These little meringue cookies are lighter than air but packed with mint flavor and kicked up with chocolate chips for extra decadence. It will take great restraint not to eat them like popcorn! Buy these at the store and pay a fortune. Make them at home for pennies. Good for gluten-free and low-fat diets. If you omit the chocolate chips, they are fat-free.
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup superfine granulated sugar (see Note)
- 1/2 tsp mint extract (use peppermint extract for stronger flavor)
- 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 drops green food coloring (optional - see Notes)
Chill mixing bowl and beaters for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 250 F. Line with or parchment paper.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time until all sugar is incorporated and melted into the meringue. The meringue should be shiny and form stiff peaks.
Fold in mint or peppermint extract, miniature chocolate chips, and optional food coloring.
Drop by scant teaspoonfuls (or use a pastry bag) onto prepared cookie sheets, placing cookies about 1 inch apart. (You want these bite-sized to pop the whole cookie into your mouth. Larger ones are fine but make a crumbly mess when you bite into them.)
Bake about 1 hour until stiff and dry. Turn off oven, but leave meringue cookies in the oven until cool to further dry out another 2 hours.
Store in an airtight container.
Yield: about 5 dozen meringue cookies, depending on size
Note: If you cannot find superfine granulated sugar, measure 1 cup plus 1 tsp of granulated table sugar in a small and process about 2 minutes. Do not use confectioners' sugar. It contains cornstarch. The makes them look store-bought but may be omitted. Don't be alarmed if the batter looks too bright. The color fades as the cookies bake.
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