Friday, January 25, 2008

Beacon Hill Cookies

I like to think of myself as fairly creative. Which is one of the reasons I started this blog. I wanted an outlet to bake and take cool pictures and have cool posts like all the other food/baking blogs that I read. I was inspired and I thought... yeah, i can do that.

The problem is. I can't. I mean, yes, I physically can. But, my pictures suck. I've tried everything. I've tried the lightbox, I've tried the no flash, I've tried the natural light, nothing seems to work. And it's not just the lighting, it's the presentation as well. I know it's a work in progress, but sometimes I get discouraged by the lengthy amount of time that it takes to make any progress. Uggh. Sometimes I wonder if I need a new camera, but i like my camera and it takes good pictures. Except of baked goods.

Alright, well anyway, enough whining. I was just basically wanting to apologize to the few of you who actually read my blog. I'm sorry my pictures suck. But I appreciate you sticking with me. At some point, maybe it will just click and the pictures will magically become amazing!

Until then...

I am obsessed with Meringues. Like, literally obsessed. How can a cookie without flour or egg yolks be so incredibly chewy and tasty? I have no idea, but I love it! And not only are they delicious, they are so easy to make, too!

My mom brought me the book, 500 Cookies this weekend as a hostess gift. It's a cool book with a lot of pictures. I love cookbooks with pictures. Immediately, one cookie stuck out to me as I flipped through it. The Beacon Hill Cookie. It looked chocolatey and homey and bumpy. It looked awesome.

So, last night I decided to see what the ingredients were and see if I had them. Turns out, it's a meringue cookie! Which meant that I had to bake them right there on the spot. They came with a variation to put white chocolate chips in them, which I happened to have, so I did that.

Yum. Have I mentioned I'm in love with meringues? Okay, overkill... I know. I made a half a batch and came out with about 10 cookies.

Beacon Hill Cookies
from 500 Cookies by Phillippa Vanstone and Susannah Blake

5 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used semi-sweet)
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 superfine sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the chocolate, set aside to cool. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add one third of the sugar, beat for a further minute, then add one third more of the sugar. Beat until the whites are stiff, and fold in the remaining sugar.

Fold in the nuts, chocolate, vanilla, and white chocolate chips into the mixture.

Drop level teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets 1 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are cracked and firm to the touch. Life the parchment sheets onto wire racks and allow cookies to cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen.