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Chocolate Dipped Orange Meringues

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Light and airy citrus cookie with a hint of chocolate. These festive Hallowen cookies are naturally gluten free!

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It seems like people either love or hate meringues. If you’ve been one of my loyal blog followers then you may remember a post nearly a year ago about Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues. I shared a recipe I loved as a child and chronicled my attempts at recreating the recipe in a much higher humidity climate. Making meringues still feels a little bit daunting to me, but not enough to totally give up on them. I am one of those people that just loves meringue cookies!

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I had the idea for these chocolate orange Halloween meringues months and months ago. I finally gave in to making them in September. Steve convinced me into making a double batch, saying the cookies would be a “good snack”. I argued that they were full of sugar and a far cry from my usual healthy recipes. He said the cookies were mostly air, which is truthful, I suppose.

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We whipped up the double batch on a Saturday morning and let them sit in the oven all day (FYI I usually leave mergingues in the oven overnight, which is plenty of time for them to set. If you bake them during the day you need to leave them in the oven for 6 – 8 hours. They look done around the 4 hour mark, but the insides will still be gooey). The cookies were ready for a party in the evening. I had been a bit nervous that orange flavor and meringue might not be a good combination, but it met my expectations! Light and airy citrus flavored cookie with a hint of dark chocolate. When I put it that way, it sounds perfect and I wonder why I doubted the flavor in the first place!

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I’m not super into themed food, but yes, these are a nice gluten free Halloween dessert. It’s not the kind of gluten free cookie that has an unusual texture, unwelcome aftertaste, and you wouldn’t really want to serve to other people. These are real, edible, naturally gluten free, “normal person” cookies! You can easily switch these up from classy gluten free Halloween cookie to just regular classy cookie by skipping the food coloring, too. Pure white meringues with chocolate tips make a nice looking cookie tray any time of the year!

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Chocolate Dipped Orange Meringues

Beat the egg whites by hand using a beater or in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment. I have successfully used both methods.
 
I piped my cookies onto the baking sheet using a pastry tool (that I got at target for $9 in an after Christmas sale last year), but you can also spoon them onto the baking sheet for free form cookies, if you don’t have a tool to pipe the meringue.
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 egg whites (separated from eggs or from the carton)
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 4 drops red food coloring
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk chocolate would also work)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and cream of tartar at a medium low speed until stiff peaks form (warning: this takes a few minutes).
  3. Still beating at the same speed, add the sugar slowly mixing in just 1 tablespoon at a time (another warning: this takes a long while to do slowly. Don’t rush it or you may ruin the meringue).
  4. When all the sugar has been added, beat in the orange extract and food coloring.
  5. Line two baking sheets with wax paper. Using a pastry bag/tube, pipe the meringue onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch between each cookie.
  6. Turn the oven off, and place the cookie sheets in the oven. Leave the cookies in the oven overnight, or for 8 hours.
  7. When the cookies are cooked and cooled, melt the chocolate. I use chocolate chips for this, and follow the melting directions on the bag. If your package doesn’t have directions try microwaving for 1 minute, stirring, and then doing additional time as needed in 15 second increments.
  8. Drip bottoms, tops, or both ends of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Place back on the baking sheet (still with wax paper on it). Put the cookie sheets in the freezer to let the chocolate harden.
  9. To keep chocolate firm store these cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays. Check it out at Gluten Free Homemaker, Gluten Free Easily, and Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures!

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Mini Halloween “Oreo” Truffles

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My sister was visiting last week! We some big plans (going to an aquarium) and some not so big plans (eating snacks). We had a night full of popcorn experiments, and then the next day we wanted to make something special for Halloween. We brainstormed for a while and then decided on these Oreo truffles in Halloween shapes. We realized that our cookie decorating skills aren’t the best, but we had fun (and isn’t that what matters?)! Plus, these cookies do not need to be baked, so even though we cut out and decorated each tiny cookie the time commitment was not huge, and there weren’t a bunch of cookie sheets that needed to be washed! Recipes that don’t result in a million dirty dishes are usually my favorites!

Have you had Oreo truffles before? They are a Christmas tradition for my family. My Dad and I used to make them on Christmas Eve and bring them to our family festivities. My family has always had the job of providing all the different cookie varieties. There was a year when my Dad and I decided to switch it up and replace the Oreo truffles with something else. Well, no one liked that! A few family members said that they wait all year for those cookies!

Making Oreo truffles is so simple. Mix Oreos, or GF oreos in the case of this recipe, with cream cheese in a food processor. To make regular truffles you roll the mixture into balls and then coat them with melted chocolate. Instead of making balls, we rolled the dough out to cut out Halloween shapes.

I rolled the dough out on wax paper, for easy clean up and less sticking. Since I don’t have any Halloween cookie cutters we improvised with a bottle cap and a dough cutter.

Making spiders is simple; you just cut out a circle with a bottle cap. We made the legs by piping on melting chocolate. The ghosts we a bit more complicated. First, I cut out a half circle using the bottle cap.

Next, use the pastry cutter, or a pizza cutter, to extend the cut straight down.

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If you want, you can leave the ghost in this shape or use the pastry/pizza cutter to cut a few diagonal lines.

One all of the cookie shapes were cut we just “frosted” and decorated  them with melted chocolate and white chocolate. Hopefully our finished cookies resemble ghosts and spiders. I have not spent a lot of time frosting and decorating so this project was a stretch for me! I’m sure many of you out there have great decorating skills and could use this same idea to create some really amazing looking cookies. Looks aside, these cookies taste decadent, and since they a mini you don’t have to feel badly if you eat a few!

Mini Halloween Oreo Truffles

 
Ingredients
  • 1 package (10.5 oz) gluten free oreo cookies (I used Glutino brand)
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz white melting chocolate
  • 4 oz chocolate chips
Baking Directions
  1. Combine oreos and cream cheese in a food processor. Mix for a few minutes, until fully combined. The mixture will look brown.
  2. Roll or pat out the dough to about a 1/8″ thick.
  3. Cut out cookie shapes from the dough (see post above for how to make ghost and spider shapes using a bottle cap).
  4. Put the dough in the freezer to firm up, 5-10 minutes will be enough.
  5. Melt both chocolate varieties according to package directions.
  6. Top the ghost cookies with the white chocolate and spiders with regular melted chocolate. Use the opposite colors for eyes and mouths.
  7. Using a ziplock bag or a pastry bag, pipe melted chocolate off of each spider body to create legs.
  8. Once all decorating is done return cookies to the freezer again. Store in the freezer until you are ready to serve.
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