for beginner bakers, i always suggest trying out a meringue cookie early on in their experimenting! meringue cookies look like they should be difficult to make, yet they are easy-peasy, as long as you follow the instructions! they are also the perfect ‘end of baking day’ cookie, because you basically preheat the oven, prep the cookie trays, place the trays in the oven, turn off the oven and go to sleep. when you wake up the next morning, you’ll have beautifully baked meringues waiting to pop out of the oven!
you can certainly pipe these to make them look fancy, but as you can see by my photo, i just dropped them from a rounded teaspoon scoop. i like that they look like little ragged-edged puffs of snow. and they taste just as good whether they’re fancy or not! light as a feather, a bit sweet, and the perfect cookie for chocolate and walnut lovers alike!
i’d be remiss if i didn’t mention that the original recipe for these came from emeril lagasse on the food network site, but i tweaked some of the ingredients so these cookies would be a bit less sweet, and heavier on chocolate chips than walnuts. either emeril’s or my version will give you delightful results, so why not give them a try. you’ll thank me for it!
‘little puffs of snow’ meringue cookies
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup minus 2 teaspoons of superfine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. line your 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. with your stand mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. (make sure your mixing bowl is cool, dry and free of any oily residue.)
3. add the cream of tartar, beating until the egg white/cream of tartar mixture is fluffy. do not overbeat.
4. add the sugar gradually. 2-3 tablespoons at a time. when 1/2 of the sugar’s been added, add the vanilla extract.
5. continue adding the sugar in small increments until all the sugar has been added and is dissolved. your meringue should be very shiny, almost tight looking. it will form amazingly beautiful peaks at this time!
6. gently, gently, gently, fold in your chocolate chips and walnuts. do not overwork the batter!
7. with a teaspoon scoop, gently place your cookie dough onto your parchment-lined baking sheets. leave about 1″ of space between each mound of dough.
8. place baking sheets into the preheated oven, close the oven door and turn the oven off.
9. without opening the oven, leave the cookies in the oven for at least 2 hours, maximum 7 hours, or until cookies are crisp and dry.
yield: about 40 cookies