Reason #3837 why I love my dad: He always makes time for the people who need him, whatever the situation and whenever the issue arises.

I’m a thousand miles farther from home than I’d like to be today, his birthday. Immediately my thoughts were to send a treat, but when it comes to mailing perishable items, our list of letdowns is long and sad. The only thing left to do was bake, raise a cold glass of milk, say a few words and then eat in his honor. (No parent condones wasting food after all. Think of the starving children!)

I sat brainstorming what dessert would make Dad happy: red velvet cupcakes, cherry squares, Linzer cookies, a flourless chocolate cake with sinful ganache. I would normally have gone the decadent route, dense, rich and chocolaty but instead, because I’ve been mildly obsessed with cocoa powder lately and had a container full of egg whites in the freezer, I chose to make chocolate meringues.

The idea quickly evolved to sandwiching two meringues together with that sinful ganache — one of Dad’s weaknesses; plus a light touch of espresso powder to supercharge the chocolate flavor.

So Dad, on your birthday this year, in lieu of being home or shipping treats, I have big hugs and meltaway mocha meringue kisses. You would enjoy them greatly. I just know you would. We sure did.

Here’s to you!

Mocha Meringue Kisses [makes 30]

Printable recipe

3 large egg whites

3/4 c + 2 T fine granulated sugar

1 t cornstarch

½ t white vinegar

½ t pure vanilla extract

2 T cocoa powder (we like natural process for its rich chocolaty flavor)

3 t espresso powder, or very finely ground coffee

80 g (about 1/2 c) dark chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 265° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.

In a large bowl or with a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. While continuously whisking, add the sugar 1 T at a time until stiff and shiny. Whisk in the vanilla, cornstarch, vinegar, cocoa powder and 2 t espresso powder just until combined.

Using a piping bag fitted with only the coupler or a plain 1/2″ tip (or cut the corner off a Ziploc bag to make a hole 1/2″ in diameter), pipe 60 quarter-sized blobs onto the prepared baking sheets, approximately 1 1/2″ apart.

Bake 25 minutes. Turn oven off and, with the door slightly ajar, allow meringues to cool completely.

Melt the chocolate chunks or chips with the remaining 1 t espresso powder in a bowl set over saucepan of simmering water. Allow to cool, then use to sandwich the meringue bases together. Meringue kisses will keep 2-3 days in an airtight container.

From delicious.magazine via butter sugar flour