Growing up in the Pacific Northwest was not the easiest when it came to making meringue cookies because of the sensitivity to humidity (or endless rainy days), but my mom still managed to make these chocolate chip meringues for me every so often. It's all the sugar's fault because it likes to absorb moisture, so it prevents the egg whites from getting stiff enough maintain their consistency. I'll be honest with you, these cookies in the photo ended up being great on day one, but the moisture got to them and made them soft and chewy in the center on day two, so clearly it was not a humidity free day when I baked them.
Because of all this hassle, normally, I find my self getting my meringue fix from Trader Joes or Whole Foods prepared cookies, but I decided to go for it and make a batch to bring to work. These cookies are relatively "light" in calories...well only because there's no butter, but the chocolate kind of makes up for that. And while they can be a bit messy, they were a great hit with my coworkers as an alternative to the traditional chocolate chip cookie.
Mini Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
- 4 egg whites, room temperature (you can separate cold, in fact it's easier, but cover the egg whites and bring them to room temperature over at least 30 minutes)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups superfine granulated sugar (buy or make your own in a food processor, this sugar is easier to whisk with the egg whites)
- 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 300F (hint: cooking low and slow is the key to meringue success)
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- In an electric stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla on medium-high until you reach a soft peak stage
- Slowly add in the sugar and beat until the egg whites are forming stiff peaks
- Fold in the chocolate chips very gently so as to not deflate the batter
- Spoon or pipe the meringue into large round shapes on the cookie sheets
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, watching for browning and doneness, then turn the oven off and let cool in the oven for another 30 minutes. You can tell when the meringue is done because it will lift off the parchment paper easily.
- If you are not going to eat the cookies the same day, make sure that they are stored in an airtight bag or container because of the sensitivity to air moisture.