Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chocolate Chip Meringues

So... I think I have an unhealthy obsession with egg whites.  I guess not just egg whites in general, but mostly with how they behave when whipped for long periods of time along with sugar and a little cream of tartar.  No matter how many times I do this, no matter the recipe, whether it be for frosting, pie topping, candy, or meringue cookies, I just stare in utter amazement at my mixer as it transforms a quarter of a cup of translucent goop into fluffy white pillowy peaks of awesomeness.  Am I the only one who is amazed by this?  Probably so... but I never said I was normal, people, never.  What fun would that be anyway? 

Naturally I gravitate towards recipes that include the aforementioned "miracle".  Accordingly, tonight I couldn't stop thinking about meringue cookies, so I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (a completely brilliant blog, by the way) and decided to give it a shot.  Like clockwork, the magic occurred in my mixer once again.  This is a super simple recipe (as most meringue recipes are).  They keys are room temperature egg whites and patience while the egg whites are mixing (although with only two egg whites in this recipe, the patience required is fairly minimal).  The original recipe called for toasted pecans or walnuts, however not having any on hand, I omitted them and the cookies still tasted amazing.  I imagine this addition would make these puffy little bites of heaven even more delicious, so next time I'll try adding them.


  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar 
    • You can use superfine sugar if you have it on hand. I didn't and couldn't tell a difference.
  • 6 oz chocolate chips, mini chips, or finely diced semi or bittersweet chocolate
    • I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate baking bits because I think they're the bee's knees.  They're rather large chips, so I threw them in the food processor on low for about 10 seconds to break them into smaller pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts-- toasted, if you're fancy like that
    • These are optional.  As I mentioned, I didn't use them, but I'm sure they'd make them even more super duper delicious  

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line two standard-sized baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat egg whites until foamy.  If using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment.  Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla and continue beating until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar gradually while continuing to beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (can you believe just a minute ago you just had a bowl of goop and now you have fluffy perfection?!).  Gently fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.  

Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  If you prefer, you may also use a piping bag to squeeze out dollops of batter.  

Bake for 25 minutes or until the undersides of the cookies are golden or lightly tanned.  

*This post is dedicated to chickens everywhere who supply us with eggs, without whom this magical process  and the plethora of baked goods which benefit from them would not exist. 

To chickens everywhere: I'm sure being an egg-laying chicken sometimes seems like a thankless job, but just know that your efforts are appreciated by bakers and those who enjoy baked goods the world over.  And lastly, I'm sorry that you can't read this... because you're chickens.  

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