- 3 xl egg whites, at room temperature *This is critical!
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon stablized meringue powder *see note
- 1 teaspoon Rodelle Gourmet Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup chopped chocolate (I like 60% dark and 40% milk)
Prepare the ganache
- In a glass bowl of a double boiler, heat the cream until bubbles form along the edges. Remove the bowl from the double boiler, add in the chocolate and allow to rest undisturbed for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, slowly start to whisk the chocolate and cream together until it is smooth and creamy. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 215F. Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- In a very clean bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and turn on medium low. After a minute, stop the mixer and whisk in the meringue powder, vanilla and salt just to break up any meringue clumps. Turn the mixer back on and increase the speed to medium.
- When the mixture starts to foam (~5-6 minutes) very slowing add in the sugar a little bit at a time. Reserve about a third of the sugar back until you reach the “soft plop” stage. Essentially, it’ll be very soft (no peaks even) but the mixture will start to tighten up more and the whites will start to turn opaque. At this point, turn the mixer on and up to medium high slowing adding in the rest of the sugar until soft peaks form.
- At this point, turn the mixer off, give it a scrape down and turn it back on slowly. Take the mixer back to medium-high/high until they form stiff peaks. This can take anywhere from 5-12 minutes depending on the power of your mixer.
- While the cookies are mixing, prep your piping bag with a star tip. Fill it only 1/2-3/4 way full as it’ll be easier to handle. Spoon some of the mixture into the piping bag being careful not to deflate the egg whites.
- Pipe out small 1 ½” round circles onto the parchment paper. They can be about a 1/2” apart as they shouldn’t spread much or at all (they would only spread IF they were not at a stiff peak). You may need to use 2 trays.
- Bake for 90 minutes (though check after 80 minutes). You want the outside to be crisp and the inside dry. They will fill hollow and very light. A quick test is to slide a thin blade spatula underneath. If it pops off the tray with ease they are done. Shut off the oven, leave the pans in the oven with the door cracked until they have cooled completely (~1-2 hours).
Assemble the sandwich cookies
- Stir the ganache. It should be smooth but thick. You do not want it to be runny. You should be able to spread it on. If it’s too firm, microwave in 5 second increments. Spread on 1-1 1/2 tablespoon of ganache on the flat part of a cookie. Grab a like-size cookie and complete the sandwich.
Storing Meringue Cookies
- These must remain stored in an air tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
If you do not have meringue powder you can use 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar