Sugaring off: Day 19

I’m having a minor setback today, all because of breakfast. Okay, it actually started before breakfast: I was having a dream about a mille-feuilles pastry. It’s okay to dream about pastry instead of loved ones, right? Or is it wrong to say that pastries have replaced loved ones?

Anyway, back to breakfast. If you order an eggs benedict croissant (yes, I’m filling up on fat in place of sugar), you shouldn’t expect a little freebie side-dish of chocolate meringue cookies, right? Surely I’m correct in thinking that nobody needs chocolate meringues at 9 in the morning? Why did that server have to tempt me? It’s like she’s in on it, conspiring against me, wanting me to fall off the wagon. I’m thinking that no other table in the restaurant was served chocolate meringues, except the one table where it’s prohibited. Ummm . . . Perfect, yummy-looking, fluffy, chocolate meringue cookies . . . I will whip up a batch of these on Day 30. They’ll sit alongside the 189 other sugary items (including mille-feuilles) that I hope to consume that day.

. . .

On another note, somebody told me something interesting the other day: It has been observed that people who love alcohol don’t have the intense craving for sugar, and vice versa. So you’re either a sugar-lover, or an alcohol-lover in life. I can see that applied to people in my life. Not to say that people who drink don’t have dessert, or people who like sweets never drink. But I guess that those would be the two things to choose from, when in need of some empty sort of comfort, and it’s rare that someone will indulge in both equally. So I guess if I had to choose one to be addicted to, I’m glad I’ve chosen the sugar.

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Recipe: Chocolate Meringue Cookies (Yield: 50)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

> 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
> 1/2 c. sugar
In a small bowl, combine these two ingredients and set aside.

> 6 egg whites, room temperature
In a large bowl using electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy/frothy. (Tips on making the perfect meringue.)

> 1/4 tsp. salt
> 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

> 1 1 /2 tsp. vanilla extract
While beating to the frothy stage, add these three ingredients to egg whites.

After egg whites have reached the frothy stage, add the cocoa/sugar mixture from above, 1 tablespoon at a time, until egg whites are stiff and glossy.

Drop by tablespoonsful onto baking sheet, 1″ apart.

> 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
> 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, combine the above ingredients, and using a sieve or a sifter, sprinkle mixture over the non-baked cookies.

Bake 90 minutes. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly (secure with a wooden spoon), and allow cookies to cool in the oven.

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