Friday, March 23, 2012

Cinnamon-cocoa meringues

Cinnamon-cocoa meringues

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And when life gives you not one but two lousy recipes for lemon curd (of which we shall never speak again -- maybe someday, I'll muster the enthusiasm to try making it again, but not soon), causing you to waste six egg yolks... well, at least you can make something good with the whites.

Finding this recipe was actually perfect timing, too, 'cause we'd only had a Penzeys open around here for one day before I was there, buying ridiculous amounts of stuff, including what ended up to be four different kinds of cinnamon. Good thing I like cinnamon, but I definitely need to come up with more uses for it now.

These came out pretty good, but I'm not sure if they're something I'd want to eat all the time. And I'd cut back further on the cinnamon next time -- I knew to use less than the recipe said, 'cause I'm using fresh, good-quality stuff, but I also used one of the hotter kinds (China Tung Hing), so it was still a bit much. Also, I had an awful time trying to figure out when these were done. I ultimately just went ahead and overbaked them, erring on the side of caution, 'cause they're on low heat anyway, so it's not like they'll burn soon, but you definitely want them nicely dry, not sticky in the centers.

Cinnamon-Cocoa Meringues
Adapted from Eating Well

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp cinnamon (or much less if you're using high-quality stuff)

1. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on high until soft peaks form when you turn off the mixer and pick up the beaters. Beat in the sugar a bit at a time until combined, then continue to beat until stiff and glossy. Beat in the vanilla, then the cinnamon and cocoa.
2. Drop 1 1/2-inch-wide mounds a half-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake at 200 degrees (yes, that's not a typo) until dry and crisp, about an hour and a half (or longer if you made your meringues too big, like I probably did).

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