Silence

Sunday, March 20, 2011
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.


44 comments:

Tasha said...

I will keep this method for acquiring silence in mind for the future. These cookies sound yummy and I love recipes that makes small batches!

Belinda said...

Nice. So THAT's the trick...guess gorgeous cookies always works.

Carol said...

LOL @ the symphony in your house! It's the same music to my ears here, too, with the added barking of our dogs :)

Those cookies look so good and so fudgy!

Joanne said...

Cute, the way the cookies took center stage and quieted the house upon being served! Delicious food has a way of doing that ...

Valerie said...

It's amazing how cookies have the power to unite everyone in silent appreciation. :D

laxsupermom said...

Yum! Those cookies look so good! There's nothing like fresh baked cookies to buy silence from teenagers. Thanks for sharing.

Jess said...

Sounds like they got quite the reception~ well done!

Mary said...

These sound delicious--I am always looking for ways to use up extra egg whites! I would have been out the door right behind the handyman. Not just to beg one of his cookies, but also for the silence. I crave it after noisy classrooms.
p.s. the buttertarts are from Black Camel, across from Rosedale station. Have a sandwich while you're there. Can't wait for July to have one.
:)

Lori M. Lee said...

Oh wow, the power of home-baked goods. I will definitely take this recipe down. Thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

Everyone always loves a homebaked cookie!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

the power of food hope you get to Australia soon

Ann said...

Beth, these look good- the musicians must have been in heaven. So nice when our "work" is appreciated!

Sweet And Crumby said...

What a spectacular sounding and looking cookie Beth. I don't think anyone in the world appreciates silence more than a mom. Do you? Sometimes the kids feel sorry for me when everyone is leaving for the evening or day and all I can think is, "Jackpot!!! Good book, cozy blanket, maybe a little baking and Q-U-I-E-T!"

Claudia said...

Isn't it amazing what a little tasty, home-baked food can do? After having our house re-sided last year (horrific banging all day), silence was appreciated by all in our home - especially the pets. Cookies soothed the soul.

Tiffiny Felix said...

Yummy! I love how homemade bread does the same this: Silence :)

Grapefruit said...

Cookies for peace. Well done!
Btw 'fudgy' and 'meringue' sound irresistibly good together.

Amie Kaufman said...

Yuuuuuuuuuum. And a smaller serving is perfect for my alleged healthy eating plan as well!

My kitchen's being delivered on April 7th and installed over the following week. End of Lent, here I come!

Catherine said...

So many sweet treats here! Sounds like your cookies were a hit! :)

Katerina said...

I like small quantities in cookies too so they don't get hard. Silence it is a word that has been erased from my dictionary from the moment I gave birth to my son lol. How much I miss those silent days! The cookies look delicious Beth!

Jeanne said...

Ahhhh...silence! Luckily my home is pretty silent, but sometimes I get surrounded by quite a symphony of phone calls, meetings, and chattering colleagues in the office. Perhaps a batch of these cookies is in order. They look delightfully light and chocolatey!

comfortablydomestic.com said...

Oh my goodness! I *just* marked that very recipe page in my March issue of Bon Appetit so that I would remember to make them. We must be on the same wavelength. Except for the whole giving up baking thing for Lent. :)

Janet Johnson said...

You always make my mouth water. Now I need to go make some cookies!

Hanaâ said...

Sorry I haven't visited in a while. I hope you're doing well. Loved reading your story. You are a patient woman :o) These cookies look delicious. I like that they happen to be gluten free. I take treats to work and some folks can't eat them. These would work for everybody :o)

Heather said...

Funny, I've just been making meringue cookies myself! These chocolate ones look luscious. I'll post mine soon so we can share recipes.

Reeni said...

I wish I had one to keep my mouth busy! They look scrumptious!

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

I have SO been wondering how those cookies would turn out - there were some absolutely spectacular recipes in that issue.

Obviously they look like heaven :)

Raina said...

I love meringue cookies, fudgy ones even better. That must have been one happy handyman. He is probbaly hoping to fix something again soon, despite all of the noise:)

shaz said...

Fantastic! If it buys me silence, I'll take all 14 thank you :) Bookmarked this to try. Got to build my eggwhite stash up first, it's been seriously depleted thanks to macaron efforts :)

Joanne said...

i've been eying these cookies for a while and if they could silence a group of teenage girls then they must be fantastic!

Sweet and Savory said...

I would be quiet too, if I had one of these. I want to rush to the kitchen and make these but I am restraining myself.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Oh my gosh, I remember those sounds! Now we're starting over with a new symphony...grandchildren - LOL.

These cookies sound wonderful (and peaceful)!

Mimi said...

Nothing better than a symphony of the home, even the silent passages. The cookies sound great.
Mimi

FOODESSA said...

Isn't this a fabulous way to bring a welcomed moment of silence. If only peace to the world could come in the form of a scrumptious cookie ;o)

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

Mary said...

I love chocolate and if you combine it with meringue I'd stop what I was doing too :-). Your cookies look wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Fresh Local and Best said...

It's cookies like these that are the anchor for such warm childhood memories. I'm sure they also left an impression on the handy men. :)

5 Star Foodie said...

These sound awesome with the combination of chocolate and meringue, a must try!

jillbert said...

Sounds like you made a lot of people happy with these cookies. I'd be happy to get some!

Jackee said...

Man, those certainly sound good enough to create silence. Yum! Thanks for sharing, Beth. I'm in awe of your culinary skills, as always.

Hugs!

Rita said...

Love to find cookie recipes ahta make small batches. Sometimes the sound of Silence is the best sound of all.
Rita

Barbara said...

That's one delicious way to get their attention, Beth! :)
They must be light as a feather and dark and chocolatey!

julie said...

I'll bet that was some truly golden silence! These cookies look worthy of silent appreciation. Just gorgeous!

Kristen said...

I love the silence that good food creates. Those cookies sound light and delicious; a perfect combination.

Susanne K. Fletcher said...

Hi Beth, I keep forgetting to ask if your kitchen is finished and whether it meets all your culinary, entertaining and family expectations?

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Whoa, these sound like my kind of cookies! Chocolate and silence. I could get used to that. Thanks for the recipe. :)

Amy

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