vanilla-chocolate chip meringues

April 22, 2012

in Cookies

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

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26 Comments

1 Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) April 22, 2012

You grew up in one of my favorite areas. I’ve spent a lot of my birthdays in Carmel and for quite a few of those years my husband and I celebrated at Fandango. I know Fifi’s but I’ve never been–maybe we should pay a visit at least once. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at meringues but haven’t had a chance to. I love the flavors you infused into yours. :)

BTW, I love collecting shells, too. I think I have a souvenir or two from each beach I’ve ever visited. Have a great week! :)

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2 Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition April 23, 2012

How beautiful! I’ve actually never had homemade meringues before

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3 Laura @ Family Spice April 23, 2012

One of my kids’ most favorite vacations was when we spent a few days in Monterey and visited the Cannery & Aquarium. Just GORGEOUS. Next time, we will stay longer and get to enjoy Carmel, your beaches and we’ll hunt down Fifi’s!!

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4 Priscilla | ShesCookin April 23, 2012

We’re in SoCal, but have fond memories of visiting Pebble Beach, Carmel, and the unsurpassed beauty of the Monterey Peninsula. Our daughter attends UC Santa Cruz and I love going to visit her and staying at the Dream Inn. Perfect meringues and they look especially beautiful with the sea shells.

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5 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts April 24, 2012

What great memories! Meringues are relatively new to me, but I love them. These sound wonderful with the chocolate chips inside!

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6 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings April 24, 2012

these are lovely meringues! so beautiful in their alabaster skins! love their shapes, too – so smart that you put some shells on your tablescape. your meringues almost look like the sea shells! just adorable!

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7 Katia April 24, 2012

These meringues looks delicious and so delicate! I’ve made them just twice, but I really enjoyed them : )

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8 cassie April 24, 2012

What a beautiful blog you have! I am so glad I stopped by. These meringues look heavenly!

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9 Deborah April 24, 2012

I so wish I lived near a beach! These meringues sound lovely!

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10 Suzanne April 24, 2012

pretty meringues, I like the chocolate chips :) The photos are beautiful!

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11 Mary Ellen @ Pâte à Chew April 24, 2012

I love simple meringues, they also bring me back to my childhood!

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12 Valerie April 24, 2012

Meringues are so whimsical, I can see how beautifully they fit into a blustery day spent at the beach. They’re gorgeous!! (I’d have never thought of using chocolate chips!)

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13 Sandra's Easy Cooking April 24, 2012

Never made them before, and now I kind of wish I did! These look divine..love your photos too!

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14 Susan April 24, 2012

What a lovely tradition! I love Monterey! We live at the beach in Oxnard where the weather is warmer, but the water is just as cold! Your meringues are beautiful!

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15 Patty April 25, 2012

The Monterey Peninsula is a beautiful area that we like to visit, especially love the golf courses! Your site is lovely and I Look forward to following you and pinning your recipes;-)

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16 Nina April 25, 2012

MOnterey Peninsula is one place i would love to visit. Chocolate chip meringue sounds yum . Bookmarking this one:)

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17 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 25, 2012

I do something similar and dipped in chocolate and I love the flavour and texture! They look like little clouds :)

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18 Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin April 25, 2012

Your meringues look so pretty. And I love the addition of chocolate chips – so perfect! :)

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19 Julia {The Roasted Root} April 25, 2012

I live in Tahoe and I LOVE Carmel! We used to go there all the time for family vacation, and I make it a point to go there once a year or so. Beautiful little town (so is Monterey). Your meringues definitely remind me of gorgeous seashells. What a tasty and pretty recipe!

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20 Nami | Just One Cookbook April 26, 2012

I did not know that you grew up in Monterey! My kids love going there for beach and aquarium, and my husband and I enjoy dining in Carmel/Pacific Grove area. So many good restaurants!!! I could either retire there or Napa… :-) Anyway, your meringues look so good – I love the vanilla and chocolate chip in it. Since I don’t bake much the only meringues I’ve tried are plain kinds. I love yours!

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21 Karen (Back Road Journal) April 26, 2012

The meringues sound like they would be mouthfuls of sweet and chocolatey clouds. My grandmother used make meringues and said how hard they were to make because of the humid weather in Texas.

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22 Jennifer (Delicieux) April 26, 2012

What a wonderful tradition. I love how food can bring back memories from the past. And I love your meringues, they look like beautiful little clouds.

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23 Charles April 26, 2012

Love meringues – they’re like crackly clouds of whipped cream – I find the transformation of egg whites from goopy liquid to bright white foam incredible too. These looks absolutely amazing – I’ve only tried making “plain” meringues before… never done exciting things with them like this… looks wonderful!

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24 Liren April 27, 2012

Laura, I still keep thinking about how lucky you were to grow up in such a beautiful corner of our world. Such a special place! These meringues are just heavenly – and beautifully photographed.

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25 Mercedes April 27, 2012

Anything meringue-based freaks me out a bit just because I have more than one failed attempt at making macarons! So you have impressed me very much with your perfect meringues!

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26 Magic of Spice April 29, 2012

Your meringues are simply beautiful! Such a delicate delight :)

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