Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nutella Meringues

Even before we became a family blended with a very proud contingent of Italians, we were fans of Nutella. For years, it was the only thing my sister would eat in a sandwich, on toast or with crackers, and for me, it was the combination of Nutella and peanut butter on a bagel that would get me excited for breakfast. For years, the chocolate-hazelnut spread was even allowed in our school, which in retrospect was a bit odd given that there was a "no nut" policy in place!

Now our household has two fully grown adults with a child-like penchant for the spread, as well as a constant flurry of guests and the occasional (sneaky) indulgence from my stepdad, we buy Nutella by the family pack. For a while, we were buying the extra-large double-packs every month! Granted, we probably still would be, except that my stepbrother bought himself a couple extra-extra-large Christmas gifts last year:

5 Kilos

Yes. Five kilos of Nutella.The sad thing is that the photo above is the second jar, and it was three-quarters full! Given that there was such a quantity of goodness kicking around, I was itching to make something with it - and when a combination of holiday and school-day cooking left me with some extra egg whites kicking around, I remembered a recipe I had seen on Cream Puffs in Venice a year or so back. Ivonne (a fellow Torontonian!) had come up with the ingenious idea to make standard meringue cookies laced with ribbons of the spread, which not only taste delicious but look gorgeous. Please don't take my horrible photo as evidence... Ivonne's are far prettier!

Nutella Meringues

You'd think that adding sweet Nutella to a meringue recipe, already laden with sugar in order to keep its structure, would result in instant diabetic shock and tooth decay. Ironically though, the underlying nuttiness of the spread cuts the one-note taste of white sugar and makes the cookies themselves seem less sweet than usual.

Shared with Sugar & Slice Sunday 
Gluten Free Fridays, Gluten-Free Wednesday and What’s In Your Kitchen Wednesday

Nutella Meringues
Adapted from Cream Puffs in Venice
Makes 25
3 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
pinch of salt (I used vanilla salt)
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
1/4 cup Nutella, warmed until runny 
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F and set one oven rack in the bottom third of your oven and one in the upper third of your oven.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form.
  4. Increase the speed to high and begin adding the sugar a few spoonfuls at a time.
  5. Continue beating to stiff peaks.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add all the Nutella.
  7. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the Nutella into the meringue three or four times until just swirled. Don’t overmix - this will deflate the meringue.
  8. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, immediately lower the heat to 200 F and rotate the trays. Bake for an hour.
  9. If they are completely dried by then, turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for a few hours to cool with the oven.
  10. If the meringues still look a bit “wet”, then continue baking for another 20 minutes or so.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 27.2
Total Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 7.8 mg
Total Carbs: 4.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Protein: 0.7 g