Chocolate Meringue Rosettes



2 tablespoons unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the cookies:

1. Position one rack in the top third of the oven and another in the bottom third and preheat to 300°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Sift the cocoa powder with the brown sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, making sure the mixture is thoroughly blended and free of lumps. Set aside.

3. In a clean, dry grease-free 41/2-quart bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment, combine the egg whites, salt and vanilla extract. Whip on medium speed until the egg whites are opaque, increased in volume and beginning to hold soft peaks. Gradually add in the remaining granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time in a slow stream, until firm peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cocoa powder/sugar mixture in several additions.

4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip (such as Ateco #6) with the meringue.  Pipe the meringue onto the prepared baking sheets, forming rosettes about 11/2-inches wide at the base.

5. Bake the meringues for about 25 to 30 minutes or until dry on the outside. (The inside will dry upon cooling). Switch the postion of the pans several times for even baking.

6. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets. (These cookies are best eaten the day they are made).

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