Coconut Rum Meringues

Does anyone else feel like the holidays are moving way too quickly?  Even as I sit here typing, so many things are running through my head, I find it challenging to concentrate on one thing at a time.  My to-do list has far exceeded the time in which I have to complete it all.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life particularly in the midst of the holidays, but it’s so very important to slow down, crank up the Christmas music, enjoy a cup of warmth (perhaps some spiked hot cocoa?) with something sweet (perhaps some meringues?) in front of the Christmas tree and relish in this wonderful holiday season.  After all, it will come and go before we know it, leaving us with only memories to hold us until next year.  I am as just as guilty as anyone else this time of year…I WAY over commit myself with the excitement of the approaching holiday season and find myself completely overwhelmed!

These coconut meringues and spiked hot cocoa are unbelievably good and with a bit of coconut rum in both, they are sure to help you to relax a little more this holiday season.  These two recipes are my first official published post in Front Row’s Magazine’s December issue and I’m so excited to share them with you!  I have to admit that I consumed about three batches of these amazing cookies before finally discovering the perfect recipe.  They are so light and airy with an amazing texture and go down surprisingly easily (way too easily).  I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!

Please visit www.frontrowmonthly.com to view this recipe as well as the latest in fashion news and entertainment.  My recipe post is on page 16 of the “page-flip” under the section Dish.  I also have recipes published periodically in the Arts & Culture Section of the magazine.

Coconut Rum Meringues          {Print Recipe}

Yield: 30-36 cookies

2 large egg whites

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

2/3 cup superfine sugar

1 ½ tsp coconut rum

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 cup shredded coconut, toasted

¼ cup almonds, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Place the whole almonds on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until they start smelling wonderful!  I check them after 5 minutes and give them a shake in the pan to ensure even toasting.  Chop the toasted nuts as finely as possible and set aside.  Using the same pan for the shredded coconut, toast the coconut for about 6-8 minutes stirring frequently as it can burn quickly.  Set the coconut aside.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks carefully leaving no trace of egg yolks (this step is easier to do when the eggs are cold).  Store the egg yolks for another use.  Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high until foamy.  Once foamy, add the salt and cream of tartar and continue beating for about 3 minutes or until the egg whites form soft peaks.  Add the coconut rum and vanilla extract and the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the egg whites are glossy and form stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.  Fold the coconut and almonds into the egg whites gently with a spatula until fully incorporated.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and using a piping bag, pipe the egg white batter onto the pan in tablespoon portions, 1” high and about 1” apart.  Bake the cookies for 25-30 minutes or until they turn slightly golden brown or the tops crack slightly.  Let cool completely in the pan.  These cookies are best eaten the day that they are made however they will keep several days in an air tight container.

Spiked Hot Cocoa

Yield: 4 mugs

6 oz. chopped milk chocolate

4 oz. heavy cream

12 oz. milk

1 tsp sugar (or to taste)

2 oz. coconut rum

2 oz. amaretto

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot milk over it.  Blend with a whisk until chocolate is completely melted, then add the remaining ingredients.  Pour the hot cocoa back into the saucepan and keep warm until serving.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Happy Holidays!

xoxo

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