Espresso Meringue Cookies with Chocolate Ganache
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Berlin, Germany

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Chocolate Ganache

The peace and silence of a Sunday morning is just perfect for an Advent baking session. I take my time to choose a recipe that fits my mood, lay out the ingredients, and I’m filled with a kind of excitement that isn’t much different than what I felt as a child when I used to observe this same ritual with my mother. Years have past and now it’s my own kitchen filled with the beautiful smell of cookies and Christmas cakes, but the magic of this moment touches me just as much.

Although my oven doesn’t see meringue too often, I feel obligated to make these luscious meringue sandwich beauties at least once during the Christmas season. Two delicate drops of espresso meringue, stuck together with the most aromatic bittersweet chocolate ganache, and refined with cardamom and cinnamon are such a sumptuous treat! The whipped egg whites turn into crisp bites which are a perfect contrast to the creamy lusciousness of the dense filling.

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This is an adult cookie, and it needs a bit of care and gentle handling, but it’s worth it. There are many festive treats that don’t ask for much attention: a quick, short crust dough, some fancy or nostalgic cookie cutters, and the kitchen turns into a Christmas bakery. My meringue cookie is a little diva though. It demands special treatment, care, and attention, but the result is so amazing that its attitude can be forgiven.

The great thing about the Advent season is that it consists of four weeks of festive baking. Four weekends to choose from traditional family recipes, and experiment with new discoveries and delicious finds from various culture’s culinary cookie collections. Every week, there are new spices to use, new pastries to work with to bring the sweet classics from childhood back to the table. Nuts and seeds, flour, chocolate, spices and icing sugar spread all over the kitchen tops, this is a picture full of memories which makes this time of the year so special to me.

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Espresso Meringue Cookies
with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

Servings: 20 sandwich cookies

For the ganache

good quality bittersweet chocolate 150g / 5.5 ounces
heavy cream 150 ml / 5 ounces
instant espresso powder 1/2 teaspoon
ground cardamom 1/8 teaspoon
ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon

For the meringue cookies

organic egg whites 4
sugar 180g / 6.5 ounces
a pinch of salt
white wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon
instant espresso powder 2 teaspoon

  1. Making the ganache: In a sauce pan, heat the cream and add the chocolate, espresso and spices. When the chocolate is melted whisk the mixture until well combined, let it cool and keep in the fridge for a few hours until stiff.
  2. Set the oven to 140°C / 275 °F (top / bottom heat) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Making the meringue cookies: Whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. Slowly add the sugar and vinegar and continue mixing until stiff and glossy. Mix in the espresso powder and fill the meringue mixture in a piping bag (with a wide opening). Pipe walnut sized mounds on the lined baking sheet, leaving some space in between them. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until they are golden and firm on top. They should easily peel off the parchment paper. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before you stick them together with the ganache.
  4. Assembling the cookies: Whisk the hard ganache until light and creamy (like a frosting). Spread the ganache on one cookie and gently (!) stick another one on top.
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