These little cookies were supposed to go up last week, well before the start of Passover. But things got a little crazy around here when I started filling up matzoh crepes with Moroccan braised lamb shanks and stuffing my matzoh balls with Cuban picadillo. But given that there’s still a few hours before the start of the holiday and some of you are just as crazy as me and will likely change your menu three more times, I’m happy to just get them up before Elijah comes knocking.
Reading food blogs does crazy things to my cooking plans on a daily basis, and recently I came across a recipe for chocolate-dipped peanut butter merengues at How Sweet It Is that made me clear my schedule and ask my husband three times over the phone whether we had enough eggs or if I needed to stop on the way home. (I hate stopping on the way home after the gym.) What else was so crazy about this? I don’t even like merengues. (Sidenote: that really just means they’re not my favorite, because in reality, I can’t think of any desserts I truly dislike.) Seriously, they’re not something I would ever make a point to buy, never mind go out of my way to make. So what about this recipe made me swoon? Jessica’s description of the optimal peanut butter consistency necessasry to make these:
Of course, no one says merengues are only for Passover. They just happen to be good choice, because they are naturally flourless, and therefore, naturally free of requiring a matzoh meal substitute. They’re light and airy, so even after stuffing yourself with matzoh malls, you can easily find room for a few of these; and the chocolate coating provides just the right touch of richness. It’s not often that I care to tell you how guilt-free dessert can be, but with just three tablespoons of sugar and one quarter cup of almond butter in the entire recipe, you don’t have to think twice about popping two or three or four (or more, I won’t tell) of these back. Are you wondering if I’m the latest merengue convert? I don’t know if I’d go that far. But judging by how
many few of these were left after I served them at my Seder Plate Challenge, it’s safe to say that I – along with many others – have a hard time resisting anything laced with almond butter and chocolate.
Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Merengues
Slightly adapted from How Sweet it Is
3 egg whites, at room temperature
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup all natural almond butter, at room temperature
3-4 ounces of high-quality chocolate
Stir the almond butter so it is very creamy; microwave in short intervals on low power if necessary.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 300ºF.
Make sure your mixing bowl is very clean and dry. Add the egg whites with a pinch of salt, and begin whisking on low speed, gradually increasing as peaks start to form. Add the sugar and cream of tarter, and whisk on high speed until the egg whites are stiff and glossy, about 5-6 minutes.
Using a spatula, very gently fold in the almond butter. You do not want the egg whites to fall. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, drop cookies onto the parchment-lined sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the cookies inside for another 10-15 minutes. Cool completely.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the bottom of each cookie in the chocolate, and return to the parchment-lined sheet. Let cool until the chocolate is set. Store cookies in an air-tight container.
Bloggers Bake for Hope!
This post is linked to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday Feature for 4/26/2011.