CHOCOLATE-CHERRY CHUNK MERINGUES

The edges of the meringues are crisp, but the center pieces are slightly soft.  Don't chop the chocolate too finely or it will completely melt in the meringue.  Serve with Coeur d'Alene Cellars Crevasse Cabernet Sauvignon.

4 large egg white
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped (optional)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Draw a 14 x 10-inch rectangle on paper and secure with masking tape.

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bow. 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 tip of a sharp knife.

Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours.  Turn oven off, and cool meringue in closed oven 2 hours or until dry.  Carefully remove meringue from paper and break into 2-inch squares.  Save crumbs for icecream or yogurt topping.  Makes 35 cookies.

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