I love when the house smells like chocolate. These cookies are so chocolatey, crunchy and chewy at the same time, that no one notices that they contain no flour or butter. Did you know that making a meringue is easy? It is just really air, eggs whites, and sugar. Give these yummies a try next time you need a chocolate fix.
Preparation Time: 20 – 30 minutes, depending on your equipment
Cooking Time: 18 minutes
Servings: Makes about 40 cookies
4 EGG WHITES
1/2 teaspoon LEMON JUICE
1/2 teaspoon VANILLA
1/8 teaspoon SALT
1/4 cup SUGAR
12 ounces Vegan DARK CHOCOLATE MORSELS, melted
1/2 cup WALNUTS, chopped
Enough WALNUT halves to decorate cookies
1/2 cup DRIED CHERRIES, chopped
- PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F
- LINE 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper
- SEPARATE egg whites from yolks. I use 3 bowls to do this: 1 bowl for the yolks, 1 bowl for the whites, and 1 bowl for the shells. After separating all 4 eggs, put the egg yolks in the refrigerator (I use them to make my Egg Yolk Insanely Fluffy Cookies) and let the egg whites reach room temperature.
- MELT the chocolate morsels, either in a double boiler or microwave. I microwave mine on medium-high (50% power) for 1 minute, then stir, then repeat on medium-high for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, again and again until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- COMBINE egg whites, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in a large, clean bowl. (A grease-free bowl is a must when making meringue. Also, make sure there is no yolk in your egg whites or it can keep them from fluffing nicely.)
- Using an electric hand mixer, or a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, BEAT the mixture on low speed until foamy.
- Increase mixer speed and GRADUALLY ADD sugar, a little at a time, until combined.
- BEAT mixture on high until stiff peaks form. (Be patient this can take several minutes.)
- Using a spatula, FOLD in the cooled chocolate, chopped walnuts, and the dried cherries. Make sure not to over combine as you don’t want to lose the airiness of the meringue.
- FILL a pastry piping bag, or improvise with a large zip-lock plastic bag*, with half of the meringue mixture.
- If using a plastic bag, cut a 3/4 inch hole in one corner.
- If using a pastry bag, use a large star tip.
- PIPE cookies (about 2″ each) on to the prepared parchment covered cookie sheets.
- REPEAT the process with the other half of the meringue.
- TOP each cookie with a half of a walnut.
- BAKE for 12 minutes and then check on them. The cookies are done when they are set and dry looking. This can take 15 to 20 minutes.
- REMOVE cookie sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to COOL completely on the sheets.
- STORE in an airtight container for 1 week.
*Piping is not always easy for those of us with arthritis in our hands. My alternative is to drop the batter onto the parchment covered baking sheets in evenly spaced slightly rounded teaspoons of goo.
Inspired by Alison Ashton who was inspired by Gail Simmons