VALENTINE MERINGUES KISSES DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE
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Valentine meringues kisses dipped in chocolate
Makes about 36
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 drops red food coloring
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil or pure vegetable shortening
In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites with cream of tartar and vinegar
and beat at high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute.
Continue beating, and gradually add the sugar.
Beat until very stiff, about 2 minutes. Add coloring and continue beating for 5 minutes at medium speed. Spoon the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tube.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pipe 3/4- to 1-inch drops onto prepared baking sheet; after each drop is piped by squeezing the bag, release from squeezing, and pull straight up with the bag to create the very fine curled tip on each drop. Bake until drops are hard to the touch but not browned, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Repeat to use all meringue. Meringue drops may be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Stir in the oil or shortening until well combined. Dip the bottom of each cooled meringue drop into the melted chocolate; stick two together if desired. Turn upside down on a cooling rack, and let chocolate harden—this can take up to 50 minutes at room temperature—or just freeze on parchment paper for 5 minutes. Serve.