (Part 1)

I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Nichelle.  I am always drooling over her photos of baked goods so I was thrilled when she agreed to write two guest posts for Scissors and Spoons. She is sharing two cookie recipes that are flour free! Keep reading to see what delicious cookies she made.  This is the first of Nichelle’s two guests posts so check back tomorrow for a second recipe.

Well, actually, this is the high time of year for cookies, isn’t it? One of my (full disclosure:  I am not Marie, but I hope that will not stop you from reading) favorite memories from childhood during the holidays is the platters of cookies my grandmother and her friends would arrange and swap – pinwheels, icebox cookies, chocolate chip, bourbon balls, fudge – you name it, they baked it. Now that I’m all grown up, the hubby and I have started our own annual cookie and cider holiday gathering. After paging through back issues of magazines, browsing the internet and settling on a suitable cookie list, I discovered one of my guests had a gluten allergy. Gluten allergies and cookie parties do not go together, do they? What cookie could I make that did not contain flour?

Discovering my guest’s allergy sent me back to the magazines and cookbooks in my arsenal, and I came up with an answer (actually, two): peppermint and chocolate meringues and crispy rice treats. I started with the meringues, which I would love to tell you about.

peppermint and chocolate meringues

Here is what I needed to make these minty meringues:

Meringues:
2 large egg whites
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar (optional)
2/3 c. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. (6 oz.) chopped semisweet (62% – 70%) chocolate
3 tbsp. crushed peppermint candies

Dipping Chocolate:
1 c. (6 oz.) chopped semisweet (62% – 70%) chocolate
2 tsp. vegetable oil

First, prep – I crushed the peppermint candies (6 small candy canes), chopped the chocolate (mini chocolate chips would also work), put the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, preheated the oven to 275 degrees, and lined two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Next, I started with the egg whites and salt in my stand mixer, and whisked on low speed, until they looked like this:

Egg whites

At this point, I increased the speed to medium high for about a minute, until they started to look kind of fluffy. At that point, I slowly started adding the sugar and vanilla, and increased the speed to medium-high until they formed glossy stiff peaks. The elusive stiff peak – one of the great mysteries of the universe! Whip too little, and your product will fall – whip too much, and the egg whites will break down. I whipped them until they stood up on their own, with a slight curve at the peak, like this:

Egg whites

I did lots of stopping to check on the state of the egg whites during this step. Once they were stiff, I added the crushed peppermint candies and 1 cup of the chopped chocolate, and folded them into the egg whites – gently, so they wouldn’t deflate.

Folding candy cane and chocolate into egg whites

I scooped the meringues out onto the prepared cookie sheets about an inch high and spaced about an inch apart (yes, with a teaspoon, due to difficulties resulting from the combination of my too-small pastry tip and the chopped chocolate). (Side note: if you want to make sure your meringues don’t deflate, try to get them into the oven as quickly as possible.) I baked them for about 15 minutes before rotating and switching the cookie sheets, then baked them for about another 15 minutes, until they look light golden brown and cracked.

meringues

What you do next depends on two things: 1 – how much time you have, and 2 – how you like your meringues. If you like your meringues on the chewy side, take them out now and let the sheets cool completely on a wire rack for about 45 minutes. If you like your meringues on the crispy side, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven for 6 – 12 hours.

I like mine crispy, so I left them overnight. The next day, I set to the task of taking my meringues to the next (chocolate-dipped) level. Because I am scared of the power of my microwave, I melted 1 c. of chopped chocolate in a double-boiler. Once melted, I removed the bowl from the heat and added the vegetable oil. I then dipped the bottom of the meringues into the melted chocolate, scraped the excess off with an offset spatula, and put the meringues onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Side note: the meringues should be completely cooled before you dip them in chocolate, and if you are dipping them on the same day, I’d suggest using fresh parchment paper.)

Chocolate Dipped MeringuesA big thank you to Marie for letting me take over her inspired blog for a little bit.

Thank you for sharing Nichelle. These sound and look delicious!

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Guest Post: It’s Cookie Time! (Part 1) — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: It’s Cookie Time! (Part 2) | Scissors and Spoons

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