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Snowcaps Chocolate Meringues

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Snowcaps Chocolate Meringues
(c) 2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Light and crispy chocolate meringues get a delicate dusting of powdered sugar in this recipe for Snowcaps Chocolate Meringues. The rich chocolatey meringues look like snowy mountain peaks, making these a perfect candy for the Christmas season, although they taste great anytime you're craving a low-calorie chocolate treat.

Meringues are very sensitive to humidity in the air, so do not attempt to make these on a very humid or stormy day.

Yield: 20-24 meringues

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • Additional powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F/107 C. Start by making sure that your mixing bowl and whisk attachment are clean, dry, and free of any grease or oil, since traces of fat will prevent the egg whites from whipping up properly.

2. Place the room temperature egg whites in the clean mixing bowl, and begin to mix them on medium speed. When they are foamy, add the cream of tartar and gradually increase the speed to medium-high.

3. Once the egg whites have started holding soft peaks, begin adding the 1/2 cup powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating well in between each addition. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the egg whites are very stiff and shiny.

4. Stop the mixer, and add the cocoa powder to the egg whites, gently folding them in with a spatula. Try to be as gentle as possible and not overwork the whites so that they don't deflate.

5. Scoop the chocolate meringue mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip, or into a large Ziploc bag. If you are using the bag, cut off a corner so that there is a 1/2-inch hole.

6.Pipe mounts of chocolate meringue onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. (Do not bake these without parchment, they will be difficult to remove.) If you make your mounds about 1-1/2 inches wide, you'll get 20-24 "meringue mountains" from this recipe.

7. Bake the chocolate meringues in the 225 degree oven for an hour and 15 minutes. After this point, turn the oven of and leave them in for an additional 15 minutes, then remove the tray and allow the meringues to rest on the tray until completely cool.

8. Once cool, dust the chocolate meringues with more powdered sugar so that they resemble snow-capped mountains. Store Snowcaps Chocolate Meringues in an airtight container at room temperature. Meringues last for several weeks but get crispier and drier as they sit out, so they are best within a few days of when they are made.

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