An older book, but still one I refer to every Christmas. Every year I make the shortbread and the Ginger Pennies are pretty fool proof. I made them with my friend and they turned out despite not having proper measuring cups and spoons or knowing how hot the oven was.
They say never to make a recipe for a party unless you’ve made it before. I’m pretty confident that when I make one of Medrich’s recipes it is almost guaranteed to turn out and taste great. This book is also broken down into different textures to make it easier to find the cookie you’re looking for.
This is one heck of a cookie. It’s an intense chocolate, crisp exterior and when your teeth sink down into it, it turns into a rich fudge. Magical.
I made these during my true Nervous Chef days when I was setting off the smoke alarms. Somehow I didn’t screw these up. Surprising, as meringues have been failing me as of late.
You need good chocolate (aim for something you would eat on its own, quality matters here), sugar, pecans and egg whites. Everything comes together quickly, so when the oven is done preheating your cookies are ready to go in.
Most of my cookies look a little more rough than the ones I’ve seen on the web. I’m not sure the reason why. Maybe not enough mixing?
Melting Chocolate Meringues (makes about 30 2-inch cookies) From Bittersweet
4 1/2 ounces 70% chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large egg whites (1/4 cup), room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, I think toasted hazelnuts would work well too)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. I make a make-shift double boiler by placing the bowl on top of a saucepan filled with simmering water. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and vanilla. When soft peaks form, slowly add the sugar until you get stiff peaks. Be careful not to beat too long or they’ll be dry.
4. Mix up the chocolate and nuts into the egg whites and fold with a rubber spatula until the colour is uniform.
5. Drop tablespoons of batter 1 inch apart onto the cookie sheet.
6. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cookies should look dry and have a bit of give to them when pressed on. They’ll still be gooey inside. Cool completely.
Every so often I am suddenly hit with a flavour/texture that I need to make. I was looking for something light but crunchy. When I saw Bonita’s post featuring these hazelnut meringues, I knew I had to make them.
The key to a good meringue is a bowl that doesn’t have a speck of fat and room temperature egg whites. I’ve heard not to use egg whites from a carton, but I use them and it works out fine. I never had a problem with meringues until recently — it would not maintain a stiff peak no matter how much I beat it. Did my meringues need a blue pill?
This time around I made sure that the bowl was clean (wiped down with vinegar), but I didn’t let the egg whites fully come to room temperature which is why it took longer for the stiff peaks to appear. Lesson learned: do what the instructions say and make sure that the necessary ingredients are at room temperature.
The taste profile was exactly what I was looking for in a cookie. I used a 70% chocolate and I think it might have been too stark of a contrast with the sweet meringue. 60% and lower would suit the meringue better.
You don’t need to have a camp fire to make these s’mores-like bars.
It’s all pretty simple, making it a perfect recipe for the trepidatious baker. You mix up a few ingredients and bake until the marshmallows are a wonderful gooey mess. These have been described as “crack” by a few people, so use at your own risk.
I collect cookie cutters. I love the different shapes and the way they can make an ordinary cookie look fantastic. The weird part about my cookie cutter collection? I don’t like using them. They’re generally too fussy to make: letting the dough chill, rolling it out, chilling it again…I’m more of a drop cookie kind of girl.
I turned to Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy for a recipe. The recipe makes a huge batch, but the cookie cutters are huge so it produced about 18 cookies. I used vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract. It’s worth the splurge if you’re looking to wow others.
To prevent the dough from sticking to the cutter, lightly dip the cookie cutter in flour first. You want to press firm, but not too deeply to get a good impression onto the cookie. Usually I like to roll my dough thicker than called for to make soft cookies, but if you do that here, the wording gets all marred. It should be rolled out to 1/8″.
Along with the cookies I decided to try my hand at a red velvet cake from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. People rave about red velvet. I find it a bit scary with all that red food colouring. What used to be a natural chemical reaction with an acid reacting to the cocoa powder has turned into how much red dye #47 we can shove into a cake. Despite the scary almost neon colour, it received rave reviews. Scary colour aside, it was moist and the cream cheese frosting didn’t feel heavy.
Recipe for red velvet cake from Heavenly Cakes can be found here.