I grew up on the Monterey Peninsula, about 30 minutes from beautiful Carmel Beach. On the weekends, we’d bundle up in fleeces (the temperatures were usually cool with the potential for fog) and head to the beach for a picnic or just a walk, collecting sea shells along the way. When we reached our fill of the icy water and wet sand, we’d hop back in the car and wind through the forest to Pacific Grove. Our destination was Fifi’s, a French bistro and bakery where I always ordered a cocoa meringue. I loved the way the cookie melted in my mouth, and our bakery visits quickly became a post-beach tradition.
These vanilla-chocolate chip meringues transport me right back to those leisurely beach days. A generous splash of vanilla gives the cookies a sweet and creamy flavor, and mini semisweet chocolate chips add richness to each bite. Meringue can be temperamental, so bring egg whites to room temperature before beating and pick a day with low humidity for best results.
Vanilla-Chocolate Chip Meringues
Adapted from Fine Cooking
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp cornstarch (optional, use on humid days)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Beat egg whites in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until frothy; add cream of tartar and continue beating until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until whites hold soft peaks. Continue beating while gradually adding sugar a tablespoon at a time, until mixture is firm and glossy. Add vanilla and mix briefly; gently fold in chocolate chips.
Using two spoons, gently spoon batter onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until meringues are dry and firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and let meringues cool in the oven for 1 hour. Serve immediately, or store up to 1 week in an airtight container between layers of parchment.
Yield – 20 meringues (serving size: 2 cookies)
Calories – 80
Carbs – 16