With or without crushed peppermint candies, these meringue-kiss cookies are a scrumptious treat. If you have an electric stand mixer, they are a cinch to prepare. If not, an electric hand mixer can be used, but the process is more challenging.
Try to work quickly once the kisses are formed on the parchment-lined baking sheet; they tend to deflate if left to sit too long before baking.
Yield: About 72 cookies
2 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided use
Optional: 3 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies (about 7 round peppermint candies, crushed)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 275 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. With the motor running, gradually add sugar and vanilla; whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes (“glossy” is important here — do not overbeat the mixture). Using rubber spatula, gently fold in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips and if using, crushed peppermints.
3. Using a spoon or pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip, dollop or pipe 1 teaspoon mounds of meringue, about 1 inch high, onto prepared sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until exterior begins to crack and turn light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Transfer sheets to wire rack and let cool completely on sheets.
4. Microwave the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in oil until incorporated. Dip bottom of cooled cookies in melted chocolate, scrape off excess, and place cookies on a freshly lined baking sheet. Let chocolate set for at least 1 hour before serving.
Source: “Everything Chocolate: A Decadent Collection of Morning Pastries, Nostalgic Sweets, and Showstopping Desserts” by America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen)
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