Chocolate-Dipped Candy Cane Meringues

Chocolate-Dipped Candy Cane Meringues | Big Girls Small Kitchen

Natalie of Good Girl Style joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just egg whites, peppermint extract, and chocolate.  Want even more peppermint? Don’t miss Natalie’s recent recipe for Peppermint Snowballs

These cookies use four ingredients and, with just those four, magically transform into Christmas–cookie-ified. Aside from being a festive addition to any holiday cookie exchange or dessert table, these are light as air and a welcome breathe of fresh air this time of year. Package them up in clear cellophane and they are a delightful gift. Since they’re light as air, though, the cookies are fragile and the tips are prone to breaking off or being crushed. Keep them well-protected in a single layer in an air-tight container for storage, so moisture doesn’t make them sticky.

Fair warning that this mixture is very sticky, so get everything prepared ahead of time. The circles on parchment paper are optional, but will help the cookies turn out a uniform size–and get you your full 30-cookie yield. A spice jar lid or even a roll of washi tape will make the right size circle stencil. A piping bag and tip are optional; a corner cut off a Ziploc bag will work well, too, and you can either swirl the mixture to create the shape or press down for one big “kiss.” The gel food coloring is also optional, so feel free to make the kisses snowy white or green-striped if you prefer.

Chocolate-Dipped Candy Cane Meringues
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red gel food coloring (make sure it is gluten-free)
1/2 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees F. Fill a small pot with water and get it simmering on the stove.

On a sheet of parchment paper that fits your baking sheet, draw 30 small circles about 1 1/2” inches in diameter using a pencil. Flip the sheet over so the lead side is down but you can still see the circles.

Fit your piping bag with a large star tip such as Ateco #22 or a Wilton 8B or 1G. Then, use the gel food coloring to make 3 or 4 stripes of food coloring up your piping bag.

Place the egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of your electric mixer and set over the pot of simmering water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved (becomes clear) and the mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the bowl to your electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

Whip the egg white mixture until it is thick, white, glossy, and firm peaks appear when you stop the machine and lift the whisk out of the mixture. Whisk in the peppermint extract. Fill your piping bag with the mixture and pipe to fill in the circles and make cookies about 1” high. Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes or so, until the cookies are firm and the bottoms crisp but not browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each until melted and smooth. Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate carefully, using a spoon to avoid chipping the tops. Place dipped cookies on a clean sheet of parchment to set completely.

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