Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine treats

We made two kinds of treats to give away. First we tried this chocolate chip recipe. I have a standby recipe I have used for years and it is almost identical, except this one uses butter and shortening. Yum. Aidan added sprinkles to them all too. Lots and lots of sprinkles. But hey - it made him very happy.

We also made these meringue cookies from Martha Stewart. But instead of making sandwiches we added some chopped chocolate and a tiny bit of espresso powder. They are so light and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And they are really easy to make. You should try sometime!


4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For meringue: Put egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla; mix until combined. Use immediately. (At this point we folded in 1/2 cup chopped chocolate and 1 tsp espresso powder)
Preheat oven to 200. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
Scoop a spoonful of meringue onto large oval soup spoon, and use another soup spoon to form meringue into shape of small egg. Use second spoon to push meringue oval off first spoon and onto parchment. Spoon 12 ovals onto each prepared baking sheet.

Bake cookies until they are crisp on outside but have marshmallow consistency inside, about 1 hour. Reduce oven to 175 if meringue starts to brown.

Turn off oven, and return meringues to oven to dry, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on parchment on wire racks.

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