It was a busy morning. I was cleaning the house and doing some baking (note: this was before Lent started!). I had a handyman in, working on the bathroom. My youngest daughter called at lunch to ask if she could have two friends over.
When they got here, the three of them pulled out their cell phones so they could compare ring tones – all at the same time. The hammering from the bathroom was challenged and defeated by the decibels at the kitchen table. Three competing ring tones were analyzed – and modified, and retested – over the pasta. The handyman went out to his truck – ostensibly to eat his lunch, but I suspect he couldn’t hear himself hammering over the symphony in the kitchen.
And then I served these cookies. Phones were set aside, and the kitchen became an oasis of silence, broken only by an occasional guttural sound of gastronomic appreciation.
This recipe comes from the March issue of Bon Appetit magazine. It makes a fairly small batch of cookies (I got fourteen) which is a good thing, because they’re best served on the day they’re made. Four to the handyman and six to the hungry musicians left just four for dinner that night.
Fudgy Meringue Cookies
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 cup chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Cook in 15-second intervals until chocolate softens; stir until melted and smooth. Cool chocolate to lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in small bowl to blend.
Using electric mixer, beat room-temperature egg whites, vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and cream of tartar in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 cup sugar in 4 additions, beating just to blend after each addition. Continue to beat until meringue is thick and glossy like marshmallow creme, about 2 minutes longer. Beat in cocoa mixture. Fold in melted chocolate, then 1/2 cup chips.
Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake cookies 7 minutes. Reverse sheets and bake until dry-looking and cracked, about 6 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.