.......from an amateur baker!
It’s good to be back after a break from the blogging world. Blame it all on the holiday season travels.
I just got enough time to respond to a few comments on the previous posts during the break. So have a lot to catch up. Hope you are all having loads of fun this holiday season.
Getting to the cookie...the talent for baking out here in the food blog world not only amazes me but has also been a source of constant persuasion to experiment more with baking. Apart from the few things that I have learnt to bake from scratch over the years, I have remained for most part what you could call a “ready to bake mix” baker. In essence, I’ve most often baked things that have called for a simple flowchart with steps in the order: empty packet – mix with eggs and oil into bowl – bake.
The Joy of Cookies by Sharon Tyler Herbst, that I came across at a friend's place provided just the right motivation for me to experiment. The book is an awesome collection of recipes for cookies. As an added bonus for amateurs like me, the book provides tips on baking and that makes it a real good buy for the kitchen library even if you aren't a cookie connoisseur.
The inspiration for these cookies comes from the chocolate spice meringue cookies in the book. I retained just nutmeg from the list of spices that orginally included even cinnamon and cloves. I mixed semi-sweet and milk chocolate to blend the two flavors. And as I love the aroma of coffee, decided to add a dash of coffee powder to the cookie.
¼ cup blanched almonds
1 ½ cup sugar
2 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon instant coffee powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate , grated fine
2 ounces milk chocolate , grated fine
2 large egg whites, room temperature
a pinch of salt
For Chocolate mixture:
Melt together grated semi-sweet and milk chocolate till it softens, using a double boiler.
Combine cocoa powder and almonds into it. Stir well and set aside at room temperature.
Beat egg whites and salt well on medium till soft peaks form. Add in 1 cup of the sugar, along with the coffee powder and nutmeg powder. Beat till the mixture gives stiff peaks.
For the Cookie:
Fold this meringue into the chocolate mixture. Add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar into the meringue chocolate mixture. Mix well using spoon. Allow to set in refrigerator for 30 min. Prepare a large baking sheet. Place teaspoonfuls of the meringue chocolate mixture ½ inch apart on the baking sheet. Preheat oven to 300F, bake for 20 mins or till firm to touch. Allow to stand uncovered at room temperature. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the cookies before serving.
This recipe helps prepare about 30-35 cookies. When done, the cookies have a thin crust on the outside but are soft but not gooey on the inside. They could be stored airtight or refrigerated up to a week. These chocolate cookies are an absolute treat with a cup of coffee.