I’ve been loving the combo of dark chocolate and nuts, so I wanted to create something that incorporates them both. There’s just something about creamy, smooth chocolate with a little nutty crunch. Instead of making a traditional cookie, I’m keeping it on the light side. Meringue basically consists of egg whites that are beaten until thick. There’s so much you can do with meringue, but I like to just dollop little mounds onto a baking sheet and bake them until crisp. A perfect, somewhat lighter treat if you are craving something sweet.
You need a little bit of patience to make meringue. It may seem like you are beating the egg whites forever, but eventually they will come together and form stiff peaks. I highly suggest using an electric mixer instead of a whisk…unless you want an extra arm workout for the day! Cream of tartar is often added to meringue as a stabilizer, but I usually use lemon juice instead because I always have lemons in my fridge. That or white vinegar work just as well. Sugar sweetens the meringue and I add a touch of vanilla for more delicious flavor. Once the meringue is thick and glossy, I gently fold in pistachios for that nutty bite.
While you can use any chocolate you prefer, I love dark chocolate. The slight bitterness compliments the sweet meringues. Dark chocolate is also extremely good for you, in moderation of course. It contains lots of nutrients and antioxidants that have been proven to improve your health. I occasionally have a couple of squares of dark chocolate at night to satisfy cravings and enjoy all of the health benefits. For my meringues, I melt the chocolate down with butter and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor even more. I dunk the meringues straight into the chocolate so they are covered about halfway. These beautiful treats are finished with a sprinkle of pistachios, so you know exactly what is inside of them. Enjoy!
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar (or superfine granulated)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 oz unsalted chopped pistachios
- ½ lb dark chocolate, thinly shaved
- 2 sticks butter
- pinch of salt
- 2 oz unsalted chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Add the lemon juice and continue to beat until soft peaks have formed. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until it is all dissolved and stiff peaks form. Lastly, beat in the vanilla until just incorporated (you don’t want to over mix). Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the pistachios. Using two spoons, line the baking sheets with small dollops of meringue. Leave about an inch between each meringue. Bake for an hour and a half until the meringues are dried out and crisp. (You may have to adjust the time, as every oven will cook the meringues differently.) Let cool.
- In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate, butter and salt over low heat. Melt the mixture until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into a glass or cup deep enough to dunk the meringues into it. When the meringues are cool, dip each one half way into the chocolate mixture. Lay them back onto the baking sheet and sprinkle the chocolate half with pistachios when the chocolate is still wet. Let dry and serve!
- When beating egg whites, “soft peaks” is the stage where the whites are just beginning to take shape. If you flip your electric mixer upside down, the peaks will just slightly hold. “Stiff peaks” occurs when you continue to beat and the whites completely hold their shape. Flipping the mixer will result in firm peaks standing upright (just bending a little at the top). It is easy to overbeat the whites, so if you notice a grainy, dull texture, you have gone too far.