Meringues are delicious and Marion’s, although you may not know her, are top-notch. Marion is a dear family friend. I have known Marion a very long time–since I was eleven, to be exact–and I absolutely adore her.
My mother-in-law first met Marion in 1975 through their sons, who entered kindergarten together at The Calhoun School, where I went to middle school and high school. The boys became great friends, as did the moms. To quote my mother-in-law, “Marion was a great cook and baker. I use the past tense because she gave it up years ago (as most of us did…) except for a few dessert specialties like the meringues (great for Passover), brownies (perfect anytime) and a frozen out-of-this world ice cream concoction with warm chocolate sauce that is reserved for very, very special occasions”.
This is Marion’s recipe for chocolate chip meringues, which she is allowing me to share. There is nothing fancy about the ingredients, but these meringues are one of my very favorite things. I have not had a meringue made by Marion in 10 years since I left New York and moved to California with my family, but I remember them vividly and compare them to every single meringue I have had since. Hers are undoubtedly the best.
A meringue, pronounced “ma-RANG,” is a type of dessert made from whipped egg whites, sugar and occasionally with an acidic ingredient such as cream of tartar or citrus. They are often associated with French, Swiss and Italian cuisines. The key to making a good meringue is obtaining stiff (or firm) peaks when whipping the egg whites. Working with egg whites (as is the case with these cookies) is an important and sometimes tricky technique, so below I have added a bit about whipping egg whites and the various stages you see when working with them.
So, if you are a meringue lover, need something to bring to a Passover seder in the Spring, or just want a good recipe to try, I suggest you try these. I head back to New York for Thanksgiving, fingers crossed I will see Marion and have one of her famous meringues again than.
Chocolate Chip Meringues
- 4 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 2/3 cups superfine sugar
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, such as a KitchenAid fitted with a whisk attachment, add the eggs and beat on medium-high speed until foamy.
- Step 3 Add a pinch of salt and the cream of tartar and continue to beat until they hold soft peaks.
- Step 4 With the mixer running, very slowly add the sugar until the mixture holds very stiff (or firm) peaks. It should be smooth and glossy (as seen in the photo above).
- Step 5 Turn the mixer off and carefully fold in the chocolate chips.
- Step 6 Place a little bit of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper to prevent it from sliding.
- Step 7 Using a teaspoon, spoon out the meringue onto the prepared baking sheets in dollops that are approximately 1-inch in diameter. Spoon about 18 meringues per baking sheet, being careful not to overcrowd.
- Step 8 Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour, or until the meringues are firm to the touch and can be lifted without sticking. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through the cooking process so the meringues cook evenly. Meringues should be stored in an airtight plastic container separated by parchment paper