Chocolate-Pecan Meringues with Cherries
Chewy and chocolatey, these Chocolate-Pecan Meringues with Cherries deserve a spot on your cookie tray this month. The fact that they are gluten-free and dairy-free is one more reason to say yes to making them.
Gluten-free baked goods can be terrible. These bread, cakes, and cookies seem to go hard on the baking soda and baking powder, hoping for some lift since gluten isn’t there to provide it. The results are often a dry, crumbly mess that only the faithfully gluten-free person will eat.
So not worth the calories!
However, gluten-free baking has come a long way in the past few years. Now there are more easily sourced flour substitutions like 1-to-1, cup-4-cup, almond, and coconut. Plus, countless gluten-free websites help the average baker put together something that is not only edible but tasty for GF family and friends.
I’ve had my share of gluten-free (and dairy-free) needs with my own peeps for several years. One of the best things to bake for these high-maintenance loved ones? Meringue.
Once upon a time, I thought meringue was super fancy. Well, I still kind of think that. But once I actually made it, I discovered it is easy to do.
Let’s call it easy fancy.
Basically, meringue is egg whites whipped with sugar until it is stiff and glossy. It is then baked until the outside is crisp and the inside is soft, chewy, and marshmallow-like. Think: lemon meringue pie and baked Alaska.
If it is baked longer, the entire meringue is uniformly crisp throughout. It shatters when you bite into it. Dacquoise, meringue kisses, and pavlova are all examples.
Meringue is a delicious way to make a naturally gluten-free and dairy-free cookie without having to hunt down any special ingredients. It can be flavored with a variety of things like melted chocolate, dried bits of fruit, zest, and finely chopped nuts.
- Don’t overbeat the egg whites! They should form shiny, stiff peaks that remain tall when the beaters are pulled away. If you beat them for too long, they will lose their shine and become dull lumpy clumps, as I sadly discovered.
- It’s important to add the sugar a little bit at a time. Wait for it to become incorporated before adding the next spoonful so the meringue doesn’t become grainy.
- Yes, piping the cookies is an extra step but the finished product looks prettier. The alternative is to plop the batter on the sheet pan with a spoon. It’s ugly but tastes the same. You're an adult, so do what you want.
Many thanks to Parade for the chewy dark chocolate meringue cookie recipe.Print
- 4 egg whites
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 12 oz dark chocolate (70 percent), melted and cooled
- ½ cup chopped dried cherries
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 325 F/162 C. Place parchment paper on two rimmed baking sheets and set aside.
- Beat the egg whites, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt in a stand mixer (or hand mixer) on medium speed until it is foamy and bubbly. Continue to beat on medium speed while gradually adding in the sugar, a few spoonfuls at a time. Once all the sugar is added, beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Do not overbeat.
- Gently stir in the melted chocolate, chopped nuts, and chopped cherries using a rubber spatula.
- Place half of the batter into a piping bag or gallon-size Ziploc bag. Snip one corner into a 1-inch hole. Pipe cookies (about 2 inches wide) onto the prepared baking sheets. If you don’t want to mess with piping, you can dollop batter onto the cookie sheets with a spoon. Place a whole pecan in the middle of each cookie.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the surface looks dry and is set. The insides will continue to set as the cookies cool. Let cool on the sheet pans. Makes around 30 cookies.
Keywords: chocolate-pecan meringues with cherries