Forgotten CookiesWith electricity prices going through the roof, here’s a nifty little treat to pop in the oven after you’ve finished cooking dinner. Forgotten cookies are essentially a meringue with nuts and chocolate folded in. Simply place in a pre-heated oven, then turn the oven off and forget about them overnight while they crisp up as the oven cools.
Meringues are one of those things that crop up in a lot of desserts. Think pavlova, baked Alaska, lemon meringue pie and good old Eton mess.
There are a few ‘rules’ to follow to get the egg whites to deliver those elusive stiff peaks:
– Your bowl must be glass or metal (no plastic please).
– All equipment must be scrupulously clean. Even the smallest amount of oil or washing liquid (or last night’s mashed potato) will leave you with a puddle of egg whites that will need to go in the bin. Likewise, if you drop a little shell in the bowl, fish it out with a spoon (not your potentially greasy fingers).
– Separating your eggs is a serious business. One small speck of yolk and your eggs just won’t behave.
– Use an electric mixer with speed controls so that you can go from low to high. This is not something to be attempted by hand.
– Add the sugar to the side of the bowl a few tablespoons at a time, not all at once.
Once you’ve cracked the egg whites side of the recipe, you can tweak it in so many ways. Just keep the total additions to two cups and you can pretty much add whatever takes your fancy. You could even pop a tiny bit of food colouring in there if you were making these for a special occasion.
2 egg whites
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease two baking trays and line with baking paper.
2. Take your clean bowl and place your egg whites inside. Turn on your electric beater to medium and move around the bowl until the egg whites start to look foamy. Turn up to high and wait for the egg whites to form soft peaks.
3. Begin to add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, to the side of the bowl. Keep beating while you add the rest of the sugar, allowing time for the sugar to dissolve into the egg whites. Before long you will see the egg whites have become much firmer and glossier.
4. Turn off the beaters and if you can use them to make firm peaks in the mixture you know it is ready. Using a large metal spoon, fold in your vanilla, nuts and chocolate until just combined.
5. Spoon scoops of the mixture onto your baking trays, leaving room for them to spread a little. Place in the preheated oven, then turn off the oven and leave overnight (or for at least 5-6 hours).
6. The next morning, scrape the cookies off the trays with a spatula and place into an airtight container where they will keep for four days.
Have you got a great recipe that you would like to share? Send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could see it in a future issue of The Beast. For more recipes and thrifty cooking ideas visit operationjamjar.blogspot.com