Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Merengues

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:

You want it to remain creamy and “runnier” than when it comes from the jar, but not be very warm.

My thoughts immediately turned to my almond butter. You see, I’m a bit of a rebel when it comes to natural nut butters and I don’t refrigerate my almond butter. I justify this by the ingredient list, which contains exactly one item: almonds. (It might be two, if there’s some salt in there.) I don’t keep whole almonds in the fridge, so why would I refrigerate very finely ground up almonds? I understand that nuts and nut butter have a tendency to go rancid when kept at room temperature, but I’m pretty sure that nuts have never lasted that long in my house. Anyway, nut butter out of the pantry at room temperature is exactly as Jessica has described it, so I couldn’t wait to try it in these merengues for Passover.

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.

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This post is linked to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday Feature for 4/26/2011.

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19 Responses to “Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Merengues”

  1. 1

    Barbara — April 18, 2011 @ 2:09 pm Reply

    Lovely, Cara. As long as we eat them the same day, we're OK. Florida's humidity plays havoc with meringues!

  2. 2

    nancy@skinnykitchen — April 18, 2011 @ 2:09 pm Reply

    I love merigues and these little gems look yummy!

  3. 3

    Emily — April 18, 2011 @ 2:12 pm Reply

    Yay for Passover treats. These not only look adorable but delicious as well. I made bagels at home to commemorate!

  4. 4

    Bianca Garcia — April 18, 2011 @ 3:07 pm Reply

    Oooh nice recipe. I love merengues and anything dipped in chocolate 🙂

  5. 5

    Chrysta — April 18, 2011 @ 3:55 pm Reply

    You know what? Merengues are the one thing I havent tried making yet and have always wanted to! They are just so good. I love that you added in almond butter, Ive never seen that. Almond butter is my absolute fav so I bet these were just awesome! Thanks girl! hope you had a great weekend too btw!=)

  6. 6

    Shanon — April 18, 2011 @ 4:51 pm Reply

    Looks great! I am always looking for yummy gluten-free desserts.

  7. 7

    Kaytorade — April 18, 2011 @ 5:49 pm Reply

    Passover desserts that are good enough for when it isn't Passover are my favorite kind.

  8. 8

    megi — April 18, 2011 @ 5:53 pm Reply

    I am off to the kitchen to try this recipe! I first thought, oh no, my almond butter is in the fridge but then a light bulb went off in my head, I have an unopened jar! I can't believe I am making yet another dessert for tonight, I'll let you know how it turns out. Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy Passover.

  9. 9

    Dawn Hutchins — April 18, 2011 @ 5:55 pm Reply

    I'm all about these. I loooove almond butter and chocolate!

  10. 10

    Amanda L. — April 18, 2011 @ 7:49 pm Reply

    These were so delicious! I'm so happy you posted the recipe! Definitely going to be making these!

  11. 11

    megi — April 18, 2011 @ 8:05 pm Reply

    Delicious! I am running out of time but I thought I would let you know that I made them and they are perfect, thank you again.

  12. 12

    Cara — April 18, 2011 @ 8:30 pm Reply

    Wow, you are quick! Chag Sameach! On Apr 18, 2011 4:15 PM, "Disqus" <>

  13. 13

    Joanne — April 20, 2011 @ 12:11 am Reply

    I totally don't refrigerate my nut butters either, mostly because I hate the texture of them cold. I'll risk it turning rancid. Though like you said, there's little to no chance it'll stick around that long. These meringues sound delicious! I actually love having meringues on hand to snack on. They're perfect for when you want something a bit sweet but that won't break the calorie bank.

  14. 14

    Jen — April 20, 2011 @ 7:40 am Reply

    Do you have the nutritional information for these? They look great!

  15. 15

    Cara — April 20, 2011 @ 10:43 am Reply

    thanks Jen! I did not calculate nutritional info for this recipe because Iusually give myself a break and don't think about that when it comes togoodies for special occasions. Sorry! However, given the ingredients, Ithink they're relatively safe.

  16. 16

    cookingwhims — April 20, 2011 @ 2:32 pm Reply

    These were so addictive! I don't usually like meringues either, but these were delicious! Thanks for whipping them up for us 🙂

  17. 17

    grace — April 21, 2011 @ 10:41 pm Reply

    many times i find myself saying 'i don't like this dessert or that dessert,' but i'm like you–the plain truth is that i like it, i just don't like it as much as, say, caramel apple pie a la mode. 🙂

  18. 18

    Danielle Miller — April 26, 2011 @ 3:21 pm Reply

    This sound great – Im bookmarking this one

  19. 19

    danielle — April 30, 2011 @ 2:28 pm Reply

    I wanted to let you know that I just features these on my "What I Bookmarked This Week" post – stop by and check it out!!

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