Fudgy meringues with a crispy, melt in your mouth shell will have you attending “Meringues Anonymous” if you’re not careful!
How can four little ingredients be so good together? The combination of the crispy exterior and the moist chocolate middle sans flour resulted in an entire batch of fifteen cookies disappearing in just over 24 hours. I wish I could tell you we had guests…
Although airy and relatively low on calories compared to most confections, these meringues did not come about due to New Year’s self-promises centered around slimmer waistlines. The ignoble truth is that after creating crème brûlée, another custard dish and any number of ice creams, we had on hand countless extra egg whites and, according to Jack, “egg whites, fish and beer are three items that can be consumed without fear of weight gain.”
These meringues are quick and easy to make but do require an overnight stay in the oven to finish drying in order to create that crispy exterior.
Fudgy Chocolate Meringues
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp dutch processed cocoa
- 1/2 cup smashed chocolate chips (Place chips in a Ziploc bag and smash with a meat tenderizer)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Place bowl on top of pot of simmering water, for a double boiler effect.
- Whisk eggs and sugar for a couple of minutes until sugar is just dissolved.
- Place bowl back on stand mixer. Mix on high speed until eggs are thick and glossy and hold soft peaks.
- Sift cocoa onto egg mixture.
- Mix on high speed until cocoa is just incorporated.
- Fold smashed chocolate chips into egg whites.
- Use a cookie scoop to drop batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Cookies should puff up and may crack.
- Remove cookies and leave oven door open to cool down.
- Place cookies back in oven, close oven door and let cookies sit overnight.
- The next day, cookies will be cooled completely and can be easily removed from parchment paper. Store in airtight container.
This crisp cookie bursts with the flavors of salty, roasted pistachios and tart, sweet cherries. Its attractive green and red colors would make it a welcome addition to this season’s offerings.
We picked up a bag of roasted and salted shelled pistachios last summer at Costco. The large bag of nuts was quickly opened, but we know that a rapidly expanding waistline can be the price for eating too many pistachios in too short a time. So, we put the bag in a mailing tub to be shipped north only partly consumed and forgot about it till recently. To our surprise, the nuts have remained amazingly tasty. Before they fall from grace, we wanted to make good use of them. Enter a biscotti recipe that celebrates their unique flavor. The roasted and salted aspect adds a delicious juxtaposition to the sweet tanginess of the dried cherries. We think these biscotti should be eaten all year ’round, in spite of their seasonal colors.
Roasted Salted Pistachio and Dried Cherry Biscotti
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried orange zest
- 2 tsp dried lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine first 6 ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle.
- Mix on low speed until ingredients are well combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk eggs with next 5 ingredients.
- Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat on low until combined.
- Fold in cherries and pistachios.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.
- Divide dough in half.
- Using floured hands, shape each dough half into a 16″ long log.
- Place logs on parchment covered baking sheet, about 5″ apart.
- Flatten logs to a strip about 2″ wide, so you have two logs that are 16″ x 2″.
- Bake cookies until browned and set, about 30 minutes.
- Let cookies cool in pan placed on wire rack for about 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F.
- On a cutting board, using a serrated knife, cut logs into slices, about 2/3″ thick.
- Place slices back on the parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side down and close together.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Flip the cookies to the opposite side and bake again for 20 minutes.
- Let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from BON APPÉTIT
Chocolate drizzle sets up on a fresh batch of ultra thin, chewy, crispy, modest lace cookies.
Traditionally, lace cookie dough spreads thin and bubbles while it bakes resulting in a delicate confection marked with lacy holes. I was intrigued with a coconut lace cookie recipe I found posted by Giada De Laurentiis. The cookies in the photo on her post looked simultaneously chewy and crispy and I could easily imagine the coconut flavor layered with the semi-sweet chocolate drizzle. Unfortunately, the reviews on her recipe were terrible (too greasy, too sugary, gloppy, lacking distinct flavor), so I contemplated how I could create a similar cookie while avoiding the pitfalls.
After making adjustments to amp up the flavor and improve the texture, the cookies came out of the oven a tasty winner. Although these very thin cookies crisped up around the edges nicely while remaining chewy, they aren’t very “lacy,” so I’ve dubbed them “modest lace.” The coconut shines through deliciously.
Modest Coconut Lace Cookies
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together sugar, coconut and flour.
- Mix in butter, coconut oil, egg and vanilla to coconut flake mixture.
- Drop batter by teaspoonful on baking sheets. These cookies spread, so give them a couple of inches to do so.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes. They should be golden brown in the center and darker brown on the edges.
- Slide parchment paper with cookies on it onto wire racks to fully cool.
- When cookies are cool, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Use a fork to drizzle chocolate onto cooled cookies.
- Let chocolate set before serving. Pop the cookies in the freezer to set the chocolate faster.
Makes two dozen cookies.
Wrapping up another year in the Arctic before we go to our summer home in Seward, these caramel-topped applesauce cookies were a terrific way to work through the last of our supply of applesauce.
A few lonely jars, bottles and boxes remain atop the cabinetry that lines the walls off our kitchen. Over five meters (sixteen-and-a-half feet) of uninterrupted shelf space that in August was packed tight to the ceiling with everything from chocolate to olives to nuts to jarred jalapenos is now mostly space. The remaining jars of salsa, soy sauce, sun dried tomatoes, Cholula and assorted other items stand like lonely sentinels overlooking our kitchen. It is the same throughout our house as freezers and pantries that had once been packed and piled with nine months worth of food are now nearly empty. And while our spice racks look full, it’s a deception. Many of the bottles are empty or nearly so. Our bulk order for next year went in to Penzeys Spices last week.
Applesauce is a healthful moistening agent in a number of baking recipes. It’s also terrific in oatmeal, as a blintz topping and in pancake batter, and makes for a light snack on its own. When we lived within driving distance of Northern California’s Apple Hill and the numerous orchards there, we made our own applesauce. Up here, we annually purchase a couple of cases of Tree Top Organic from Costco. The cookies in this recipe feature the fall flavor of applesauce in a light, soft cookie. The crunchy carmel-flavored topping adds another layer of sweetness and texture.
Applesauce Caramel Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground mace
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup applesauce
- caramel topping (see below)
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and mace. Set aside.
- Cream sugar and butter together.
- Add eggs and applesauce and mix well.
- Add in dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
- Drop tablespoons of batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 – 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until edges of cookies begin to become golden brown.
- While cookies are cooling, prepare topping.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, heavy cream, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture just begins to boil and the sugars are melted.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Scoop caramel mixture from pan with a teaspoon and drip onto cookies.
- Let caramel topped cookies fully cool before enjoying them.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Recipe adapted from Chef In Training
Sometimes a small batch of cookies is all you need. These thumbprint cookies combine the creamy sweetness of Arctic cloudberries with the tropical essence of coconut in an airy confection.
Sorry to temp you with a berry that rarely sees a latitude much south the Arctic Circle. Our favorite berry has yet to be cultivated on any large scale as far as we know, but almost any jam could serve as a substitute in these cookies. Perhaps there is an equivalent rare berry from another interesting part of the world you could taunt us back with?
Read more at Cloudberry Country, Cloudberry Freezer Jam, Cloudberry Cake, and Cloudberry Sorbet.
Coconut Aqpik Thumbprints
- 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water (egg wash)
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes
- cloudberry jam (or jam of your choice)
- In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar.
- Mix in vanilla.
- With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour and salt to butter mixture. Mix until dough comes together.
- Roll dough into about 1-inch balls.
- Get a bowl ready with egg wash and a plate ready with coconut flakes.
- Dip each ball into egg wash.
- Roll each ball in coconut.
- Place each cookie on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Press an indentation into each cookie. I used the handle end of a silverware knife.
- Fill each indentation with jam.
- Bake cookies for 20 – 25 minutes, until coconut is golden brown.
- Cool and serve.
Makes 15 cookies.
Light rice cookies with a pinch of cardamom give zest to your afternoon tea or coffee.
Dreaming about the fun of making udon noodles and mochi stuffed with adzuki bean paste caused me to impetuously purchase 25 pounds of rice flour during last year’s annual shopping trip… without having first researched how to make these items. Turns out, udon is made with wheat flour and the rice flour used to make mochi is a sweet rice flour. I now had 25 pounds of flour with no inspiration! A “no inspiration item” often transforms itself into an inspiration in our kitchen. We’ve learned that rice flour is a much better thickener in stews and soups than wheat flour or corn starch. We’ve also learned that rice flour makes light and airy cookies. When matched with the exotic flavor of cardamom, you’ve got a trip to India during your afternoon tea!
The original recipe was for Persian rice cookies. The recipe came out way too crumbly. I set the dough in the refrigerator and contemplated how to fix it. With the addition of a couple more eggs, the cookie dough was very soft and looked like scoops of vanilla ice cream while it waited to be baked. Our initial test for the cookie is dough flavor… yum. Again, it was very light with a punch from the cardamom. After they were baked and fully cooled, they were as delightful.
Cardamom Rice Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp orange extract
- 3 cups rice flour
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp superfine sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- Combine granulated sugar and water in small pot over medium heat.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring well to dissolve sugar.
- Reduce heat and summer for 7 – 10 minutes. Mixture should thicken and reduce to about one cup.
- Remove from heat. Stir in orange extract and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together rice flour and cardamom. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk eggs with superfine sugar until smooth.
- Add butter and oil to eggs and beat until fluffy.
- Add flour to butter mixture, mix until incorporated.
- Gradually add in one cup of the sugar syrup and beat well with mixer.
- Place the dough in a container, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for about six hours.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a cookie scoop to drop out rounds of dough onto baking sheets. Flatten drops slightly with the back of the cookie scoop.
- Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of each cookie.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Bottoms of cookies will be lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and gently place on the cooling racks.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.
The tang of apricot, the crunch of pecan and the richness of cream cheese come together in this delightful, satisfying cookie.
This time of year puts our creativity to the test as our pantry begins to empty. Dwindling food stores bring to mind cooking shows where random ingredients are selected and presented to the contestants with the challenge to create something magnificent. My challenge ingredients were a bag of dried apricots, a bag of pecans and a desire to nosh on something sweet. I made the dough in the evening and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, the cookies were quick and easy to make. A quick batch was ready for an after-lunch dessert with mugs of freshly steeped tea.
Apricot Pecan Rugelach
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp cinnamon mixed with 3 tbsp granulated sugar for topping
- Cream the cheese and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
- Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla to butter mixture. Mix well.
- Mix in flour on low speed. Mix until just incorporated.
- Divide the dough into two parts. Quickly roll into balls and flatten.
- Wrap each flattened ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- To make filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, apricots and pecans. Mix well.
- On a well-floured surface, roll each flattened ball of dough into a 9-inch circle.
- Spread half of the filling evenly on each 9-inch circle of dough.
- Press the filling into dough slightly, so it will roll easier.
- Cut each circle into 12 equal wedges. First cut each circle in half. Cut those halves in half. Cut all the quarters into three even wedges.
- Starting with outside edge, roll wedge toward middle, forming a crescent-type shape.
- Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, point side down.
- Brush cookies with beaten egg. Sprinkle cookies with a little of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Cookies will be lightly browned.
- Let cool on a wire rack.