Tuesday, May 19, 2015

marshmallow cookies

A couple of weekends ago, I whipped up some meringue nests with the idea of using them to make Eton Mess or mini pavlovas with the strawberries and lemon curd I had. The boy, who was at loose ends having had his i-pad privileges taken away, was hanging around the garden and came in to investigate what was cooking. "What are these?" he asked. "I'm starving" and he took a big bite of one and promptly announced it was the most delicious thing ever. "Like a marshmallow cookie, Mum". He ran outside again and I bagged up the rest of the nests to keep for dessert. Later in the day, after hanging around on our back fence, chatting up the diagonal neighbours kids, he disappeared with the bag in tow, to share with his new friends. "Can you please make some more?"

I defrosted some egg whites left in the freezer from making yellow sauce, aka hollandaise, but while they were defrosting, I left to deposit the boy at a birthday party and came home to find the egg whites missing in action. "They looked gloppy" said my husband by way of explanation as to why he had tossed them. Apparently not everyone is up on how egg whites look.

I tried again, only mixing in some toffee chips into the mixture but the whole thing went horribly wrong and liquidy instead of the stiff peaks I was looking for. Sadly that batch went into the compost using the last of my freezer egg white stash.  Fresh eggs now, saving the egg yolks for custard. I did toffee chip meringues, folding in the toffee chips after the meringue reached stiff peaks and it worked a treat.

I dolloped out little kisses of meringue and before I could take pictures or give them out as treats, they were all gone (this time my  husband was the culprit, although I had a few, for taste testing purposes you understand). The boy was holding out for chocolate chip marshmallow cookies but I'd used up our entire stash making the best chocolate chip cookies ever, so those had to wait until I went grocery shopping.

So this week, with chocolate chips in the drawer, and some egg whites left over from making a custard, I made more meringues. Half a plain batch and half with chocolate chips, making sure to spread out the chocolate chip ones so they weren't like little kisses, as the boy said that shape had too much air in them, not enough marshmallow-y-ness. OK. I made them yesterday and they are gone now, as 2 of the boy's pals came over for a play date. Apparently their mums will be requesting the recipe soon. I still have a couple of the plain ones left, to eat with lemon curd, which is my favourite.

Chocolate Chip Meringues (or chocolate chip marshmallow cookies)
3 egg whites
1/2 c + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
few drops vanilla
1/2 bag bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 275 deg F.

Slide your egg whites into a clean mixing bowl and whip on high until white and stiff peaks are forming. Sprinkle in the sugar while beating and continue beating until all the sugar is incorporated. Add in the vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form (lift the beater out of the mixture, and if the peak stays firm, you are done). Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Using two teaspoons drop about one teaspoon of batter at a time on a parchment lined baking sheet, spreading out the mixture with a spoon to flatten if desired. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bottoms are very slightly brown and then turn off the oven and let the meringues dry out in the oven for a couple of hours (or overnight if you can). Peel the meringues off the paper and store in an airtight container (if you can keep them that long.)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

what i was looking for

Our local grocery store was bought by a larger chain last year and recently changes have been happening. New store brands and products have been appearing on the shelves and other products that have graced our cupboard for years have disappeared. And at the cheerily empty question during the checkout I've taken to voice what I am missing from my search. These buns, this tea, etc. Upsetting to me but in the grand scheme of things, a mere blip. Well sometimes, when it was something my boy would eat and now I can no longer find, slightly more aggravating. But still. Recently what disappeared was a cheese thing - spreadable old cheddar to be precise which I had discovered and was my new breakfast go to in my new not working full-time outside the home life. I had it for a few weeks and then it was gone. I asked around the store and no-one knew what I was talking about and no one really cared. Frustrating. Annoying. But going back to peanut butter bagel was not going to cut it because it represents my past life and not my new one. Silly but there it is. So this week I gave it one last try. I looked in two stores and asked and it was not to be found. So I made one myself. And it was so simple. And it makes me so happy. Silly again.

Spreadable Cheddar
1 small block aged cheddar, grated
1 block cream cheese
milk to thin

Add the grated cheddar and cream cheese together in a food processor and pulse until blended, adding dribbles of milk as required to achieve a spreadable consistency (I used about 2 tbsp). Scoop into a container and keep in the fridge. Spread on crackers, bagels, or veggies and enjoy.