Well, friends. It’s nearly Christmas. And if you’re thinking you might want to bake just one more batch of cookies before the weekend, may I offer up one of my favorites? It’s different than most Christmas cookies, plus it’s easy to make and light to eat.
Forgotten kisses. It was my Lola‘s recipe and we’ve made it at Christmas for as long as I can remember. They’re mint meringues with bits of chocolate that just melt in your mouth.
Start by beating 2 egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. For best results, make sure your bowl & whisk are VERY clean and free from any oils (including those from your hands.) Egg whites will also beat up better if they’re room temperature.
Oh, and preheat your oven to 350°F.
Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar.
Beat on high speed until it holds a stiff peak, but not so much that it looks dry.
With the mixer on high, add 3/4 cup sugar very slowly.
Beat until it’s stiff & glossy. This will take a few minutes. Mine ended up a little grainy, I think because I didn’t add the sugar as slowly as I should have (taking pictures messes things up sometimes.) They still turned out in the end.
Add to this 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract and a small amount of green food coloring, if desired.
I went ahead and beat it again with the whisk attachment of my mixer, but you can stir it in. Just be aware that the peppermint extract does contain some oil, and can deflate the egg whites a little. I’ve never had an issue with it, but don’t add more than you need.
Then, for the piece de resistance, fold in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips. I should let you know that it’s advised that you taste test chocolate chips before you put them in any recipe. Just to make sure they’re still good.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. I try to make sure they have little peaks on them. Hence the “kisses” part of Forgotten Kisses.
(Update 12.21.15 to note: I’ve lately been using a piping bag with an extra large round tip– like nearly an inch diameter. They make a more uniform cookie and I think once you get the hang of it, it goes a bit faster. But it’s completely not necessary!)
Now, place this in your preheated oven.
And TURN OFF THE HEAT.
Yes. Turn it off.
And don’t even think about opening the oven for AT LEAST 5 hours. I do this overnight. This is the “forgotten” part of Forgotten Kisses.
When they come out, they should be dry.
Now, you want these to be really dry. And they only way to know is to test them.
I know, I’m asking a lot.
Now, these are almost dry. But the very center is still a bit chewy. The degree of dryness your meringues achieve will be based on the humidity in the area you live and how well your oven seals when closed.
Mine never completely dry after this recommended amount. So I put the suckers back in the oven, turn it on to 200˚for 15 minutes or until it’s preheated. Then turn it off and leave them for another 2-3 hours.
Then you have to test another one. I know, I know. It’s hard work. But this time they were totally dry and delicious. If, for some reason, they’re not, repeat the last step again. Also, if you live somewhere really humid, like the tropics, you might want to consider storing these in a container along with one of those dehydrating packets. That’s what my mom does over in the Philippines.
These are light as air, and are way less guilt than most Christmas cookies.
At least that’s what I tell myself after I’ve inhaled 10 in less than a minute.
- 2 whole Egg Whites
- 1 pinch Salt
- ½ teaspoons Cream Of Tartar
- ¾ cups Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Peppermint Extract
- 3 drops Green Food Coloring, More Or Less To Reach Desired Color
- ½ cups Mini Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350˚F for at least 15 minutes.
Beat egg whites until foamy using an electric mixer. Add salt and cream of tartar and beat until stiff but not dry. Add sugar slowly, beating well until stiff and glossy. Fold in the extract and food coloring. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, or use a piping bag with a very large round tip. Place in the oven, close the door and immediately turn off the heat. Leave in the oven for 5 hours or overnight. Do not open oven during this time.
Cookies should be crisp and dry inside.
If cookies have not dried completely during this time due to high humidity or if your oven doesn’t seal well, put meringues back into the oven. Then turn oven on to 200˚F until it’s preheated. Then turn off the oven again and leave the cookies in there for 2-3 additional hours.