Chocolate Cinnamon Meringues

 

Apparently when you consistently post pictures and/or descriptions of your cooking adventures on your Facebook page and don’t bring anything into work with you, your coworkers tend to get a little upset. 

And it’s completely understandable.  I do make some tasty looking/sounding dishes.  And I do tend to torture my friends and family with pictures, without ever bringing anything over.   It’s a gift, these torturous acts.  What can I say?

 

 

And thus, a few days ago – to appease the hungry hoards at work – I made something fancy.  Chocolate Cinnamon Meringues.  Fluffy little clouds.  They start out crisp and solid, and end up dissolving into this sweet, chocolatey, cinnamony, puff of air.

They don’t look like much.  Little kisses, cracked and feather light in the hand.  Quite unassuming, really.  These are modest little cookies; but oh, so magical.  Egg whites and sugar, chocolate and cinnamon.  Whipped into submission, baked for an hour.  Transformed into little kisses of air and sweet and extravagant.

 

 

Most of my people have never had a meringue.  You might a little hesitant.  Perhaps you’re thinking you should go with something more familiar, something less strange.  But for me, meringues are natural treats.  Something I can whip up and keep in a jar on the kitchen table.  They’re sweet enough that you only want a few, and oh, so fancy.

They’re infinitely adaptable.  Don’t want chocolate?  Use a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract, or almond, or coconut, or peppermint.  A few drops of food dye for a special occasion or holiday.  Make a Pavlova.

So please, try one (or two, or twelve).

 

 

Chocolate Cinnamon Meringues
From Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of The American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project {by way of Cream Puffs in Venice}

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk the egg whites until frothy.  Add the salt and whisk at high until soft peaks form.

Turn the speed down to medium and slowly add the sugar/cocoa/cinnamon mixture to the egg whites.  Increase the speed back to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy.  Clean the sides of the bowl periodically to make sure that all is fully incorporated.

Fit a pastry bag with the tip of your choice.  Spoon the meringue mixture into the pastry bag and pipe out the cookies in whatever design you choose.  I chose little “kisses.”  Be sure to leave an inch or two between each cookie so that they don’t stick together.  They won’t really expand much during cooking, so just a little space is fine.

Bake the cookies for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes and then turn the oven off.  Let the cookies cool, still in the oven, for one hour.  Remove them and transfer the meringues to a wire rack to continue cooling.  Leave out overnight to ensure the cookies will dry completely.

Store in an airtight container.

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