Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chocolate Chip Meringues...

"...They're pretty good."

Please note: Do NOT even attempt to make this unless you're willing to swear in court that you have parchment paper and plan to use it. You will sincerely regret it if you don't have any. These suckers stick like nobody's business. Also, using foil won't work because it tears too easily. You simply MUST have parchment paper.

For the record, mine didn't look much like this. This is what I found after a google image search. But once again, something pretty tasty came out of simple ingredients and not a lot of work. Whereas these cookies are round, mine were more like blobs. And they were flat. These ones just look light and puffy. Probably I didn't beat my batter long enough. But I digress...

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup of sugar (superfine if you have it, regular if you don't)
6 oz (about half a bag) chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 300F.

Separate your eggs. You can keep the yolks for something else or throw them away. Put your whites in a medium-big bowl (a mixing bowl will probably be too large, but a cereal bowl will definitely be too small) and let them come to room temperature, 45 minutes or more. After the eggs are sufficiently warm, whip them in your bowl with a whisk until the eggs are foamy/frothy. This should not take very long at all.

Add the cream of tartar and the salt and whip until soft peaks forms. This will take a little longer. If you have an electric mixer, there's no reason not to use it. I didn't use mine because I put my egg whites in a big bowl and there's no way my mixer would have worked.

(About this time, you'll probably be thinking "There's no way that's going to make enough batter." I promise you it's enough. Just have faith.)

Add the sugar gradually, beating the batter until it's stiff. Then fold in the chocolate chips. Now, pull out your parchment paper (you can buy it at any grocery store; it's right next to the foil and plastic wrap) and line your cookie sheet. If you have lots hanging over the edges, trim it, because it's still paper and your oven is still hot. You do the math.

Using a regular spoon, drop the batter onto your cookie sheet. You'll probably have enough for two batches, and it's fine to let the batter sit if you need to bake them one at a time (like me, because my stupid apartment oven only has one rack).

Bake for 25 minutes. Resist the temptation to crack the oven open and peek, because this will make the meringue fall apart. It needs a consistent temperature.

The moral of this story is that even if they don't look too pretty, they're still quite tasty.

The boring stuff:
Difficulty: 3, because you have to separate the eggs, which can be a little tricky.
Makes about 24 cookies.
Takes about fifteen minutes, plus 25 minutes baking time. (Not counting the time to let the eggs warm up.)

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