Chocolate-Pecan Meringue Cookies are crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside and so delicious! I dare you to eat just one! Easy and gluten free.
We took our daughter back to college, and I’m drowning my sorrows in a pecan dessert, just like last year. This time, it’s chocolate-pecan meringue cookies. Last time, it was no-churn salted butter pecan ice cream. The pecans are a coincidence. The rest is a predictable case of the Mommy blues.
Who’s going to watch Bachelor in Paradise with me tonight? Is it even acceptable for me to view it alone, minus my teenage daughter and one or more of her friends? I know some of you are scratching your heads, but hear me out. I watched the original Bachelor season and then ignored the show for years, thinking I certainly had better things to do. Then, when my daughter reached high school and got on the Bachelor/Bachelorette bandwagon, I couldn’t resist joining in. It was something we enjoyed together, and I wouldn’t trade that time with her for anything. I’d better keep watching so we can compare notes…Anyway, I made my first batch of these chocolate-pecan meringue cookies last week, while my daughter was still home. She loved the taste but thought their appearance was “unappealing.” (This was before I decided to sprinkle them with cocoa.) She got me thinking about how to make the cookies look prettier, so I did some research.
Wouldn’t you know it, there’s an Italian version with hazlenuts called “brutti ma buoni,” meaning “ugly but good.” Too funny! You can always count on Italians to tell it like it is.
These cookies are like brutti ma buoni’s American cousin. They’re made with brown sugar meringue (doesn’t that sound glorious?), lots of coarsley chopped pecans, some vanilla and a bit of cocoa to provide a hint of chocolate flavor. They’re gluten free, so there’s no flour to make them heavy. They’re crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and so addictive! Eating them is like munching on nutty, marshmallow-y popcorn.
The original recipe for “pecan kisses” was much sweeter and contained no chocolate, so I had to make my adjustments until the cookies were just right. After baking three batches in the past week, I can’t imagine life without them. They’re a huge hit in my household, no matter what they look like!
Besides, I’d rather have brutti ma buoni than belissimi ma schifosi (beautiful but disgusting).
(Recipe Source: Adapted from Great American Recipes, Pecan Kisses, 1988)