vanilla-chocolate chip meringues


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

  1. 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! 🙂

  2. 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!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!)

  5. 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!

  6. 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;-)

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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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