Some days, I think I should have been a chemist. There’s something undeniably mesmerizing about that split second when egg whites transform from a puddle of clear goo to glossy, opaque, white meringue. So mesmerizing that I need to know why it happens. Denatured proteins! Coagulated amino acid chains! Them big words is magic, folks.
Then I do something stupid like leave the coffee maker on for 26 hours and realize I should probably stick to a profession that doesn’t require operating Bunsen burners. Marketing, it is then.
Regardless of if your eyes glazed over after reading the first paragraph of this post or not, you should still absolutely make these chocolate meringue cookies. They’re light as air, so you can feel perfectly good about eating, oh, 60 of them, yet the studs of chocolate make them slightly more indulgent than your morning egg-white omelet.
Be forewarned that meringue can be a bit of a drama queen in the environment department - so the time it takes to beat the egg whites, the cooking time, and the final cookie texture will all be dependent on the humidity wherever you are. These keep pretty well for about a week, at which point they’ll turn into space ice cream. If you don’t know what space ice cream is, get yourself to a planetarium gift shop ASAP.
[Original Recipe from Bakerella]
Ingredients (Makes ~60 cookies)
7 egg whites from large eggs (about a cup)
1 ½ cups sugar
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (or about 5 oz. chopped chocolate)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place a pot with a few inches of water over high heat. In a large glass bowl that will fit on top of the pot without touching the water, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Turn the heat under the pot down so the water is just simmering. Place the glass bowl over the pot, and whisk the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved into the egg whites. (Touch it with your fingers to make sure you don’t feel any grains of sugar.) This should take about 5 minutes.
Remove the glass bowl from the pot, and beat the sugared egg whites with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (if you have one). Keep beating on high until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks. This could take anywhere from 10 minutes to a half hour depending on your humidity.
When the whites are ready, sprinkle the cocoa powder and chocolate chips over the top. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold both chocolates into the mix, being careful not to deflate the whites. You’ll know you’re done when there are no visible streaks of cocoa powder.
Using a spoon, scoop heaping tablespoons of meringue batter onto the cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches in between. (They’ll spread a little, but not as much as a regular doughy cookie.)
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then turn both baking sheets (so they cook evenly) and bake for another 10 minutes. Bake for additional time if necessary until the cookies are puffed, slightly cracked, and not sticky to the touch.
Once meringues are done cooking, slide the entire sheet of parchment paper onto the counter or a cooling rack. Once cool, gently peel the cookies off of the parchment. (If you don’t want to wait to do the next batch, just re-line the baking sheets with additional paper.)
If not eating right away, store in an airtight container.