I learned to make these from my childhood next door neighbor who served as a mentor and a listening ear from early adolescence through adulthood. Though I was just a kid in her kitchen, she never treated me like I was in the way or bothersome. This speaks volumes because I really looked up to her and thus was over there a lot. Whether I was a pest or not, she provided me with a full education of life via the Long Island Expressway all the while she seemed genuine and was fun to pass the time with. Once her children were older, she returned to school to become a teacher. While I have never met any of her students, I am certain she is referred to as one of the cool teachers. I also bet they leave her class having learned some real-world skills.
For valentines, I shaped these as hearts but usually they are just dolloped onto the parchment. If you use small chocolate chips (instead of chopping up larger chips, as I've done) and omit the food coloring, you will find that the chips hide themselves inside of miniature white clouds as a nice surprise.
2 egg whites, warmed to room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pinch of salt
2/3 cup superfine sugar (I use raw turbinado sugar, ground in a spice mill to a near-powdery cosistancy)
5 ounces 60% cacao chocolate chips, chopped coarse
1/4 cup waluts, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of beet juice (as I have used) or a drop of red food coloring (optional)
1 - Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment or with plain pieces of unruled paper.
2 - In bowl of electric mixer, add egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and, if using, beet juice or food coloring. Whip until stiff peaks form.
3 - Slowly add sugar, a little bit at a time, mixing after each addition.
4 - Remove from mixer and gently fold in chocolate and nuts.
5 - Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. All spoonfuls must fit onto this one sheet and must be baked immediately to keep meringue from losing volume.
6 - Bake in oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until set. Leave on pan for 2 - 3 minutes before removing to cool thoroughly on a rack.
7 - Store for up to a week in an air tight container. Nutritional info below.
Nutritional Info: Recipe makes 24 large meringues. For each cookie:
*Nutritional info created using ingredient
configuration and is considered close but not exact.