Friday, 17 December 2010

Meringue Cookies, Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

by Sadge, at Firesign Farm
At Christmas time, my grandma used to make these melt-in-your-mouth meringue cookies. She'd make hers all chocolate chip, tinting half the batch red (more like pink) and the other half green. I loved them so much, I just had to get her recipe. I then adapted it to make two flavors from one batch of cookie batter. I leave the chocolate chip half of the batch white, to look like little mounds of snow, and then color the peppermint ones with a bit of red food coloring (bonus: the peppermint ones are fat-free).

Meringue Cookies (makes about 60)
3 egg whites (best if room temperature)
1½ teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
18 oz. chocolate chips OR
3 smashed candy canes OR
12 oz chocolate chips + 2 smashed candy canes
food coloring (optional)

Beat egg whites, vanilla, and salt until stiff, but not dry. Beat sugar in gradually until stiff and satiny. If you want to make two different kinds or colors of cookies, divide in half and tint with food coloring if desired. Fold in chips or candy (for the peppermint cookies, stir the candy cane bits in first, add a couple drops of red food coloring, and just make a couple of cuts through the mixture to get a red and white striped effect). Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 250ยบ 30 minutes. The cookies should be dry, but not browned. Cool on racks. Best if stored in an air-tight tin, and eaten within a week (both kinds are in the center of the cookie platter above; super-easy fudge recipe here; I'll try to get my "no-refrigerator" sugar cookie recipe onto my own blog one of these days).

Another reason I like making these cookies is it gives me an excuse to make a batch of blender hollandaise sauce to use up the egg yolks. This version is so easy to make - no worries about it breaking like the stovetop versions sometimes do. It solidifies when refrigerated, and then melts into a sauce when smeared onto hot food, so it's a great condiment to have on hand to dress up almost any meal. I especially like it on steamed broccoli, or dabbed atop a piece of grilled salmon, or topping a seafood omelette, or as a bagel topping. Ok, I admit it - I have to restrain myself from just eating this out of the bowl with a spoon.

Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce (makes about 1 cup)
½ cup (1 stick) butter
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
⅛ teaspoon paprika (optional)

Melt butter, in microwave or stovetop. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in blender container, and blend briefly. With the blender running, slowly pour in the melted butter until sauce thickens. Serve immediately, or pour into small glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Solidified sauce will keep approximately a week to 10 days in refrigerator. No need to reheat to use, just smear atop hot food as desired.