Chocolate Meringue Cookies (Gluten Free)

I love all things meringue .. I have made rainbow colored meringue cookies, meringue nests, have floated them on a crema anglaise sauce.. made little mushrooms for a Bûche de Noël yule log, used them for a Pavlova,
made meringue sticks for my famous “Dalla Mia Cucina Style” Perfect Party Cake and my all time favorite use is for the dessert ‘Baked Alaska’. But, what has racked my brain for many a year has been those darn Chocolate Meringue Cookies.

I have tried many recipes.. even using my favorite meringue cookie recipe and swapping out some of the sugar with cocoa powder, just to end up with a deflated cookie.. and ego.

So will I ever learn.. I should have known that Nick Malgieri, my favorite pastry chef, would have the perfect recipe.. I adore his baking techniques and have used many of his recipes for years as a base to many of my pastry needs. So when I was looking thru endless magazines and cook books for THE recipe.. there it was “Chocolate” by Nick Malgieri.. and the perfect recipe for Chocolate Meringue Cookies.

What sets this recipe apart is the use of good quality unsweetened chocolate blocks.. not cocoa, and, beating the egg whites and sugar together over a hot water bath. This meringue base was like marshmallow cream, so smooth and satiny, a perfect foundation for the perfect cookie.

I hope you try this.. you’ll love-Love-LOVE them, if that is, you are looking for something not too sweet, something crisp, light, gluten free, and a low fat treat.

This recipe is from “Chocolate” by Nick Malgieri.
Recipe yields around ’34′ 2-inch cookies.

3 large egg whites
1 cup minus 2 tbsp of extra-fine granulated sugar
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 275 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a wide skillet, bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low.
In a bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine the whites and sugar, whisk to combine. Place the bowl into the skillet filled with hot water and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are heated to 130 F.
The process will take about 6-8 minutes.
Place the bowl onto a base of the stand mixer, or just use hand-held electric beaters to beat the whites until increased in volume and substantially cooled.
Beat on medium speed if you are using the stand mixer, and on high with the hand-held one. The mixture should be stiff and glossy but not dry and clotted.
Pour the chocolate over the meringue and fold it with a rubber spatula.
Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with 1⁄2 inch star tube and pipe S shapes, or use a larger star tip and pipe meringue rounds as I did in this recipe. Pipe about 1 1⁄2 inches apart, on the prepared pans.
Bake the meringues about 15-20 minutes, until crisp on the outside but still somewhat soft within.
*(Nick’s recipe sets the oven to 300 degrees, I like the cookies a bit more crisp and dry. So my recommendation here is 275. :)
Slide the cookies, still on the parchment, to a cooling rack. If the cookies do not release from the paper they are underdone and should be returned to the oven for a several minutes.
The cookies are the best on the day they are baked. But if you need you can keep them between sheets of parchment paper in an air-tight container.