Chocolate and Raspberry Meringue Sandwich Cookies
Portion/Yield:Makes 15 sandwich cookies
These cinnamon-spiced chocolaty biscuits with soft meringue centres are outrageously delicious! The combination of raspberry, chocolate, cinnamon and coffee flavours works really well. You may think there are a lot of flavours for no reason, but do give these a go, they’re great!
The meringue disc centres are both crispy and chewy and are laced with fragrant homemade raspberry jam. They are sandwiched between the chocolate and cinnamon crackle cookies to create these fabulous sweet treats.
These little beauties are packed with flavour and are definitely a tea party temptation for grown ups!
Ingredients & Method
For the raspberry jam
- 150g fresh raspberries
- 150g caster sugar
- juice of 1 lime
For the chocolate and cinnamon crackle cookies
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g soft dark brown sugar
- 125g cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
- 2 egg whites
- 100g natural yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300g plain flour
For the meringue discs
- 3 egg whites
- 200g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
First, make the raspberry jam. Place the raspberries in a heavy-based saucepan and add the sugar. Cook over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and bring the raspberry mixture to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10–12 minutes or until the jam reaches a temperature of 105°C (setting point), stirring every now and then to prevent it from catching. If you don’t have a jam thermometer, check to see if setting point has been reached by spooning a little of the jam onto a chilled small plate. Push a finger across the jam; if the surface wrinkles and it is beginning to set, it has reached setting point. If not, boil it for a further 5 minutes or so and test again. Stir in the lime juice, then pour the jam into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool completely. Once cool, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Next, make the cookie dough. Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder, coffee granules, bicarbonate of soda and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and mix well. Add the egg whites, yogurt and vanilla extract and mix well, then stir in the flour, mixing to form a soft dough. Divide the cookie dough into 3 equal portions, then place each portion onto a sheet of cling film and roll it up in the cling film to form a sausage or log shape, each one measuring about 10–12cm in length and 3–4cm in diameter. Refrigerate the logs of cookie dough for at least 1 hour before cutting and baking (see Cook’s Notes).
While the cookie dough is chilling, make the meringue discs. Preheat the oven to 110°C/Gas Mark ¼ and line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper. I normally mark the underside of the paper with 5cm circles (you will need a total of 15 thin meringue discs) to indicate the size of the meringues I will be piping.
Place the egg whites, caster sugar and white wine vinegar in a saucepan. Put on a clean pair of disposable gloves to cover your hands. Place the saucepan over a very low heat to gently heat the egg whites and dissolve the sugar. Put one of your hands into the egg white and sugar mixture and stir it continuously to help dissolve the sugar. By using your hand, you can control the heat, as you do not want to heat the mixture above 37°C (blood temperature). Once the mixture has reached 37°C (this will take about 5 minutes), remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring with your hand for another minute.
Transfer the mixture to an electric stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk and whisk for 6–8 minutes or until the mixture becomes very thick and glossy. Transfer the meringue mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle, then pipe fifteen 5cm discs, each about 5mm-thick (it is important that the meringue discs are thin), onto the prepared baking trays, spacing them well apart.
Bake the meringue discs in the oven for 30–45 minutes or until they are dry. Check that they are cooked by touching their outsides – if they are firm and dry on the outside but are still slightly gooey and chewy in the centre, they are done. Remove from the oven, then carefully peel the meringue discs off the paper and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Unwrap the logs of chilled cookie dough (discard the cling film) and cut each one into 10 even slices (you need a total of 30 cookies). Place the slices on the prepared baking trays, leaving space between each one, then press each one out to form a 5cm round (so they are the same size as the meringue discs). Bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the outside. I like the cookies to be slightly soft, but you can bake them for a further couple of minutes or so, if you prefer them to be crispy. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking trays for 1 minute, then transfer them to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
To assemble the sandwich cookies, use 2 cookies and 1 meringue disc for each one. For each sandwich cookie, spread ½ teaspoon of the chilled raspberry jam on one side of a cookie, then place a meringue disc on top of the jam. Spread a second cookie with ½ teaspoon of the raspberry jam and then sandwich it to the other side of the meringue disc to make a sandwich cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies, raspberry jam and meringue discs to make 15 sandwich cookies in total. Lightly dust the sandwich cookies with ground cinnamon and serve immediately (see Cook’s Notes).
The wrapped logs of unbaked cookie dough will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. If frozen, when required, simply defrost a log of dough in the fridge overnight, then cut and bake as directed above.
Once assembled, serve the sandwich cookies on the same day and within about 4 hours of assembling.
If you would like to keep some sandwich cookies for the following day, store the cookies and meringue discs in separate airtight containers, keep the jam in the fridge and then assemble the sandwich cookies the next day.