Chocolate Dipped Meringue

Chocolate Dipped Meringue

These little puffs of crunchy and chewy goodness can be flavored with any extract you want and the chocolate really adds a nice touch. If you have an electric whisk or beater, you're all set to go!

4 egg whites (room temperature)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp almond extract (or any flavor you choose!)
1 cu sugar
1 cu dark chocolate chips

The key to success is good peaks and in the case of meringue we want stiff peaks. What the hell are peaks, you ask? Once you have whipped the protein long enough it will begin to become less liquid and more of a foam. The foam will start out soupy, then it will begin to look like shaving cream and to test the peaks you simply dip the whisk into the foam and check the consistency. If you lift a small 'droplet' of foam with the whisk and turn it vertical, it should droop at first then after more beating it will stand on its own. There is an awesome example of this over on this neat blog; Red Head Recipes. Do be careful, if you get past stiff peaks the foam will be too stiff and therefore ruined, so once you're at soft peaks, be mindful and test often between beating.

Carefully separate the whites from the yolk, any fat at all will ruin the foam, and begin to whip them. Once the whites are white and soupy add the tartar, salt and extract. Continue to beat the foam and slowly add the sugar, a little at a time, while continuing to beat the foam. After a few minutes, soft peaks will begin to form. Now is the time to stop and test every 30 seconds until you just come to stiff peaks. Once there, beat for another minute on medium for good measure, but no more! While beating make sure to move the bowl and keep any liquids from settling on the bottom.

Gently fill a piping bag or ziploc with the meringue and then pipe into any shape you want on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 220 F for exactly 1 hour, cut the oven and leave it open. DO NOT disturb the cookies for at least another 2 hours.

Once completely dried and cooled, melt the chocolate in a double boiler setup, remove from heat. With light and cool hands, or careful tongs, dip the meringue in the chocolate and place back on the cookies sheet lined with parchment and let solidify for 30 minutes to an hour. Keep these delicious puffy bundles of flavor in an air tight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Bon appetit