Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

by eat in my kitchen

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced 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 too far away of what I felt as a child when I used to prepare this same ritual with my mother. Years have past and now it’s my own kitchen filled with the most 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 have to make my luscious meringue sandwich beauties at least once during the Christmas season. Two delicate drops of espresso meringue cookies stuck together with the most aromatic bittersweet chocolate ganache 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.

This is an adult cookie, it needs a bit of care and gentle handling but it’s worth it. There are so many festive treats which don’t ask for much, a quick short crust dough, some fancy or nostalgic cookie cutters and the kitchen turns into a christmassy bakery. My meringue cookie is a little diva, it demands special treatment, care and attention, but the result is so amazing that the attitude is forgiven. The great thing about the Advent season is that there are four weeks of festive baking, four weekends to choose from traditional family recipes, experimental 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 our childhoods 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.

I had an unexpected little visitor this weekend who joined my baking. Our godchild visited me to take a look at our Christmas tree and also helped me prepare a batch of Gianduja cookies. The two of us listened to some music, rolled out the dark Kipferl between our hands and had a chat. Now I’m the one who can pass on my cookie knowledge to the next generation and maybe he will remember this moment when he’s in his own kitchen one day, as a man, rolling Kipferl. We were both really sad when his father came to pick him up but we already have a date for another baking session!

Have a wonderful 2nd Advent!

And here’s some inspiration for more christmassy cookie recipes: buttery Vanilla Kipferl, Chocolate and Apricot Jam Sandwich Cookies, Bittersweet Spice Cookies, Maltese Lemon Cookies, German Spitzbuben Cookies, Elisenlebkuchen

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

 

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

The ganache has to cool in the fridge for a few hours or in the freezer, or you can let it harden overnight, like I did.

For about 20 sandwich cookies you need

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

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.

 

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

Set the oven to 140°C / 275 °F (top / bottom heat) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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, place a wooden spoon in the door to keep it open a bit while the meringues are baking. They should easily peel off the parchment paper when they are done. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before you stick them together with the ganache.

 

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.

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

 

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

 

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

 

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

 

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

 

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

 

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Spiced Chocolate Ganache