Santa’s Favorite Cookies – White Chocolate Peppermint Meringues

 

I know I’ve written about cookies as currency.  But this year it is true at our house like no other time.  You see we’re doing some construction on our house.  So some days I’m baking cookies for the contractors to show my appreciation.  And some days I’m baking cookies for the neighbors to apologize for the contractors.
In between I’m making ginger molasses cookies for my friend’s cookie exchange (super fun and great way to get a variety of cookies) and sugar cookie cut-outs for my kids’ play dates.  While Baking I’m cranking the Christmas tunes for the spirit of it and to drown out the 12 banging contractors.  I thought we’d already been doing some serious baking however  my daughter asked this morning “Where are the cookies for Santa?”  I said, while gesturing to the boxes of homemade cookies, “Well any of the cookies could be for Santa”.  She indignantly replied that Santa’s favorite are the peppermint meringues and we have to give him those.  I kind of chuckled and thought well yes, they are one of “Santa’s” favorites.
Ever since I saw this recipe in the Sunset Magazine in 2011 these have been a household favorite.  They’re actually called White Christmas Dream Drops and were a first place winner from a reader in Tustin, CA.  But that doesn’t describe how chewy and light but packed with chocolate and peppermint flavor they are.  I brought some to a family gathering tonight and was asked for the recipe.  I couldn’t find the blog I had done when first discovering the Sunset issue so I figured I’d repeat myself.  I think I’ll be needing another batch anyways…for Santa of course.
White Christmas Dream Drops or White Chocolate Peppermint Meringues
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar $
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips $
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp. coarsely crushed peppermint candies

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 250°. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a deep bowl with a mixer, using whisk attachment if you have one, just until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and salt. With motor running and mixer on high speed, pour in 1 tbsp. sugar and beat 10 to 15 seconds, then repeat until all sugar has been added. Scrape inside of bowl and beat another 15 seconds. At this point, meringue should form straight peaks when beaters are lifted. Fold in chocolate chips and 1/3 cup candies with a flexible spatula.
  2. 2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, using a bit of meringue at corners as glue. Using a soup spoon, drop meringue in rounded 1-tbsp. portions slightly apart onto sheets, scraping off with another spoon. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. candies.
  3. 3. Bake until meringues feel dry and set when touched but are still pale, 30 to 35 minutes, switching pan positions halfway through. Turn off oven, open door, and let cookies stand about 10 minutes. Let cool on pans.
  4. Make ahead: Up to 2 days, stored airtight.
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Another Evening in the Kitchen….I Can’t Stop Myself

Some evenings I just get too overambitious.  Today I just don’t have a clear focus and instead of having a meal plan, I keep cooking and cooking.  Hopefully something will come together.  I’m having trouble settling back into the mealtime routine after being on holiday and now getting the kids homework and activities in before dinner.  These are some photos of my kitchen right now at 6:24 p.m.

I just finished making maringues for my daughter’s kindergarten class.  However I’m already second guessing them and may make something else.  That’s more like 10 pm tonight.

I realized I thawed out pork chops for dinner this morning and actually had a plan for them.  However I remembered my husband saying he didn’t want to eat meat.  Call it a resolution.  Anyways I called to get clarification.  Sure enough when he said meat he didn’t just mean red meat but pork too.  OK.  But I can’t waste food.  So I’ve cooked that.  Even if we don’t eat it tonight, at least I can now freeze it.  Tip:  I could not have put it back in the freezer without cooking it.  Since it came from the freezer already.  However after cooking it can then be warpped and frozen.

Now I’m creating a vegetable stir fry.

And for another protein for those not eating pork, I’ve made some marinated tofu.

So now the plan is a stir fry over rice noodles.  You can pick pork or tofu with your veggies.  That will have to work.  Did I mention I did all this is about 45 minutes?  My family comes home from my son’s Tae Kwon Do in about 10 minutes…

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