Monday, May 23, 2011

Dark Chocolate Meringue Drops


My recent foray into the Macaron world has my family craving the light and airy cookie treats.  Time, however, is not always on our side.  With a true Macaron taking a bit of planning ahead and our life not always conducive to said planning, my discovery of Eating Well's Dark Chocolate Meringue Drops gave us a similar egg white treat without the filling, but with a chocolate infusion intense enough to curb any chocolate craving.

Having completed a successful dance recital weekend, Liv and I were excited to have a Sunday with no demands other than a Harry Potter marathon on the tv, a fire in the fire place (our annual May Grey marine layer has chilled our temps) and time to play in the kitchen.  

2008 - Mary Poppins
Bringing excitement each year, the annual studio dance recital ends up taking a lot out of the participants.  While I live for watching Liv and her friends dance at their competitions, recital holds a special place in my heart as she and her dad participate in the annual Father/Daughter number.  Two years ago, Liv talked my non-dancing husband into joining her in a montage of Mary Poppins songs, bringing me to tears as I watched them dance onstage together.

Liv and her dad dance "Ole!"
This year my husband's schedule allowed for him to participate again and he eagerly began his rehearsals last January.  Attending weekly sessions they progressed in the dance, but unfortunately the last two weekends found him unable to attend and he missed the rehearsals where the class "put the whole thing together", those ever important on and off stage instructions as well as the transitions.  After a not so pretty dress rehearsal last Tuesday mild panic set in as he felt he didn't know what to do.  Luckily, Liv is a pro.  An animated practice session last Friday had him working the dance like he works his airline check-lists with with a vivacious Latin style!  The Latin-style number filled with shaking hips, shouts of "Ole!" and dad's and daughters dancing together had the moms in the audience smiling, once again through their tears, and the teenaged sons hooting with laughter.

Dark Chocolate Meringue Drops proved to be the ideal post-recital treat, bringing a low fat yet intensely chocolate finale to our weekend.  Filled with 3 types of chocolate (melted dark, cocoa and nibs), the egg whites and sugar worked their magic bringing a light cookie treat that had our entire family reaching for thirds.

Dark Chocolate Meringue Drops
adapted from Eating Well - 2007

Eating Wells description says it all, "These meringue cookies have a puffy, fraginle exterior and a moist, soft interior.  They deliver an enticingly bold knock-your-socks-off bittersweet chocolate experience."
(Printer friendly recipe here)

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, divided
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process), sifted after measuring if lumpy
3 Tbs cocoa nibs (we used Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Nibs)
1/3 cup egg whites (about 3 large), at room temp
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 cup sugar, divided (use 1 1/2 tsp less if cocoa nibs are omitted)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray.

Coarsely chop 3 ounces of chocolate and place it in a small microwave-safe bowl. (Alternatively, see “No Microwave?” below.) Microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until mostly melted. Stir until the remaining chocolate melts completely.

Chop the remaining 2 ounces chocolate into pieces the size of mini chocolate chips. Combine in a small bowl with cocoa and cocoa nibs (if using).

Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, then at medium speed until soft peaks start to form. Immediately add about 2 tablespoons sugar; beat for 1 minute. Slowly, about a tablespoon at a time, add the remaining sugar, then vanilla, continuing to beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, opaque, glossy and thickened, about 2 minutes longer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, raise the speed to high, and beat for 30 seconds more. Lightly fold in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and the melted chocolate just until evenly incorporated and no streaks remain; do not overmix. Immediately drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, until just firm when gently pressed on top but still soft inside, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes. Then slide the paper from the pans to a flat surface and let the cookies cool completely, about 15 minutes. Gently lift the cookies from the parchment paper using a wide-bladed spatula.

 Our friends Dave and Celeste participated in a different Father/Daughter number - Rock Stars.  Complete with wigs and fake tattoos, these dads and girls rocked the stage and had the audience "ROFL"!

43 comments:

  1. That is too cute! What a fantastic idea to have the girls dance with their Daddy's!! I would have loved to had my dad to that when I was younger. He is NOT a dancer though haha.

    These meringue drops are just so yummy looking! I bet they were fantastic. This is a must try on my list!

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  2. Awww, what an awesome time! The recitals look like so much fun; I know your heart filled with so much love :-) And hooray for that Harry Potter marathon, no? I had it on, too, as I made some clam chowder to warm up the chilly day.

    As for these cookies, they look absolutely marvelous! Light and chocolately... just how life should be :-) Hope your Monday's starting out just right, Kim!

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  3. How cool!!
    Meringue is new to me in the last couple months. Chocolate meringue sounds amazing!

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  4. that is too adorable--the father daughter recitals and those look yummy :)

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  5. It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. I give your husband props for getting up there on stage. I think I can say for certain that it is something Mark would never do - Ironman yes, dancing not so much. You had me at the first two words in the title of your post. I love dark chocolate and your cookies look so good.

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  6. Props to your husband for getting up there to dance! I can't even imagine my dad doing that! LOL These cookies are definately making me rethink my stance on meringue. Yours look so chewy and delish!

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  7. Three types of chocolate! Nice! Great post!

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  8. Love these photos! It's so great that they have the parents get involved! Fabulous post-recital treat too, I love meringues.

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  9. These look delicious. Love the use of the cocoa nibs.

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  10. That is so sweet, I am a big sucker for Father Daughter stories! You have an amazing and lovely family Kim, and lucky them for having you to make all these wonderful treats!

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  11. The father/daughter recitals looks like a blast! And those cookies looks extremely delicious and addicting.

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  12. Oh yum do these cookies look so good! :) I love the photos of the father and daughter recitals.

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  13. Oh wow! I wish my husband will do that for our daughter. Your husband is COOL!!! Liv will remember this moment and awww such a great time together. You are taking great pictures of them too! Now about the cookies - this really looks yummy! So much chocolate just like what I need. And dark chocolate is THE BEST! :-)

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  14. Awww, what sweet father daughter pictures! These cookies look great and love that they are low fat too! They sound wonderful and look so nice and chewy!

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  15. it sounds like you had way too much fun watching the dance routines, I just hope you video taped it! Those chocolate meringue drops look heavenly! All that wonderful chocolate...sigh
    I bet they were delicious!

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  16. Awww, how sweet that your husband participated. Love it! Also love the idea of a Harry Potter marathon with a fire in the fireplace...heaven! And mmmmm, what a wonderful, chocolatey recipe! Delicious!!

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  17. Love the pictures of your husband and daughter! Adorable... And i'm sure it would have been so much fun watching them dance together :) The meringue drops look amazing! I love the cocoa nibs! Thanks for sharing :)

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  18. Oh how I love that Mary Poppins photo--classic!

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  19. Looks like they had lots of fun dancing "Ole". Love the Mary Poppins photo also.
    These triple chocolate drops look so good. Light and delicious.
    thanks for sharing Kim

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  20. Oh! That is so sweet..I love the Marry Poppins picture..it makes your heart smile to see a father and daughter in harmony..
    and those chocolate meringues look heavenly

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  21. Your daughter is a Pro!! SUch a lovely event. Definitely something the that the duo would cherish for a long long time and the choc meringue drops too...
    Yummy.

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  22. Wow, Kim. Seeing Liv and her Dad up there on stage must make you burst with pride. No wonder you're swelling up with tears! They look fantastic together. And what a way to finish it off with these chocolatey meringues. They sound wonderful.

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  23. Liv and her Dad are creating such wonderful memories for the whole family. No wonder you're so proud of them. And to top it off, you had those wonderful Chocolate drops to make the celebration even better.

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  24. Just wonderful! I could probably eat a dozen of these. They look so tender and decadent. Great Job!! PS... I love all the photos! : )

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  25. lovely dancing pictures
    meringue looks superb

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  26. Love that these girls are out there dancing with their fathers! Thats awesome. And what delicious sounding cookies too!

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  27. This is adorable! Though the thought of my dad dancing at any event other than my wedding makes me laugh :) I love the simplicity of these drop cookies. I haven't made many meringues before but feel like I could handle them!

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  28. What a cute photos of your daughter, wonderful!!!
    Your meringue looks very very delicious Kim..I am loving your presentation and photos!!!

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  29. This is so adorable! So cool that your husband does that with Liv! And these meringue drops look like the perfect chocolate and meringue fix! =)

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  30. Love the dance pictures and the meringue cookies like wonderful. I think I need to make my way to my local Trader Joe's for those chocolate nibs.

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  31. Kim, not only do those meringues look FANTASTIC (they are officially on my "to-make" list), but I love those father/daughter pics - truly adorable! I remember going to sock hops with my dad a looong time ago, and this just takes the cake. Major props to the hubby for going out of his comfort zone for your daughter! :)

    Also, sweet chimney sweep costume. XD

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  32. The dance picture of Liv and her father is really wonderful.
    I will have to try the chocolate meringue drops too...hopefully soon!

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  33. I love that your husband is making such great memories with your daughter. They look great!

    Meringue cookies with all of that wonderful chocolate sound fabulous.

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  34. The dad and daughter dances are so awesome! Reading about Liv and seeing the pictures just reinforces more and more that I need to put my Little Butt into dance. She told me yesterday she wants to be a ballerina. How inspiring your beautiful girl is! I love everything about dance but was too shy to do it myself. My girl has a rhythm like no other little one I've seen (since she could walk she could shake it).

    These meringue cookies are quite lovely as well. They look light and flavorful. Full of fun and joy just as the daddy/daughter dance was. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Love the pics...looks like everyone had tremendous fun.

    These drops look so good....rich chocolate flavor...I am in!

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  36. Oh, yeah...these are winners! I've made meringues with just a touch of cocoa, but these are the real deal! YUM!

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  37. So light and chocolately! These are dangerous in the best way. Saving this recipe for when the next big chocolate craving strikes!

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  38. My lil chubby chocolate loving toddler would LOVE these! Can not wait to try!

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  39. Oh!!! How wonderful to have the Dad's in the show with the gairls -what a beautiful memory for a girl, her Dad and Mom to forever possess!

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