Chocolate Chip or Peppermint Meringue Cookies
by Chef Owen May and Dr. Michelle May
These light “cloud cookies” are crispy, chewy, and sweet. Experiment with chocolate chips or peppermint meringue cookies (or use a little of both!). They’re perfect for serving or giving away during the holidays.
For best results use fresh eggs and allow them to come to room temperature (do not leave them out for a prolonged period of time however). When making meringue, any oil, grease, or fat (including egg yolk) will prevent peaks from forming when the egg whites are beaten. Use a very clean bowl and beaters. If any egg yolk gets into the whites, you must discard. For this reason, it is best to separate each egg into a separate bowl. To separate eggs, gently crack the egg open in the center by tapping it lightly on a flat surface. Holding the egg upright, pull off the top half of the shell. Hold your hand over the egg white bowl and pour the egg into your hand allowing the egg white to ooze through your fingers while retaining the yolk in your palm – a very easy, albeit un-elegant, way to separate eggs. Wash your hands thoroughly first before using this method (and afterward of course)! Alternatively, after cracking the egg, hold it over the egg white bowl and gently pour the contents between the two shell halves, allowing the egg whites to pour out in the process, leaving just the yolk in the shell. Discard yolks.
Be careful when working with raw eggs; keep surfaces clean and wash hands frequently.
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup superfine sugar (confectioner’s, not powdered)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (or chop regular chocolate chips in a food processor) OR crushed peppermint candy canes
- Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees
- Line two cookie sheets with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a very clean bowl (free of all oil and grease), beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed with a mixer until soft peaks form.
- Turn mixer up to high speed and gradually beat in sugar until glossy, stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla.
- Gently fold in chocolate chips or crushed peppermint.
- Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 275 degrees, then reduce heat to 250 degrees and bake for 25 minutes longer. Cookies should be white or just slightly golden.
- Remove cookies to a rack and cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
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