I was afraid this was going to turn into a Recipe Mishap but luckily, the third time really can be the charm.
The mint almost spoiled these cookies which is a little nerve-wracking when one of your favorite flavor combos is mint and chocolate. Hello Mini Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches and Thin Mint Doughnuts!
I think peppermint extract does something to egg whites when you try to whip them because with the first two tries, the egg whites refused to get to the soft peak stage. At first I thought that a bit of egg yolk had gotten in the bowl so I tried again after carefully separating the eggs. But, the same thing happened the second time around which was really, really puzzling.
Finally, for science's sake, I tried a third time without including peppermint extract or salt and voilà they whipped into shape just like they would for this pie.
Phew. Disaster avoided.
This recipe is scary easy so it was a bit frustrating that something so simple could go so wrong. Other thoughts running in my head were, "Omg, Popo's precious stand mixer is dying" and "Wow, I should have known not to be cheap and get Lucerne eggs (my family hasn't had the greatest luck with Lucerne dairy products)" and "I'm going to have no treats for Valentine's Day! (This was on the night of Feb. 13)".
It's stressful to relive it in my mind.
But, it's all good because I figured it out and these cookies if you even call them that were enjoyed by all who ate them. Except Gus, who may have sneaked a dropped chocolate chip. Whoops. Sorry, Kristen.
This recipe is on the same printout as these beloved lemon squares. Kristen and I always defaulted to the lemon squares but one day we were intrigued enough to try them. I was instantly hooked on their chewy softness. I'm not a fan of chalk-hard and dense meringue cookies and I think it is because I was spoiled with these.
These are like clouds. Clouds with chocolate. Fluffy clouds that are chewy and melt in your mouth.
And I love clouds and mint and chocolate so it seems fitting that I would combine them all in these cookies.
It seems almost like cheating to call them cookies but they are. And the easiest and lightest cookies you'll find.
Just be sure to fold in the mint extract at the end.
And if you feel inclined, you can add cocoa powder in there as well.
That's what I did with the "failed" first two batches of egg whites. But perseverance, people, because they eventually sort of did whip. Not in the desired stiff peak fashion that I wanted but enough to hold shape and still yield an interesting chewy, melt-in-your-mouth cookie that was reminiscent of a giant Junior Mint.
And you have permission to eat these quickly because they don't get better as time goes by.
Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
Yields: about 24 cookies
- 2 egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup sugar
- 3½ tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract (not spearmint)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300ºF.
Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and cocoa powder if using, beating until peaks are stiff. Gently fold in peppermint extract and chocolate pieces.
On a lined cookie sheet (the cookies stick less on parchment paper vs. a non-stick baking sheet), drop meringue mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls. Bake for about 25 minutes or until stiff/solid.
Cookies keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.