Chewy Chocolate Meringues with Dried Cherries and Walnuts
Food writer, culinary expert, and popular host of the award-winning TV show Top Chef, Gail Simmons loves to make these fudgy treats—the creation of her mother’s best friend, her “Aunt Sue”—for Passover. If you like, you can substitute dried cranberries for the dried cherries, or omit them entirely.
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar
- 2 cups (12 oz./375 g) semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- 1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) coarsely chopped dried cherries
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts, plus 36 walnut halves for garnish (optional)
Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites, lemon juice, vanilla and salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to high and, with the mixer running, slowly add the sugar. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the melted chocolate, trying to keep the whites as fluffy as possible, then fold in the dried cherries and chopped walnuts.
Using a rubber spatula, scoop the batter into a pastry bag with a large plain tip, or into large sealable plastic bag. If using a plastic bag, use scissors to snip off a bottom corner of the bag, making sure the hole is big enough for the cherries and walnuts to pass through. Using the pastry bag or plastic bag, pipe the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, forming cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and spacing them at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Press a walnut half into the top of each cookie, if desired.
Bake until the cookies are set and dry on the outside but still gooey on the inside, about 15 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 36 cookies.
Recipe courtesy of Gail Simmons, author, culinary expert and TV personality