Meringue cookies are so yummy – they really are drops of heaven; they melt in your mouth before you realize you have them on your tongue. Adding cinnamon to them just gives them a bit of extra ‘oomph’ and the dark chocolate – well, need I say more????
But – yes, there is ALWAYS a but – don’t try to make these on a wet day. Damp air and meringue just don’t like each other. Here in the desert, that’s rarely a problem. But for you beach bums it might just be, so be prepared!
Below the recipe is the lesson you might want to keep – it’s how to temper the chocolate you will use to dip these Drops of Heaven into…and the best way to prepare any chocolate for dipping or coating other than use in frosting.
Enjoy these – dipped or not, with a cup of cocoa, coffee or tea and just … relax!
Chocolate Dipped Bits of Heaven
- 5 egg whites
- 1-1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 plus 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 c chopped dark chocolate (at least 72% cacao) melted and tempered
Preheat oven to 200. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
Make a “Swiss Meringue” by combining the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer. Hold the bowl over a small pot of boiling water and whisk until the mixture is warm to the touch. Once the bowl is warm, place the bowl into the stand mixer, attach the whisk attachment, and beat on high speed until the meringue is cool and forms stiff peaks (peaks stand up straight and do not flop over).
Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe heart shapes (or round drops if you prefer) onto the prepared pans. You can place them fairly close as they won’t spread much but don’t let them touch. To make hearts, do them in 2 sections; start from the top and make a large, tight comma, ending with a point at the bottom, then a reverse on the other side so the tops and points join into a heart shape.
Bake in the oven for 2 to 3 hours until meringue is completly dry. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Remove the dry meringues one at a time and dip, letting the excess chocolate run off back into the bowl and set on a wire rack to set up. If you did hearts, just dip one side; if you did drops, you can do one side or just the bottoms or the tops – your choice.
Melt chocolate carefully either over boiling water (double boiler) or in the microwave. Be very sure no water or steam gets into the chocolate or it will “seize” and be unusable without adding oil or vegetable shortening. (For coating, NEVER use butter directly into melted chocolate as the liquid in the butter will “seize” the chocolate.)
Once the chocolate has melted and is smooth, stir and cool the chocolate over a bowl filled with ice until the chocolate has cooled to 81 degrees F. It’s best to use a candy thermometer. An alternate way is to dip the tip of a flat metal spatula into the chocolate and tap to remove the excess. If the chocolate has tempered, it will set in less than 3 minutes. If it hasn’t set in 3 minutes, wait a little longer and test again. Once set or at 81F, rewarm the chocolate gently over a pot of boiling water just until it reaches 86F which will happen pretty quickly so watch the thermometer carefully.
Remove from the heat and you can then use the tempered chocolate for dipping cookies, nuts, dried fruit, etc.
Some people re-temper the chocolate a second and third time – I often do it twice. If there is chocolate left over, I will always add more and start the tempering from the beginning.