Friday, June 29, 2012

Cocoa Almond Meringues

In a weeks time I will be going to Paris for four days. I am super excited! It will be just me and my hub! Although we are going to see a concert of the amazing Regina Spektor, my sweet, sweet husband decided to turn it into a four-day journey. I have to admit...he knows how to treat a birthday girl! It's been a while since we went to Paris so I've been scouring the internet looking for fun things to do (besides the obvious) and great places to eat. To get in a bit of a Parisian mood ( get even more in the mood) I decided to make something very Parisian....Meringues.

These meringues are almost like macarons without filling. The almond and chocolate provide a wonderful texture, making these meringues light as air and crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy and chocolatey on the inside. Yum!

They are a breeze to whip up and will disappear all too quickly. I can't wait to make these again...and again! Once again Dorie Greenspan delivers with a great recipe!


Cocoa Almond Meringues

Yield: about 30 meringues


1 cup confectioners' sugar (plus a little extra for dusting)
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
4 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup very finely chopped bittersweet chocolate


Preheat the oven to 150˚C (300˚F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a medium bowl sift together the confectioners' sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed in an electric mixer until the whites are opaque. Increase the speed and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue whipping until the whites are firm and hold stiff peaks, but are still very shiny.

Beat in the vanilla.

Quickly but gently fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula.  Then fold in the chopped chocolate. Try to deflate the egg whites as little as possible, but it will deflate some.

Drop tablespoons of meringue on the baking sheets, with about 2 inches between each meringue. Dust the tops of the meringues lightly with a little confectioners' sugar.

Bake the meringues for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 100˚C (200˚F) and bake for 1 more hour. Do not open the oven door during this time.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the meringues cool in a cool, dry place until they reach room temperature.

Store in an airtight container.

 Source: Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chunky Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Who doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie? Right? Right! There are about 3.465.298 different chocolate chip cookie recipes in existence and you probably have about 52 favourite recipe that you like to use, but I'm going to ask you to add one more to your repertoire.

These cookies are seriously delicious! Chock full of texture, the ingredients work together and make something truly spectacular. The peanut butter isn't overwhelming, chopped peanuts and chocolate chips make it chunky and the oatmeal provides texture. All in all it makes for one great cookie.

They are easy to make and pass out to people around you. But you're going to have to be willing to hand out the recipe!

The recipe comes from what has quickly become my favourite cookbook: Baking from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan. If you haven't bought it already... I strongly suggest getting a copy! So far every recipe has worked and I've tried out a few (or maybe a lot).


Chunky Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Yield: about 60 cookies


3 cups oats (old-fashioned)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth, not natural)
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2-3/4 cup chopped peanuts


Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a medium bowl whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.

Beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat for about 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating until just blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and chopped peanuts.

Drop tablespoons of dough on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches in between. Slightly flatten the dough with a spoon.

Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, rotating the sheets after 7 minutes, until they are golden and just firm around the edges.

Transfer the cookies, carefully, to cooling racks. The cookies will firm up as they cool.

 Source: Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan