Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mocha-Chip Meringues

Sweet Sunday's Yummy Lit Review:
Mocha-Chip Meringues

After the success of last week's Apricot Blueberry Bundles I decided to go back to Martha Stewart's website to tackle another one of her recipes. This time I tried my hand at a meringue cookie - my very first!

Here are the ingredients and methods:

3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on medium speed until frothy. Beating constantly, add sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes total (scrape down the bowl halfway through). Add espresso powder and cocoa; beat until well blended. With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips.

Drop batter by level tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake until crisp, about 40 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Cool completely on sheets, about 20 minutes.

How did it go?

Before starting the baking process I noticed that I was all out of cornstarch. I was determined to make these cookies so I turned to the internet for guidance. Searching Google I discovered that all-purpose flour can be used as a replacement for cornstarch. With the flour in hand I set out to make scrumptious meringues.

Unfortunately they didn't turn out scrumptious. In fact, they didn't turn out at all. I could not get the egg-white mixture to get hard, stiff, and glossy peaks no matter how hard I tried. I like to think it's because I used flour instead of cornstarch... but in hindsight I'm not really sure. I ended up throwing away this runny mixture and, luckily, I found some cornstarch buried in the bottom of one of the kitchen drawers (if only I had found this sooner!).

I was determined to create those 'stiff and glossy peaks' during my second attempt. Thus, when the mixture finally did turn into a texture that resembled meringue I happily yelled out "I finally got it hard!" My neighbors may have heard me, and there may have been a bit of awkwardness in the air after my exclamation, but I was dang proud to have finally created those peaks and crests in my egg-white/salt/sugar/cornstarch mix.

When the meringues came out of the oven 40 minutes later I couldn't help but laugh. They looked deplorable. Comments from others ranged from: "they look like potato-skins," "crematorium cookies," and "it's like gum but then it disappears." After a hour of cooling, however, I was told they tasted as a meringue cookie should. I personally do not know... but I won't be trying these again. I think I'll keep my meringue in pies, thank you very much Ms. Stewart.


As a side note, I discovered that if you beat meringue for too long it will lose its characteristic stiff peaks. I guess I got a little carried away once I noticed the mixture was acquiring a harder consistency. Perhaps too much beating combined with a lack of cornstarch ruined my first batch.

So my lesson?

Don't beat it too much or the hardness will go away and you'll be left with a liquid-y mess... sounds like sound and simple advice to me haha.

Hope you all have a sweet Sunday! :)


  1. Hi Ms. C,
    Do you have any recipes with coffee in it? ;)
    How about cookies?
    If you do, please drop by my blog and let me know. I usually crave for poundcakes, biscotti, or cookies. Don't like anything with cream in it.
    Cheers from the east coast (Montreal)!

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier and I'm so glad to have found yours! This meringue story is hilarious and reminds me of my one and only attempt at meringue cookies -- beat by hand since I don't have an electric mixer.

    DO NOT ATTEMPT. It's not worth the pain. (Don't you hate it when a cookbook features a photo of some chef happily mixing meringue with a hand whisk?)

    I look forward to looking through the rest of your cookie experiments and book reviews.


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