I think I might have found my new favorite cookie and it’s sending me into a culinary identity crisis. Ever since I made my first pavlova a few weeks ago, I’ve been obsessed with its consistency: a delicately crunchy exterior balanced by a soft, pillowy, slightly-sticky interior. These cookies are reminiscent of that texture, but coupled with an irresistibly rich, chocolatey flavor. So what’s the problem? They contain no butter, no flour, and there is only moderate amount of sugar… but I LOVE them. They don’t TASTE like diet cookies, and I’m not saying they’re exactly good for you, but they’re certainly less fattening than your typical (delicious) chocolate chip variety. While I try follow a balanced and healthy diet, I’m not a fan of low-fat or “light” recipes. I have always been of the “if-you’re-going-to-make-dessert-then-make-a-REAL-dessert” school of thought, which typically means butter. Lots of butter. So, naturally, these cookies came as quite a shock. There is, however, a built-in solution to this low-calorie conundrum: these cookies are so addictive that it is impossible to eat less than three in one sitting. I dare you to try.
Chocolate Meringue Cookies
- 2 oz (60 g) bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup (3 oz / 85 g) bittersweet chocolate chips (or just cut up a chocolate bar into little pieces)
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. Melt the 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave. Cool chocolate to lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Whisk 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in small bowl and set aside.
Using electric mixer, beat room-temperature egg whites and salt in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 cup sugar in 4 additions, beating just to blend after each addition. Continue to beat until meringue is thick and glossy like marshmallow creme, about 2 minutes longer. Beat in cocoa mixture, then sprinkle with the vinegar and fold to combine. Fold in melted chocolate, then 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake cookies 7 minutes. Reverse sheets and bake until dry-looking and cracked, about 6 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.