Meringue Cookies

merengitos

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup regular or superfine sugar (I use a bit less — 1/2 cup — they’re plenty sweet)
6 ounces chocolate chips, miniature chips or finely diced semi or bittersweet chocolate
1/4 chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted first is even tastier

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla, and beat mixture again until it holds soft peaks. Add the sugar, gradually, beating the batter until it is stiff. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes. Undersides of cookies should be golden or lightly tanned.

Note: There are two approaches to baking meringues. This shorter cooking time at a higher temperature yields a cookie with a crackly, crumbly exterior and an almost hollow center. A more traditional approach is a longer baking time, 200 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours. Take the longer-baked version out when they are slightly golden and firm to the touch. They will be more soft and fluffy, like miniature pavlovas.

Lemon Meringue Cookies

3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cups of super fine sugar (if you don’t have it, put regular sugar in a blender for 10-15 seconds until a fine powder forms)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer (standing or hand-held) with the whisk attachment, start beating the egg whites. When they start to foam, add the cream of tartar and beat until loose peaks form with the meringue.

Add the extract and sugar in small amounts and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. You can either spoon meringue onto cookie sheet or, for a more uniform look, you can put meringue into a pastry bag and pipe using a round tip into 2 inch wide by 1 inch tall circles.

Bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours at 200. Open the oven a crack and let come to a cool slowly. It will take about 2 hours. Do NOT use higher temperature method with citrus flavors unless you want a chewy cookie.

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