Coffee Meringue Mushrooms
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) instant coffee or instant espresso powder or granules
- 3/4 cup(s) sugar
- 1 teaspoon(s) unsweetened cocoa
- 2 ounce(s) semisweet chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In medium bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. At high speed, gradually beat in instant coffee and sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition until sugar dissolves and meringue stands in stiff, glossy peaks when beaters are lifted.
- Spoon meringue into large decorating bag fitted with 1/2-inch writing tip. Pipe meringue onto prepared cookie sheet in 40 mounds, each 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, to resemble mushroom caps of different sizes. Pipe remaining meringue upright onto cookie sheet in 40 lengths, about 1 inch high, to resemble mushroom stems.
- Sieve a light dusting of cocoa over stems and caps and fan them vigorously to blur cocoa and give mushrooms an authentic look.
- Bake meringues 2 hours. Turn off oven; leave meringues in oven 30 minutes to dry. Cool completely on cookie sheet on wire rack.
- Assemble mushrooms: With sharp knife, cut 1/4 inch off pointed end of each stem to create a flat surface. Spread a generous coating of melted chocolate over flat side of several mushroom caps. Attach cut surface of stems to chocolate in center of mushroom cap. Repeat until all mushrooms are assembled. Let chocolate set, about 1 hour. Store mushrooms in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 4 weeks.
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