Chocolate Pecan Meringues

~from Savoring Time in the Kitchen

3 large room temperature egg whites*
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar*
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped*
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
Pinch of salt

*Tips: Place whole eggs in a dish of warm water to get them to room temperature more quickly. If you have a coffee/spice grinder or a food processor you can make your own superfine sugar by pulsing several times. Roast pecans in a 350F oven for about 7 minutes. Allow to cool, then chop finely.

Preheat oven to 225F and line a 18 x 13 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Place egg whites into a medium bowl and add the cream of tartar. With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites at low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Turn the the speed up to medium and add the sugar while beating, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. This will take about 1 minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the meringue and fold in gently with a spatula to incorporate. Only fold a few times, you want the the meringue to look marbled.

Spoon eight 1/2-cup mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. Using the back 
of a spoon, gently swirl the meringues into approximately 3 inch rounds, making a peak at the top. If desired, you can use the spoon to make an indentation in the top of the meringues if you wish to use them as a base for ice cream and berry sauce.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meringues are firm on the outside but still chewy in the 
center. Cool completely.

Meringues can be stored in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper, for about a week.

Adapted from Chocolate Chip Espresso Meringues from Food and Wine
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