Almond Meringue Mushrooms
|Egg whites||4 (At Room Temperature)|
|Cream of tartar||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Sugar||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|Almond extract||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Semi-sweet chocolate square||2 , melted|
1. Line large cookie sheet with foil.
2. In small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form; gradually sprinkle in sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition, until sugar completely dissolves and whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in almond extract.
3. Preheat oven to 200°F. Spoon meringue into large decorating bag with large writing tube. Pipe meringue onto cookie sheet in 30 mounds, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, to resemble mushroom caps. Pipe remaining meringue upright onto cookie sheet in thirty 1/2-inch lengths to resemble mushroom stems. Bake 1 3/4 hours. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in oven 30 minutes longer to dry. Cool completely on cookie sheet on wire rack.
4. With tip of small knife, cut a small hole in center of underside of a mushroom cap. Place small amount of melted chocolate in hole; spread underside of cap with chocolate. Attach stem to mushroom cap by inserting pointed end of stem into hole in underside of cap; repeat with remaining caps and stems. Let chocolate dry, about 1 hour.
5. Store mushrooms in tightly covered container. Just before serving, sprinkle tops of mushrooms lightly with cocoa