Inside Towson Lifestyle's Cookie Jar 2

BETSY ROYALL OF TAYLOR ROYALL CASTING

“I grew up with my mother making meringues. I had chocolate chip meringues for the first time when my family went to a neighborhood Seder as a child. They are easy, gluten-free and you can make them as casual (as I did) or as formal as you like with a pastry bag and starred tip.”

Ingredients

3 egg whites 
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

7 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Begin whipping the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on low speed. As the whites start to look wet and frothy—after about 45 seconds—add cream of tartar and salt and allow it to dissolve with the mixer still on low speed, about 10 seconds.
  2. 2. While the whites are still frothy, slowly begin to add the sugar in a steady stream with the mixer on low. Once you’ve added about 1/4 cup of the sugar, increase the speed to medium and continue to add the sugar gradually as the mixer runs.
  3. 3. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and whisk until the meringue is thick and glossy and holds firm peaks when you lift the whisk out of it, about 4 minutes. If it’s not there yet, continue to whip the meringue on high speed at 30-second intervals and test again.
  4. 4. Once the meringue is at firm peak stage, spoon a tiny dot of it onto each of the four corners of a baking sheet and press the parchment paper liner down over it. This will anchor the parchment paper.
  5. 5. Carefully fold the chocolate into the meringue with a rubber spatula, taking care not to deflate it.
  6. 6. Spoon 1 1/2 inch to 2-inch dollops of the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart. Try to shape the meringues with a spoon so they have crags and ridges all over.
  7. 7. Bake until the meringues harden on the outside, develop cracks and are only slightly moist on the inside, about 2 hours (this can vary widely depending on your oven). To test for doneness, remove one meringue, allow to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes, then break open to check the texture. The center should only be slightly moist at this point.
  8. 8. Allow the meringues to cool on a wire rack. Allow them to cool for at least 1 hour in a dry place before storing them in a container with the lid left only partially on. Moisture and humidity will cause them to melt, so try to use them soon after baking.

HARRISON HART OF 
HARRISON HART PHOTOGRAPHY

“I’m not much of a chef, but my family loves to cook. Around the holiday season when my family is all together, we try new recipes—especially dessert recipes. Since I like to keep it simple and to the point,I use this recipe a lot. It’s yummy, super easy to make and quite the crowd favorite. It’s one of the only recipes I know by heart other than a PB&J.”

Ingredients

1 cup natural peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1 large egg, lightly beaten

 Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and place the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until well combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture about 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the mounds with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of the cookies.
  3. 3. Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 minutes, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer to racks to cool. 
Repeat with the remaining dough.