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RECIPE: Chocolate Flake Meringue Cookies

Could August 4th be our favorite day of the year? It’s National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.

If you love chocolate chip cookies but not the calories, try this alternative from Good Eggs: chocolate-flecked meringue cookies. They have about 15 calories apiece.

With only three ingredients, you can have them in the oven with just 10 minutes of preparation time.

The quality of the chocolate makes a big difference in this recipe, so don’t skimp. You’ll really appreciate the fine chocolate flavor that melts into your palate.


Ingredients For 26 Meringues

  • 2 ounces Guittard Semisweet Chocolate Bar (65% cacao) or other premium bar
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. SLICE the chocolate very thin, using a box grater or a vegetable peeler. You may need to start and stop this a few times because your warm hands will begin to melt the chocolate bar, making the grating or peeling difficult. Set the chocolate aside.

    3. BEAT the egg whites on low speed until frothy in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (alternatively in a large bowl using a hand mixer fitted with whisk beaters) Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters, 4 to 6 minutes.


    Chocolate Flake Meringue Cookies
    {1] Light and airy, these meringues with chocolate flakes are just 15 calories apiece.

    Guittard Fair Trade Chocolate Bar

    [2] Use a semisweet chocolate bar—about 65% cacao—or bittersweet if you prefer. This bar is Guittard Fair Trade chocolate, 64% cacao (photos and recipe courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco.

    4. TURN the speed to low and gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. You’ll know the meringue mixture is ready when you pull the whisk attachment out of the bowl and the meringue hangs on to the whisk and holds its shape.

    5. GENTLY FOLD in the chocolate using a rubber spatula, being careful not to overmix or the meringue will collapse.

    6. DROP the meringues by small teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 50 minutes, or until you can lift a meringue off the parchment with a spatula and it doesn’t stick. Let the meringues cool completely on the baking sheet.

    7. STORE in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


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    RECIPE: Blueberry Pie With Purple Crust

    Blueberry Pie

    Blueberry Pie
    [1] and [2] Have some fun with your pie crusts (photo courtesy Dulce Delight).

    Carton Of Blueberries
    [3] You can make the crust in different colors (photo courtesy Balducci’s).

    Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter

    [4] Vermont Creamery’s European-Style Butter has 86% butterfat, compared to 80% with most supermarket brands (photo courtesy Good Eggs).


    We came across this purple crust on the website of Vermont Creamery, producers of some of the most splendid goat cheese and butter on earth.

    The colored crust, by Raiza Costa of the Dulce Delight online video series, is a “first” for us, excepting green bagels and donuts for St. Patrick’s Day and some very festive rainbow churros for Pride Week.


    The crust becomes purple by adding food color to the water used to make the dough; the dough is made in a food processor. A food processor breaks up the cold butter more quickly and evenly. Raiza also recommends the highest-fat butter possible, and uses the 86% fat cultured butter from Vermont Creamery.

    Raiza uses her own homemade food color; here’s her article on how to make different food colors. But you can use a commercial food color like McCormick’s, in a proportion of 10 drops red to 5 drops blue; or a purple paste/gel.

    To thicken a fruit filling, Raiza prefers potato starch over flour or cornstarch.

    Here’s her video.
    Ingredients For A Nine-Inch Pie

    For The Crust

  • 3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the crust
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 17 tablespoons highest fat* unsalted butter (2 sticks + 1 tablespoon, or 240g), cut into even pieces
  • 6–8 tablespoons cold water or cold
  • Natural food coloring (e.g. blackberry juice) or other food coloring
    For The Filling

  • 2 pints fresh blueberries (4 cups, 30 ounces or 850g), washed and patted dry
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of nutmeg and pinch of allspice (substitute cinnamon, fresh grated from a cinnamon stick)
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons potato starch
    *Look for European Style butter, such as the 86% cultured butter from Vermont Creamery. Commercial butter in the U.S. is 80%. More fat means creamier mouthfeel and moister crust.

    1. MIX the flour, sugar and salt and add to a food processor.

    2. ADD the butter and pulse one second at a time until you see crumbs the size of the pea; stop processing.

    3. ADD the food coloring and spread the color through the dough, but do not overwork (overworked dough gets tough and is less flaky). Divide the dough into 2 balls, flatten and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. While the dough chills…

    4. MAKE the filling. Combine the blueberries, sugar and spices in a large bowl with the lemon juice and zest; blend and then stir in the potato starch.


    5. PREPARE the lattice top on a parchment sheet. Spank the dough, then roll out to a 10″ round for a 9″ pie pan. Cut into even stripes with a ruler. LIFT every other stripe, then place the alternative stripes horizontally, threading them in and out (see the video). You can do this ahead of time and freeze the lattice until you need it. It keeps its shape when place it on top of the pie and peel off the parchment.

    6. ROLL the bottom crust over a rolling pin and roll it out over the pie plate; try not to use too much flour. Carefully pat down the bottom and sides. Add the filling and cover with pats of butter.

    7. LAY the lattice over the filling and butter pats, and roll the edges of the bottom crust to crimp together with the top crust. Refrigerate.

    8. PREHEAT the oven to 500°F. Place the pie on the bottom rack and lower the heat to 425°F. Once the crust gets golden brown which is hard to see on a purple crust), lower the heat to 327°F and bake approximately 35 minutes until the filling bubbles.


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    RECIPE: Piña Colada Cheesecake Recipes ~ One Gluten Free, One Very Rich

    July 10th is National Piña Colada Day, for which we offer two Piña Colada cheesecake recipes.

    The first is no-bake, family friendly recipe from from Invo Coconut Water.

    It’s gluten free, made with a coconut crust and a lighter filling that uses coconut water instead cream of coconut. It is adapted

    The second recipe is a richer version from Betty Crocker, using a traditional graham cracker crust, cream of coconut, rum and pineapple juice—the latter three, ingredients in a Piña Colada cocktail.

    Here’s the history of the Piña Colada and the original recipe.


    Ingredients For The Crust

  • 3/4 cup crushed almonds
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/4 coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    For The Filling

  • 24 oz cream cheese
  • 1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatine
  • 10 ounces coconut water
  • Optional garnish: pineapple rings

    1. MIX the crust ingredients and press them onto the bottom of a springform pan.

    2. WARM the coconut water in a small pan or microwave, sprinkle on the gelatin and allow it to dissolve for 3 minutes.

    3. COMBINE the sugar and cream cheese. Beat in the gelatin mixture and fold in the pineapple chunks. Pour the batter into the pan and crust refrigerate for 5 hours. If using the pineapple rings garnish, press them into the top of the cake an hour into the firming.

    Ingredients For The Crust

  • 1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
    Ingredients For The Filling

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/4 cup light rum
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, drained, juice reserved
    For The Glaze

  • Reserved 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
    For The Garnish

  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) refrigerated sliced mango, drained, chopped
  • Optional garnish: fresh mint leaves

    1. HEAT the oven to 325°F. Wrap the outside bottom and side of 10-inch springform pan with foil to prevent leaking. Spray inside bottom and side of pan with cooking spray.

    2. MIX the crust ingredients in small bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set.


    Pineapple Cheesecake
    [1] Recipe #1, a no bake, lighter cheesecake from Invo Coconut Water.

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01 data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/pineapple cheesecake tasteofhome 230r
    [2]This recipe from Taste Of Home is decorated like a pineapple Upside-Down Cake, with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries.

    Pineapple Cheesecake
    [3] You can use a conventional pineapple cheesecake glaze with this recipe from Kraft; but we prefer to carry through the Piña Colada theme with option #4.

    Pina Colada Cheesecake

    [4] This garnish of toasted flaked coconut seems the perfect topping (recipe from Blahnik Baker). Pass around some crushed pineapple for a topping. If you have the time, make a small dice of fresh pineapple.

    3. BEAT the cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, until just blended. On low speed, beat in the remaining filling ingredients except the pineapple. Gently fold in pineapple and pour the filling over the crust.

    4. BAKE for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the edge of the cheesecake pulls away from the pan but the center of still jiggles slightly when moved. Run a small metal spatula around the edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake.

    5. TURN the oven off and open the oven door at least 4 inches. Let the cheesecake remain in the oven another 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for an additional 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.

    6. MAKE the glaze. In 1-quart saucepan, mix the reserved pineapple juice plus enough water to equal 2/3 cup, along with the cornstarch and sugar. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the glaze is slightly thickened. Cool 20 minutes at room temperature.

    7. TOSS the glaze with in large bowl with the pineapple and mango. Spoon onto the top of cheesecake when ready to serve. Garnish with mint leaves.


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    RECIPE: Homemade Graham Crackers

    Graham Crackers
    [1] Bake these graham crackers with an easy recipe from Go Bold With Butter.

    Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

    [2] If you don’t like to dip, you can buy these pretty grahams from Chocolat in Savannah.

    Graham Flour
    [3] You can also use graham flour for breads and pie crusts (photo courtesy Bob’s Red Mill).

    Graham Cracker Crust

    [4] If you don’t want to smash graham crackers for a pie crust, use graham flour; here’s a recipe. Here’s the recipe for the lovely pie crust in the photo, from Boston Girl Bakes.


    July 5th is National Graham Cracker Day.

    The history of graham crackers is ironic. They started out as a savory cracker to curb lust. They turned into a food we lust after, whether plain, dipped in chocolate, or made into S’mores and pie crusts.

    The history of the graham cracker is below.

    The recipe for the sweet graham cracker was edited by Marion Cunningham, who updated the classic Fannie Farmer cookbooks starting in the 1980s.

    These crackers are snappy and so much more flavorful than the perfectly-shaped factory graham crackers. The thinner you roll the dough, the crisper they will be.

    Ingredients For About 2 Dozen Crackers

  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, preferably stone-ground
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large rimmed baking sheet.

    2. BEAT the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy; beat in the egg, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours and baking soda. Lower the mixer speed and add half the flour mixture. Pour in the milk and stir for a few seconds to incorporate before adding the rest of the flour on slow speed, mixing until the dough just comes together.

    3. GENEROUSLY FLOUR a large piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap on a work surface. Scrape the dough onto the paper and sprinkle the top with a little more flour. Cover the dough with a second piece of parchment or plastic and roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Check if you need to sprinkle the dough with a bit more flour while rolling (you should be able to peel back the paper without any sticking).

    4. REMOVE the top sheet of parchment and transfer the dough by gently peeling it off the bottom piece of parchment, wrapping it around a rolling pin and unrolling it onto the baking sheet. Trim off the edges of the dough with a sharp knife to make a neat rectangle, and without cutting all the way through, lightly score the dough into approximately 2½-inch squares.

    5. PRICK each square with the tines of a fork to make a pattern of holes. Sprinkle the top of the dough with sugar. Bake 15 minutes, or until the dough is slightly firm to the touch and the edges are beginning to turn golden. Cool the pan on a rack until completely cool, then break or cut the crackers on the scored lines.
    Graham crackers were actually invented to control lust. The creation of the flour was inspired by The Reverend Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), who focused his ministry on health.
    One of 17 children, this eccentric Presbyterian minister from Connecticut (we would replace that adjective with “repressed”), Graham believed that physical lust was the cause of maladies, from major illnesses like consumption, spinal disease, epilepsy and insanity, to everyday indispositions such as headaches and indigestion.

    His “cure” was to suppress carnal urges, for which he prescribed a strict vegetarian diet and the avoidance of alcohol, tobacco and refined white flour. Toward this latter end, a miller created the eponymous graham flour, from which came graham bread and the graham cracker.

    Graham flour is a special type of whole wheat flour in which finely milled white flour is mixed with coarsely milled bran and wheat germ, reuniting the three parts of the wheat kernel (the parts of a kernel).

    The result was a coarse, brown flour with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor that baked and kept well (Grape Nuts cereal is made from graham flour).

    The original graham crackers were not like contemporary ones. They were made without sugar or spice (ingredients prohibited by Graham’s diet). But over time, someone added sugar and cinnamon and created a tasty cookie that appeared in Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook.

    Unfortunately, today’s large commercial graham cracker brands are a bland derivative, with little graham flavor. A good comparison is Wonder Bread and the best artisan loaf you can find.

    Seek artisan brands from bakers and confectioners, or make your own.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: A Blueberry-Blackberry Pie With Meringue Dot Topping

    Fun and beauty combine in this blueberry-blackberry pie, from Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina.

    Just looking at the cuisine at Kindred makes us want to head to the charming lakeside college town for a week’s vacation of dining and enjoying the view.

    For now, we’ll have to content ourself with copying the pie, which is pretty easy to follow:

  • Graham cracker crust
  • Custard or lemon meringue base
  • Topping of blueberries and blackberries (the textural differences add to the charm, and you can substitute strawberries and raspberries)
  • Soft meringue and a piping bag
    You don’t need piping skills: The whole idea is different sizes of meringues.

    We’ll try a light garnish, too: a bit of lemon zest or a chiffonade of basil.

    There are three basic types of meringue: French, Italian and Swiss. A sub-tip of the day is to try them all, and decide which you prefer.

    Here are meringue details.

    Some sources say that that meringue (muh-RANG) was invented in the Swiss village of Meiringen in the 18th century, and subsequently improved by an Italian chef named Gasparini.

    Not all experts agree: The Oxford English Dictionary, for example, states that the French word is of unknown* origin. Meringue wasn’t invented in France.

    Even Larousse Gastronomique, The New American Edition of the World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, acknowledges the Swiss possibility along with:

  • Poland: Created by an unknown chef in the court of King Stanislas I Leszcy?ski of Poland, who later became Duke of Lorraine. While this theory says that “meringue” derives from the Polish marzynka, we were unable to find that word in a Polish dictionary.
  • England: The earliest written recipe for a baked “beaten-egg-white-and-sugar confection” is a handwritten recipe from 1604 called white bisket bread, from Lady Elinor Poole Fettiplace (1570-c.1647) of Oxfordshire, which later appeared in her book, “Elinor Fettiplace’s Receipt Book — Elizabethan Country House Cooking.”
  • In a later generation, Lady Rachel Fane (c. 1612–1680) of Kent has a recipe called “pets.” Slowly-baked meringues are still referred to as pets in the Loire region of France (the reference appears to be their light fluffiness, perhaps like a bunny or kitten, or for pétillant [sparkling] wine).
  • The first evidence of the confection called meringue first appeared in print in Chef François Massialot’s seminal 1691 cookbook, available in translation as . The English first saw the word in 1706, in an English translation of Massialot’s book.

    Blueberry Meringue Pie
    [1] Blueberry and blackberry pie with meringue garnish, at Kindred restaurant in North Carolina.

    Passionfruit Meringue Pie
    [2] One of the benefits of dots of meringue (photo #1) is that you don’t need the skill to pipe evenly (photo by Hannah Kaminsky, Bittersweet Blog).

    Piping Meringue

    [3] Meringues can be baked into hard cookies or pavlovas, or cooked or torched briefly as a soft topping (here’s the recipe from Raw Spice Bar).

    Until the early 19th century, meringues cooked in the oven were shaped between two large spoons. Meringue piped through a pastry bag was introduced by the great French chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1784-1833—he preferred to be called Antonin), the founder of the concept of haute cuisine and the four mother sauces. He invented mayonnaise and many other recipes, including charlotte Russe, coeur à la crème, croquembouche, éclairs, mille-feuille and other iconic French recipes.

    No one can find a historical derivation of the word “meringue*,” but the latest suggestion is that it comes from Middle Dutch meringue, meaning light evening meal—possibly from the Latin merenda, “light evening meal.”

    Our personal favorite is the Middle Low German “meringe,” from mern, “to dip bread in wine.” Who wouldn’t like to dip a meringue in a glass of wine?
    *Contenders from include 1700 on include, from the Walloon dialect, maringue, shepherd’s loaf; marinde, food for the town of Meiringen (Bern canton, Switzerland). While they have a few letters in common with meringue, evidence for both is completely lacking. A source that makes more sense is the Latin merenda, the feminine gerund of merere, to merit. Who doesn’t merit a delicious confection? But as our mother often said: “Who cares; let’s eat!”


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