I didn’t think I liked meringue cookies until I tried these. Usually they are far too sweet and crunchy for my tastes. However, these meringues are swirled with salty peanut butter and studded with dark chocolate chips which balances out the sweetness of the meringue cookie very well. They remind me of one of my favorite flavor combos of marshmallow, chocolate and peanut butter.
The really great thing about meringues is that they can be made with any amount of egg whites you have using a simple formula of 1 part egg white to 2 parts sugar and 1/2 tsp. of cream of tarter per cup of egg white. I came across this formula recently in Alice Medrich’s Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts just when I had the whites from 5 eggs left over from a few other recipes. I’m not fond of egg white omelets, so I decided to try this formulaic method of making meringue cookies.
Since I knew already that I didn’t love plain meringues, I added more flavor by stirring in vanilla and folding salted crunchy peanut butter and mini chocolate chips into the beaten egg whites. The egg white mixture is dropped by the spoonful onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and baked at a low temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. The peanut butter doesn’t fully mix into the egg white so the finished cookie has chunks of soft peanut butter surrounded by the crispy shell of the meringue and the rich chocolate pieces. I’m a meringue convert!
- ½ Cup egg whites at room temperature
- 1 Cup superfine sugar (see notes)
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ Cup crunchy or cream peanut butter well-stirred, at room temperature
- ½ Cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 225F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixer on medium until the egg mixture is foamy and white and the beaters begin to leave a trail in the egg whites. Slowly stream the sugar into the whites with the mixer running. Once the sugar is fully added, mix on high until the egg whites have stiff peaks. Mix in 1 tsp of vanilla extract just until incorporated.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and drop the peanut butter gently over the top of the egg whites by small spoonfuls. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Gently fold the peanut butter and chocolate chips into the egg whites being careful to fold gently so the egg whites don't deflate much.
- Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, drop the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake for 1½ - 2 hours until the tops are crispy and dry. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to continue to dry until the oven cools off completely.