Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 14 x 10-inch rectangle on paper. Turn paper over; secure with masking tape.
Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high, and gradually add granulated sugar and then powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Add extract; beat just until blended. Fold in cherries and chocolate. Spread batter onto drawn rectangle using the back of a spoon. Score rectangle into 2-inch squares using the tip of a sharp knife.
Bake at 200º for 2 hours. Turn oven off, and cool meringue in closed oven 1 1/2 hours or until dry. Carefully remove meringue from paper. Break into (2-inch) squares.
These are amazing. I cannot stop eating them. I wondered how they would be with unsweetened chocolate, but the sweetness of the meringue combined with the chocolate and cherries does the trick. The meringue melts in your mouth, and they have little pockets of chocolate and bits of chewy cherries. Delicious! I will definitely make these a holiday tradition. My 10-year-old daughter didn't care for them, so they may be for more sophisticated palates due to the tartness of the cherries. But I love them!
This is a solid recipe but I would definitely cut down on the sugar content. It's far too sugary for my taste. Perhaps 1/4 cup refined sugar and 1/2 cup powdered would be sufficient. This tastes like icing instead of a meringue dessert. That being said the consistency is perfect and it's an easy preparation!
These are very good! I was careful to add the sugar slowly, and used bittersweet chocolate. Didn't have cherries so I used vanilla instead of almond. Everyone loved them and had to send them home with them so we would not eat them all. Am making them today!
I will admit that I didn't quite follow the recipe exactly because I read it thoroughly too late. For one, I never was able to get the mixture to peak once I added the sugar. This may have been because I added the sugar all at once, instead of by tablespoon. Another thing that didn't go great was that my oven, at lowest marked temperature is 260. So I put it a little below that and then only cooked it for an hour. The cookies seemed done, but were really difficult to cut into pieces, even though I did score them. Overall, I found the cookies much too sweet for myself, but I'm also not fond of overly-sweet things. Not sure that I would make these in the future.
I made this multiple times last holiday season and it was so good it made my permanent list. I used the chili infused dark chocolate as suggested by another reviewer, and cherry flavored dried cranberries, but otherwise made it as written. Everyone who tried it loved it.
Great taste, buuut couldn't get it to make stiff peaks once I added the powdered sugar. Made it twice with same results. Second time I dropped it into mini cupcake papers so I could have individual portions.
Beautiful recipe.... turned out better than expected. I used orange extract, sour cherries and chili infused dark chocolate. Can't stop eating them! Followed directions as given and it came out wonderful.