When I was young, my best friend, Paula, introduced me to her favorite cookies, and they quickly became my favorite too. They were Chocolate Chip Meringue cookies: slightly crisp, airy, light, and delicious!
I still love these cookies, and now that I have a new stand mixer, I can make them easily. Here's the basic recipe:
3 Large Egg Whites (don't use the pasturized egg whites in the carton)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 c superfine sugar (or Baker's Sugar)
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment (easy cleanup!).
In the bowl of your stand mixer, with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until it begins to look foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat on medium speed until you reach the soft peak stage. Add the sugar gradually, and continue to beat until the meringue forms stiff peaks. Add vanilla extract and continue to beat until sugar is completely dissolved. (you can test this by rubbing a small amount of the mixture in between your fingers, if it feels gritty, it isn't dissolved completely yet)
Now, I drop the meringue onto the parchment lined cookie sheets in mounds using two spoons. You can use this method, or you can put it in a pastry bag and pipe it into little peaks if you want to make them fancy. They don't need a lot of room in between cookies because they don't rise, but you do need enough room to allow proper air circulation.
Bake the meringues for about 1 1/2, and then turn off the oven. Leave the cookies in the warm oven to cool (I usually leave them in there overnight, but, 2 or 3 hours will be enough time). This allows the meringues to dry out and crisp up.
You're probably wondering what happened to the chocolate chips... well, one thing that I've discovered is that you can put all sorts of flavors into these cookies, and they'll turn out great.
- At Christmastime I'll add crushed candy canes and mini chocolate chips after I've beaten in the vanilla extract and I'll put these out for Santa.
- Instead of Vanilla Extract, I'll add Orange Extract and add mini chocolate chips. These make a delightful treat with tea!
- Chocolate chips, or mini chocolate chips, added after the vanilla extract step makes for a great fat-free alternative to the classic chocolate chip cookie.
- Try sprinkling on some almond slivers before baking.
What makes these so great is that they're fat free... so you can indulge a little bit without feeling too guilty about it!
A great Tea Time Treat!