"I should really work off that Thanksgiving meal. Oh, look-Christmas cookies!"- Anonymous
Oh, yes, it is that time of year, isn't it?! The sweet season of cookies and treats is upon us. As a former pastry professional, baking and giving cookies is in my DNA, I think. Each year I say I am going to cut back, and each year I don't. Why start now?! lol!
I thought now that I have the blog, I will try to share and document a few of my favorites or maybe something even brand new, such as these Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Meringues. I was rummaging through my cupboards and spotted these meringues and had an aha moment! Meringue cookies are available at almost any market. I know for sure Whole Foods and Trader Joe's sell them, but I have also seen them in the bakery section of my local super market. Meringues are gluten free and fat free, so not even the worse choice if you are going the sweet route. They are quick, require no special skill or equipment, start from store bought (afterall, sugar and egg whites are pretty much sugar and egg whites no matter what), turn out gorgeous and taste great to boot! If you have a cookie exchange to attend and aren't the baking type- look no further. This is your recipe. If you want a lovely hostess gift, this fits the bill. This is also a great "recipe" for a middle school aged child or older to do all by him or herself to gift to teachers and friends! Ready to get started?
Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Meringues
1 tub store bought Meringue "Cookies"
4 ounces ( approximately) good quality semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate (not chips), finely chopped
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place in freezer for at least 15 minutes. This will just help the chocolate set up faster later.
2. Meanwhile, gently melt chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler. Stir until smooth; set aside.
3. Place candy canes in a ziploc bag. Squeeze air out and seal. With a mallet or rolling pin, pound candy canes until finely chopped. You will need approx, 1/2-cup. Pour candy canes pieces onto a rimmed plate. Set aside.
4. Open tub of meringue cookies -that's the hard part! ; ).
5. Remove parchment-lined sheet pan from freezer.
6. Working one at a time, dip a meringue about 1/8" into melted chocolate, shaking off excess and gently scraping bottom of meringue across bowl so chocolate won't puddle when set down.
7. Immediately roll sides of meringue into crushed candy cane bits. Place bottom side down on prepared baking sheet. Continue until all meringues are dipped and coated.
8. Place the meringues in a cool, dry place to set up chocolate. The cold garage would be good this time of year or the freezer briefly. Avoid storing them for any length of time near moisture as that will make them soften. You don't want that. Cool dry place is best.
Variation: Instead of crushed peppermint, roll the cookies in chopped nuts (pistachios would be festive) or sprinkles! Just as pretty, see?
Now wrap them up and they are ready for gifting! Who wouldn't love that?!
Let me know what you think!