Anyone remember the 90s with its no-fat health craze? Like any normal teenage girl, I was totally body-conscious and to keep myself in shape, I did 1 million crunches along with the girls from Abs (and Buns!) of Steel. (Without the legwarmers and leotards, of course.) Being a sugar addict, I consumed 5 billion Snackwells cookies and ate fat-free pretzels by the bag. Because they had no fat, so they wouldn’t make me fat. The paleo/gluten-free/whole food 2000s are laughing at me. But during the no-fat craze I discovered meringue cookies, which are still a thing of beauty. This week I tried out a chocolate almond meringue cookies recipe that isn’t pretending to be a health food, but also isn’t horrible if you want a sweet snack.
Light and airy with a bit of a crunch, these chocolate almond meringue cookies are easy to make and fabulously tasty. Just beware: because of the lightness of the meringue, you may not realize you’ve eaten the whole batch until you’ve eaten the whole batch.
If you’ve made meringue, you know that it’s temperamental and must be handled carefully. I actually made these cookies with a whisk. Don’t believe me? It did take quite a bit of time to get the stiff peaks to form, but the point is that you can actually do this without and electric mixer or beaters. The Quick Whisk (this is an Amazon affiliate link) makes this possible without breaking your arm. Holla! (After having the whisk for several months, it still works but some of the spindles broke off. The company said they would send a new one, but never did. Just FYI! I do still like it for making easy foamy morning coffee.) Here are a few tips when working with meringue:
-Separate the egg yolk and egg whites, then let the whites warm up to room temperature.
-Don’t over-fold when adding ingredients! (in this recipe, that’s the cocoa)
-When you feel like you are ready to give up, don’t. Those glossy, stiff peaks are just around the corner!
The key is patience and perseverance. The peaks in the photo above could even be a little stiffer. At their most ready, they don’t fold over at the tip. Meringue is a serious business, people. But it’s not scary! Just dive in and give these a try. They will go fast, believe me.
- 3 egg whites, room temp
- 1/8 tsp cream tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp almond
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 T unsweetened cocoa
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and set aside a cookie sheet.
- Using an electric mixer or a Quick Whisk, beat the egg whites in medium mixing bowl. When they start to get foamy, add the cream of tartar and the extracts. Continue beating until you are getting soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue mixing until the mixture forms stiff peaks and looks glossy. Fold in the cocoa powder a little at a time. If your powder is lumpy, you might want to sift it in or use your hands to break up the lumps and sprinkle it in so you don't overfold.
- Drop by the spoonful onto your cookie sheet and bake 30-35 minutes until the outside has darkened and has a lightly crunchy shell. If you want the inside a little softer, bake 25-30 minutes. For a full crunch in and out, go 35.
- If these aren't sweet enough, consider adding 2/3 cup of sugar and mini chocolate chips.
- To play with your flavors, use mint instead of almond for a mint chocolate meringue cookie.
I love the light crunch of these chocolate almond meringue cookies! You know if you’ve tried my sugar cookies that almond extract can go a long way in terms of taste. Next time I think I’ll add mini chocolate chips. Regular sized chips might be a bit to heavy and clunky to go with these dainty cookies. For me, you can’t go wrong with the nuttiness of almond and the richness of chocolate. These are fabulous! And, other than the meringue-making part, very simple.