Chocolate Hazelnut Meringues

Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook
Preparation time: 10 minutes, then 3+ hours to bake and cool
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen. Easily (and often) doubled!

Meringues have the great ability to satisfy longings for a rich dessert, yet they contain no butter, oil, egg yolks, or flour. These are a great dessert solution for people with dairy or wheat allergies! (And not bad for the rest of the population,either.)

NOTE: Meringues will turn out softer or firmer, depending on the humidity in your kitchen. Store them in an airtight bin lined with waxed paper.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup hazelnuts
4 egg whites (from large eggs), at room temperature and in a medium-sized bowl
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Lightly grease a baking tray, or line it with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. Place the powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt in the workbowl of a food processor.
  3. Add the nuts, and process in a seeries of spurts until the nuts and sugar form a fine powder.
  4. Add the vanilla to the bowlful of egg whites, and beat at high speed with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks.
  5. Add the dry mixture and the chocolate chips to the beaten egg whites, and fold everything together, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared tray. Bake for 3 hours without opening the oven, then turn off the oven and leave them in there for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the tray.
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