Astounded by Imperial Sugar's generosity, I decided to bake meringue cookies with their sugar as it's such a simple recipe -- not much more than eggs and sugar -- and I thought it would give the sugar a chance to shine. Sugar doesn't just make these meringue cookies sweetly delicious, but it binds with the egg proteins, increasing their strength and elasticity, creating the fluffiest meringue. Science!
While I've made meringue with regular ol' granulated sugar, it can give the meringue a grainy texture which is not terrible in something like Eton Mess, where the meringue is smashed up and mixed with many other ingredients, but I didn't want gritty cookies. Imperial Sugar doesn't seem to make a superfine sugar, so I just whirred the Imperial Sugar granulated white around in my food processor until it resembled fine beach sand. This doesn't take long to do and allows me to feel even more smug about my kitchen skills.
These cookies are a trifle on the large size -- I like a generous cookie -- so you might want to use teaspoonfuls instead of tablespoons if you prefer a more delicate and ladylike cookie. Also, you could mix some cocoa powder in with the chips and raspberries for a more chocolaty meringue.
Also, feel free to use semisweet or bittersweet (yessss) chocolate in these cookies. The Husband does not enjoy dark chocolate and I love The Husband and want him to be happy, so I stuck with milk.
Chocolate-Raspberry Meringue CookiesYield: Approximately 2 dozen cookies
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 4 oz white granulated sugar [Imperial Sugar]
- 1 oz freeze-dried raspberries
- 5 oz milk chocolate morsels
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using your fingers, gently break the raspberries so none remain whole, being careful not to crush them into dust. Set aside.
- Pour white sugar into your food processor and whir around until it resembles fine beach sand. Set aside.
- In the scrupulously clean and dry bowl of your stand mixer, use the wire whisk attachment to whip egg whites with cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla until the whites form soft peaks.
- Slowly add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form and mixture becomes very white and glossy.
- Gently fold in the crushed raspberries and chocolate chips, taking care not to deflate the batter.
- Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls on to the parchment paper.
- Bake for 1½ hours, rotating the pans from top-to-bottom and front-to-back halfway through baking.
- Turn off the heat and let the meringues cool completely in oven, about 2 hours.
If the cookies stick to the paper when you try to remove them then they are not baked properly. Reheat the oven to 200°F, put the cookies back in, and then turn off oven. Leave for about 2 hours and they should be fine.
These cookies will keep well in an airtight container on your kitchen counter for several weeks ... if they last that long!
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