Joan Totton's favorite dessert for the Christmas season has a nutty, chewy crust and dark chocolate filling that's not too sweet. "I'm proud to serve it, and my guests love the rich taste," reports the Stanfield, Oregon cook.
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, optional
- 2 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each)
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Additional whipped cream, optional
- In a bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugars, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in pecans. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-in. pie plate, leaving top edge ungreased. Spread meringue onto the bottom and up the sides of prepared plate. Build up top edge. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
- If chocolate stars are desired, melt chocolate chips. Transfer chocolate to a small heavy-duty resealable bag; cut a small hole in one corner of bag. On a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, pipe chocolate into star shapes. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. When ready to serve, carefully remove stars with a metal spatula.
- For filling, in a heavy saucepan, combine candy bars, unsweetened chocolate and water. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Pour into a large bowl; cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla. Fold in whipped cream; pour into the crust. Top with additional whipped cream and chocolate stars if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Chocolate-Filled Meringue in Taste of Home December/January 2002, p64
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