Chocolate Walnut Clouds with Cocoa Nibs
All the cookies I've been making lately using egg whites turned absolutely divine. Here I am not talking about macarons which are for me the greatest egg white dessert from all. These meringue clouds like Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are as delightful and totally melting in your mouth. Crispy on the outside but still with a soft crispy texture inside, I must say I fall in love immediately. They almost taste like a delicious macaron just that you don't have to wait a day or two to be ready to serve. Once cooled you can enjoy these marvels and delight your taste buds.
A friend of mine told me I should try this recipe as it's her favorite cookie recipe and I finally did it. I agree with her, combining a meringue with dark chocolate, walnuts and cocoa nibs makes it totally irresistible. I am not much of a fan for classic meringues but these are totally different. Airy and light, with texture and flavorful, a perfect treat for whenever you are in mood for something sweet and quick.
You can always change the ingredients and spices used like using cardamom, espresso powder, almond extract, walnuts or hazelnuts, and make each time a different dessert. I could say they taste much better than they look. I am sure you will think the same.
Recipe adapted after FoodandWine
- Makes about 16 cloud cookies
- 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp cocoa nibs
- 2 ounces (60g ) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 large egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- extra flavors: almond extract, cardamom, espresso powder etc
- 1. Preheat the oven to 300F (150C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Toast the walnuts using a dry non stick pan. Let them cool slightly and chop. Place them in a medium bowl.
Finely chop the chocolate and add over the walnuts. Add cornstarch, cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, cardamom or any other spice you may want to use and stir to combine.
Beat the egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Fold in the dry ingredients. Using an ice cream scoop make 8 mounds of the meringue onto each baking sheet. Scoop the remaining meringue on top of the existing mounds, like forming little snowmen.
- Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until firm when tapped; shift the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer the sheets to racks and let the cookies cool before serving.