moms-chocolate-chip-meringues Recipes

mom’s chocolate chip meringues

It only took us over a year, but Alex and I finally had dinner at Tia Pol, a closet-sized gem of a tapas restaurant on 10th Avenue on Saturday night. We live so close, it’s embarrassing that we hadn’t eaten there yet, but the thing with the proximity is that every time we’ve popped our heads in, taken note of the mob of people crushed against the entryway and the “at least an hour and a half” wait, we’ve rationalized that we’ll go another time — later. Well, six months had passed since our last “later,” when on Saturday, so we decided arriving at the criminally early hour of 6 p.m. would outsmart the crowds. The laugh was still on us but the 45 minutes were well worth the wait, the tight space not claustrophobic but cozy on a freezing night as we snugged into a row of coats while drinking our first then second (mon dieu!) glass of their delicious sangria. At the bar, we couldn’t resist trying one of almost everything — marcona almonds, potatoes with aioli and hot paprika, ham-wrapped artichoke hearts with manchego cheese, deep-fried spicy chickpeas and thick, fork-tender white asparagus stalks again with that blessed aioli.

By last night, it had been a whole two days since our last dose of aioli and we needed a fix. Alex grabbed some white asparagus, red potatoes and salad greens on his way home and I began mincing garlic for the sauce. Oh, how easy dinner will be, I thought… And now you see where this is going. The first aioli started out splendidly, but at some point near the end, when you start drizzling the olive oil more confidently, it split and if there’s one thing that’s impossible to fix, it’s a broken mayonnaise. Frustrated as hell, I didn’t want to associate mayonnaise-making with failure and unhappiness, and forced myself to make another, this time in the food processor. I’ve seen Emeril make his in there often (say whatever you want about the man; he always makes his mayo from scratch), and hey, isn’t that what the little drip-spout is for? This batch not only didn’t break, it didn’t come together at all. Four egg yolks, two CUPS of good olive oil, twelve cloves of garlic and any remaining joy I’d had toward cooking that night went right in the trash. I was ready to write the evening off completely — never happened, nobody needs to know, let’s not dwell on these failures, okay? — but I still had those four egg whites and I got clingy, unable to part with another ingredient.

mom's chocolate chip meringues

Growing up, we only did one thing and one thing only with leftover egg whites: we made mom’s chocolate chip meringue cookies. They’re absurdly easy to make, have a wonderfully high chip-to-cookie ratio and so few ingredients, you can count them on one hand and one toe. They look deceivingly plush; it’s only when you reach for them that you realize that they’re lighter than air and if you gently tap your nail against their exterior, it sounds like a ping-pong ball. They taste like marshmallows when just out of the oven but the next day, they actually dissolve in your mouth, leaving you with little bits of nuts and chocolate chips to ponder. Really, I dare you not to love them, to make them once and not immediately tuck them into your permanent repertoire, or to ever be able to throw away an unused egg white again.

Frankly, if you’re looking for a little “oh, you shouldn’t have!” for your office, honey or office honey on Wednesday, I can’t imagine a more impressive reward for you five minutes of cooking labor. They’re light and crisp enough that you shouldn’t feel too weighted to do anything besides take a nap after dessert. If you’re still searching for that romantic homemade dinner or dessert, and meringues are not your bag, here are a few more things I can’t get enough of:

However, if you’re like me and nothing screams romance like a meal that doesn’t make you feel like Pudgy the Whale when you’re done, some lighter notes:

When it comes to dessert, I wouldn’t know where to start, but rest assured, there are plenty of chocolate and non-chocolate edibles in the Recipe Index.

Mom’s Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup regular or superfine sugar (I use a bit less — 1/2 cup — they’re plenty sweet)
6 ounces chocolate chips, miniature chips or finely diced semi or bittersweet chocolate
1/4 chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted first is even tastier

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla, and beat mixture again until it holds soft peaks. Add the sugar, gradually, beating the batter until it is stiff. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes. Undersides of cookies should be golden or lightly tanned.

Note: There are two approaches to baking meringues. This shorter cooking time at a higher temperature yields a cookie with a crackly, crumbly exterior and an almost hollow center. A more traditional approach is a longer baking time, 200 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours. Take the longer-baked version out when they are slightly golden and firm to the touch. They will be more soft and fluffy, like miniature pavlovas.

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150 comments on mom’s chocolate chip meringues

  1. I don’t know how I get to early post twice in a row but HURRAH! Also, Deb, when did you turn psychic? God, I love it when you post a recipe I need. I’m making a mushroom risotto tonight for dinner. It’s a pseudo anniversary dinner because he’s taking me out tomorrow. :)

    Now onto to the topic at hand. I love meringues but have NEVER ventured to make them. I thought that they were too difficult to make. People would look at me after a single bite and distrust my cooking again. You’ve alleviated my fears and I have added this recipe to my ever growing list. Merci, Madame Deb!

  2. It hurts me to read your site when I’m at work and I’m so far from my lovely kitchen. I’m already scheming of when I could work some of your recipes into this week’s menu (next week is far too far way!).

  3. carla

    I think february is fop month for me too– everything that is usually so easy has morphed into a major kitchen $%#-up this month. I blame the stars and and am looking forward to march. Until then, I am sticking to pasta.

  4. tammy

    you should try ina’s aioli with fingerling potatoes – yummy – nothing better than a night out with the “h” at a tapas bar with a tasty beverage. happy hearts day to you and alex!

  5. Cory

    Meringues are some of my all-time favorite cookies. I used Emily Luchetti’s chocolate chunk meringue recipe from the first Stars dessert book.

  6. Abbey

    Don’t tell me you threw out that “ruined” mayonnaise attempt?! There’s an easy way to resuscitate a failed, goopy mayonnaise – start a new batch with a new fresh egg yolk and add your separated first batch of mayo into the new batch in spoonfuls. Alton Brown did it on Good Eats once, I believe. Here’s a post about it from

  7. Chelsea

    There’s a wonderful choc chip meringue cookie recipe in a baking miniatures cookbook I have…and they put the choc chip meringue ON TOP of shortbread cookies!!

    Try it!! :) Yum!

  8. LyB

    Lovely meringues! I wouldn’t have thought about nuts in a meringue, what a great idea!

    About the aioli… I’ve never made it but I guess if it is like mayo this trick might work. I always make mayo with my immersion blender in a high narrow container. And I don’t even separate the eggs; yolks, whites, oil, everything goes in at once, drop the blender in and whiz away. It’s never failed me yet! Good luck with your next try!

  9. So sorry about your failed mayonnaise. I learned a trick in France last summer at a friend’s mother’s house in the Jura — make it in a pint glass using an immersion blender.

  10. deb

    Jenifer from Houston — Thank you! I hope your risotto was wonderful.

    Lydia — So easy, it’s criminal. Thank you.

    carla — I am seriously considering returning to pasta and pasta alone, too, but then I try to remind myself that if I am going to experiment more, I am going to have more mistakes, right? Finally, I was so tired, hungover and cranky when I made the mayo, it was probably destined for failure. I’ve made mayo before with perfect success, I just wasn’t as careful as I should have been. Ah well.

    Tammy — That sounds wonderful! The pairing with potatoes, vegetables and pretty much anything is fantastic.

    Maria — I had NO idea! But check this out: the menu for the restaurant led me astray! They spell it as I did. Still, I appreciate you setting it straight. I had spelling dishes wrong.

    Cory — I want to try those! Do you love that cookbook? I hear such good things about it, but with such a small space in our apartment, I need to choose my cookbooks VERY wisely.

    Abbey — Gah! I had no idea. I only wish I had done some research, as opposed to cursing, fuming and giving up. What a helpful entry, so much more information than the Joy of Cooking recipe I’d used. I will never throw away a mayo failure again.

    Chelsea — Oh that sounds ingenious. And since I discussed shortbread last time, I am now wondering how green tea meringues would taste. Hm…

    LyB — I tend to chop the nuts very, very small mostly because they are such a Great Divider. I love the flavor but guess that few realized they were actually in there. Foiled again! A blender, eh? I like the sound of that.

    Mary — Thanks for the immersion blender trick. When I made mayo successfully last year, I used the Husband trick, having him drizzle while I beat it with a hand-mixer. This time, I went it alone, something that I have no doubt would have been more successful with the immersion blender, or at least more patience. Note to self: don’t make mayo when tired and cranky.

  11. I am so glad to see this recipe. I make an old recipe of my mother-in law’s she used to call ice cream cookies that uses egg yolks and so I always have whites left over. Your version of meringues look delectable and now I will have to throw away perfectly good yolks (or try to make mayonnaise) so that I can try this!

    Deborah Dowd

  12. I love love love your blog, Deb. You really seem like a great cook and I keep vowing to try a lot of your recipes but somehow never get around to it…

    I am a vegetarian and I am so thrilled that so many of your recipes are veggie. I have a tiny request, to that end. Is it possible for you to make a new category called vegetarian and have all your veggie recipes show up under that? I realize this is probably a time consuming project, but if ever you feel like you have a lot of free time on your hands…

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Alex.

  13. I love love love your blog, Deb. You really seem like a great cook and I keep vowing to try a lot of your recipes but somehow never get around to it…

    I am a vegetarian and I am so thrilled that so many of your recipes are veggie. I have a tiny request, to that end. Is it possible for you to make a new category called vegetarian and have all your veggie recipes show up under that? I realize this is probably a time consuming project, but if ever you feel like you have a lot of free time on your hands…

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Alex.

  14. Ann

    Great post – for some reason it’s comforting to know that everyone has fops from time to time. Makes it easier to accept my own failures. :)

    Two unrelated questions:
    I often find myself with recipes that use egg whites, leaving me with the yolks only. In addition to aioli, are there other great ways to use up egg yolks? (Especially since there’s a 10-egg-white angel food cake in my weekend future?)

    also, that Tomato Sausage Risotto looks perfect — do you think it would double easily? And do the leftovers hold up?


  15. i’m sorry to see you had such a stressful day in the kitchen but selfishly glad so you posted this recipe!!! i had no idea you were in the city — don’t ask me how i neglected to realize this.

    thanks for the review on the tapas spot — i have yet to go. I have a similar relationship with Chickalicious on 10th and 2nd Ave– i live so close, walk by every time saying i should go in and have yet to make it, but for me it’s been a year. i’m moving soon too… i need to get on that!

  16. As a fellow food lover and catalanophile, I had to add my two cents about the word aioli: the Catalans write it “allioli,” which literally means, garlic (all) and (i) oil (oli). The classic Catalan version is made without eggs, thus it literally IS just garlic and oil. That version is notoriously hard to pull off, though. I’ve never been able to do it without an added yolk.

    I’m making tiramisu for V-day and now I know what I can do with the leftover egg whites!

  17. These are similar to the meringues I make every year for Passover…they are always a huge hit at the seders.

    And um, if there’s any left, bring them tomorrow! Please!

  18. Cris

    Ann – how about some bread pudding with all those egg yolks? Look for the “Bread and Butter Pudding” recipe on Epicurious. Soooooo good.

    Deb – I love cooking, but making aioli has always seemed a step too far. Since the restaurant is so close I would have had hubby pick up their aioli on the way home. But that is the kind of lazy cook that I am.

  19. rachel

    i have a question about the meringue recipe – the instructions say to add salt with the cream of tartar, but salt isn’t listed on the ingredients list. how much salt do i add? thank you!

  20. rachel

    OH and i somehow forgot to mention how much i love your blog! inspirational in all kinds of ways, from delicious photos to sumptuous recipes. thank you!

  21. Jan

    Aioli is Italian, if my Nana was right…I am new to your website, but adore it..Thank-you for all the scrumptious ideas and Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

  22. Monica

    Hi Deb, I’m really excited about trying these meringues. I’m a bit of a baking newbie, and I had a couple of questions about the recipe. How much salt should I use? And when do I add the vanilla? Thanks!

  23. courtney

    I also vote that it is fop month. I made some balsamic chicken pasta. Sauce tasted perfect, chicken was perfectly done. Then the pasta wouldn’t get done so the chicken got tough. Then when I mixed the pasta in you couldn’t taste the sauce. It was awful. Then I tried my hand at a honey wheat bread, and that just didn’t work either. I feel a little better hearing I am not the only one.

  24. Like another poster above, I always read here during my work day and am instantly starving and desperate for good food, no matter what. ARGH!

    I second the immersion blender suggestion for mayo. Can’t go wrong.

    Finally, I have leftover egg whites at least once a week lately because I’ve been making fat noodles for chix noodle soup and the recipe just uses yolks. Cchip meringues, here we come! Great-looking recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

    Finally finally, now that I can make noodles, I am determined to master pasta and will have to get myself a pasta roller thingy. I want lasange with many, many thin pasta layers!

  25. Lizzi

    We also always make meringues for Passover and every year, we do it at the 11th hour. And because it’s the 11th hour and there are about 20 people coming the following day, we follow this easy trick: preheat your oven to 350. Make your meringues (I do it sans tartar and nuts) and put them on your baking sheet. Put them in the oven. After 5 minutes, turn off the oven. Go to bed after an exhausted day of cooking. Wake up the next morning and remove meringues. Voila!

  26. Carol in VT

    I used 1/8 tsp of salt but might cut that back a tad. I ground milk choc chips and sliced almonds for the middle.

    My V-Day dinner (cooked for 2 adults & 3 kids):

    SAMPLER STYLE (inspired by Deb’s recent tapas visit)

    Salad of mixed greens, pear, toasted almonds
    Coconut shrimp (needed use for a fresh coconut)
    Thai green curry pork with fresh coconut water (see above)
    Steamed asparagus with sesame seeds and shrimp-infused omelette
    Old fashioned fried ribeye steak (sake marinade, fried in walnut oil..mmm)
    Gnocchi with gorganzola cream sauce
    Fried coconut paste (I made this up and it worked quite well)
    Chocolate chip meringues from Deb
    Valentines chocolates

    4 feet of snow in VT! Woot woot!

  27. Amber

    I made the cauliflower soup last night, and it was delicious. (I added some fresh thyme, as I’ve been on a bit of a thyme kick recently.)

    I also made the cookies, using a 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and about 3/4 cup very finely chopped pecans. Mine didn’t puff up like yours did, and I’m wondering whether it’s because I was overzealous with the nuts. (I wanted a strong pecan taste, because I had these Mexican wedding cookies once that were similar to these, and they were very pecan-y.) Mine tasted incredible, and the texture was fine, but I wanted that little bit of extra puff. Any thoughts?

  28. These look so perfectly amazing. When I saw the picture I thought they were scones!! I do like meringue cookies for their lightness, though sometimes they are a bit too eggy for my taste. This sounds fantastic – having the chocolate chips throughout to melt in your mouth. Yum!!

  29. I always hate to throw away egg whites after I’ve gone to the trouble of separating them from their yolks. One of the favorite things amongst my co-workers are my coconut macaroons. For some reason, this recipe turns out more like meringues than like those nice, solid macaroons, so you get a bit of that light, airy quality: coconut macaroons.

  30. Reese

    So, after being dissapointed with my own efforts to make the pumpkin pie cheesecake back at Thanksgiving, I haven’t had the nerve to try another recipe… BUT, I broke when I saw these cookies and made them last night. Oh! My! Bagaw! So easy! So fast! So delicious! Thank you!!!

  31. The book I learned to bake bread from was Bernard Clayton’s The Complete Book of Breads, which my mother had inherited from my grandfather’s collection when he had to downsize to an assisted living community. It has nice, precise directions, and the recipes make wonderful bread! One summer I baked bread for my family out of this book. At the beginning of the summer I was baking perhaps three loaves a week (I have a large family) and making croutons with the stale bits. At the end I was baking 5-8 loaves a week, and never had any leftovers to make croutons with! The Sourdough Anadama bread is a particular favorite.

  32. Rebecca

    Amber, meringue doesn’t puff up (at least in my pavlova-making experience it doesn’t). It just stays in the shape that you drop it on the baking sheet. So if you want more rounded cookies, just “sculpt” them that way before baking!

    BTW Deb, I also have been reading for a while, but have never posted. I love your blog!

  33. Amber

    Thanks, Rebecca! I discovered that actually, the reason mine got flat was that I got lazy and put the pecans in the food processor, which chopped them too fine, so that they served more like flour than tiny bites of pecan deliciousness, and thus weighed down my meringue. So, I made them again over the long weekend, chopping by hand, and voila, much fluffier meringues!

    Also, to anyone who was asking about the salt and vanilla. I used just a pinch of salt, and I beat the vanilla in for just a minute after all the sugar had been added, and they turned out great. I also had to bake mine for more like 35 minutes, but that may be because I made the cookie fairly large.

  34. I just made these last night, after picking up a half dozen organic free range eggs on the walk home…and they were delicious. I used a pinch of salt and added the Vanilla after the sugar was beaten in. I also used half chocolate chips and half white chocolate. Luckily company came over or else I might have eaten them all by myself-I had 6 as it is! Easy to make and eat:)

  35. Jess


    I just discovered your site and am….elated! I love baking for my roomates and it just makes everyone so happy, I told them all they would weight 20 pounds more of my baking by the end of this semester. I’m so happy I found this recipe! A bakery in the town i used to live in used to have these cookies and I haven’t seen them anywhere else! Thanks for all the great recipes on this site, can’t wait to try them!!

  36. I just saw this, and wanted to add to what Abbey said: if mayonnaise curdles on me I just put an egg yolk straight into the curdled mayo and whisk it like mad. It brings it back together without having to start a new batch – especially if you’ve only just started drizzling. The first time I ever made mayonnaise by hand I added two egg yolks because I started the drizzling too early – twice. It was fine in the end.

    Also, I have read numerous so-called easy blender recipes for mayonnaise, including one by the usually infallible Delia Smith (English cookery goddess) and despite my almost obsessive compulsion to follow a recipe as is the first time I make it, I have never been able to make anything even vaguely approaching mayonnaise in a blender or a processor. I think it’s a myth.

  37. V

    Amber, Merangue doesn’t puff up if the oven is opened frequently while baking or if the day is too humid. Since it is so fluffy the air current created from the diference in temperature when u open the oven weighs them down.

    Here in the Dominican Republic we add lemmon zest to merengues so that it tastes less eggy.

  38. Michele H.

    I’m forwarding this recipe to my mom. I’ve asked her five million times about these and she’s never had any idea what I was talking about. Apparently, I made up most of my childhood memories. I grew up partly in Kansas City, where most of my friends were Jewish. I absorbed more than I knew…here are the cookies from long ago, I make a mean kugle, and mom told me just last night about making matzo ball soup for Passover. You go ask the nice Lutheran lady why…I’m just confused, as usual.

    Michele H.

  39. curio

    Deb, thanks so much for this recipe! I am one of those people who simply can’t cook… my mother never allowed me in the kitchen :) But I tried these cookies and it was all so easy – I skipped the nuts and the cream of tartar, and they still turned out so delicious.

    shio: Where the recipe says “salt” I believe that should actually say “vanilla”.

  40. rhiannon

    To add another idea as to the cooking time of meringues…

    growing up we made (and still make) meringues every christmas. We preheat our oven to 350, put the meringues in, and turn the oven off. Then we go to bed. I put a note on the oven to NOT open it until morning.

    This is a great way to do the meringues after a day of cooking… you just use the residual heat from whatever you made before.

  41. mister worms

    MMMM, these are good! And so easy. They’re kind of choc. chip cookie-like with the walnuts in there but light and crispy. I think I’ll be making these again. Now what to do with the left over yolks?

  42. Bobbie Czajka

    This is the second recipe where I’ve seen superfine sugar called for. Can you please tell me what ‘superfine’ sugar is and where I go about purchasing some?

  43. deb

    Superfine sugar is a finer grind of sugar. I don’t know where you live but in the US Domino and many other sugar brands sell it. You can also lightly grind your regular sugar in a blender or food processor for a second or two — not longer, you don’t want powder.

  44. Nina

    I found two errors in a recipe for Chocolate Chip Meringues.
    I emailed about the first – no amount given for salt. The recipe was corrected a couple days later.
    Tried to make this a second time and found no direction for when to add the vanilla.
    Maybe experienced cooks know this stuff but the editing of this recipe was really sloppy. I left out the vanilla and they came out ok.

    Try another website that may be more accurate!

  45. Allan

    Wll Nina I believe she is in fact human and mistakes can happen, this are just cookies, who you where cooking for anyway? The queen of england? =/

  46. susannah

    oh the horror, an editing mistake….

    this site is a fantastic resource and inspiration, everything i have made has met with rave reviews. but then again, i’m not cooking for the queen of england like Nina.

  47. Andy

    Thank god! I can’t tell you how irritated I get every time I open a cookbook to the inevitable “There’s no reason to buy mayonnaise! look how easy it is to make at home!” page. oh how frustrating it is when you pour in that last drop of oil and its still just a sad yellow mess. It’s nice to know at least one deeply talented home cook has had problems with this as well.

    The cookies are delicious too– marshmallowy and sticky-but-not-too-much-so to your teeth.

  48. Lenore

    At least now there’s no reason to buy meringues again, at least so long as my stand mixer exists. I’m baking parve (dairy and meat free) treats for a friend’s (belated) 4th of July picnic tomorrow and decided to make a stab at these. I even found parve chocolate mini-chunks at Whole Foods.

    I completely forgot the vanilla in the first batch and made huge meringues out of the stiff batter. I bake at reduced temps here at altitude, so it took about 45 minutes, but oh my they’re good. Now I’ve got another batch of little cookies, with vanilla this time, in the oven.

    I’m out of chips, so tomorrow morning I’ll get back to work and add a few tablespoons of cocoa to a third batch. I’m defrosting some old frozen egg whites and will finally see how well they kept!

    The hardest thing will be figuring out how to transport them; I don’t have a container big enough, and I don’t want them to crack into bits in a bag.

  49. Sara in SF

    Absolutely LOVED them! This was my first time trying meringues and I had no idea I would love them as much as I do. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than store bought and super super easy.

    One piece of advice…if you only have one cookie sheet (like me – pathetic, I know!), whip up your “batter” in 2 batches. During the 25 minutes while the first batch was baking, the batter lost its peaks. (I also live in San Francisco where it’s always foggy…even in August.) The second batch still tasted great, but lacked the visual appeal of the first batch. (On second thoughts, maybe I should just go buy a second cookie sheet.)

    Thanks again – I know I will make these for the rest of my life, honestly. Now I must try to fight the sugar high and get some sleep.

  50. Chesire

    Thank you for your site!
    I love your recipes and I use them all the time. I think I’m going to make these yummy cookies for my church potluck this sunday. Thank you, Deb!

  51. Kodi

    Ahhh! I just realized too late that I never added the vanilla! Hmm, I hope they turn out semi-decent at least. When do you add the vanilla anyway? It is not in the instructions.

  52. Paula

    I have a cookie exchange tonight so I made these a couple of nights ago as a test (the hostess is gluten intolerant so I thought it would be a nice touch to honor her). They are soooo YU-MMY! My husband also loved them; on his top 5, he said. Another winner… Gotta go bake!

  53. Amber

    Umm…your mom rocks! I made these last week for a cookie exchange and they were a hit! Not only were they super easy (despite giving the appearance of requiring lot of hard work), but they are delicious! I think I might like them better than chocolate chip cookies. Thanks!

  54. Kristen

    I made a batch of these yesterday for my friend who just had 4 wisdom teeth removed and it was very hard for me and my family not to eat the whole batch! They were delicious. I was surprised how much the taste reminded me of regular chocolate chip cookies even though these are very different and very tasty. I tried piping the first batch using a plastic bag with a wide corner snipped off, but those cookies came out flatter and not as good as the ones I just spooned on. Still delicious though. I’m making another batch today because they are sooo addictive. Thank you for taking away my fears of meringue; I’ve always been put off by the complexity of some recipes or the immense amounts of sugar but these came out great!

  55. Jennie Padilla

    Just made a few batches of these tonight with lovingly results. Folks enjoyed them, I think they’re delicious, and I can’t wait to share them some more! And the preparation was one of the easiest rituals through which I’ve put myself… ever!

  56. Hannah

    Hey Deb,

    I tried this recipe to the T three times, and I failed every time at the same spot! When I pour the sugar in,the mixture gets goopy and becomes batter like instead of getting foamier and forming hard peaks, and it never turns meringue like. I’m using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment. What speed should I be doing it on? What am I doing wrong? Any help or advice?! THanks so much!

  57. Cook on Bainbridge

    Hannah (72) — I think you are adding sugar too early and too much at a time. Make sure you are soft peaks on your way to stiff peaks before you start adding sugar and do it slowly. My mom always had us sprinkle over a spoonful at a time and then whip it on high. Interested in Deb’s thoughts…Also you can freeze egg whites if you don’t have time for making cookies when you have them leftover and thaw and do this recipe later. For valentines I dye them light pink and dip bottoms in chocolate….

    1. C

      The last two times I tried, I had bad luck with meringues, but someone suggested using very fresh whites. Has anyone made meringues with (thawed) frozen whites? Does freezing affect the outcome?

      1. deb

        I haven’t with frozen whites but I have used powdered whites and have trouble getting them as stiff. But shouldn’t frozen whites be closest to the real thing?

  58. Diana

    I grew up with this cookie! In my family, we call them Night Nights because we put them in the oven at full temp for 10 minutes, then turn the oven off before we go to bed. The cookies finish cooking as the oven temp decreases. You pull them out in the morning when you wake up. Easiest cookie you’ll ever make.

  59. Shan

    Deb, there are PERFECT. I made them last weekend for the family, and even after doubling the recipe, they were gone within the day. They quickly became my #1 pregnancy craving this week, and I’m not embarrassed at all to say that I’m about to cook a batch for myself to watch with a movie :-) Thanks!!

  60. Rebecca

    wow. Just made these! Only… forgot my beater had broken, so I suck a beater attachment into a power drill. Worked like a charm! SO YUMMY!

  61. Robyn

    hi deb! i want to make these into mocha chip meringues – can you help me decide how much instant expresso powder to add? i followed the link on your passover desserts post to buttersugarflour’s mocha meringues, but it calls for 3tbsp ground coffee.

  62. Hannah

    Hannah – from another Hannah who just had the same problem:

    1. Make sure the bowl you are using is REALLY clean. Grease drags a good meringue down.

    2. Check humidity – if it’s raining outside or for some reason damper-than-average in your kitchen, that also might be helping your stiff peaks melt into a sloppy pool.

    3. Use room-temperature egg whites.

    It doesn’t seem to affect the meringue too much how fast you whip when, as long as everything is clean and not too cold. A metal bowl does seem to elicit more success as well.

  63. Heather

    These are a favourite when I send them to my husband’s office for staff. This week I made them without chocolate but with 1 cup of toasted sliced almonds and almond extract instead of the vanilla. I liked them even better than chocolate (hard to believe) as the almond flavour seems to balance the meringue more perfectly.

  64. Katie

    My local bakery (which very sadly closed a few years ago due to the poor economy) used to bake these cookies using toasted shredded coconut in place of the nuts. They were a Friday night, after work/school staple for my family and I. I plan on making these today (in 5 minutes, fact!) and I have very high hopes that they will be very similar! Thank you for your amazing recipes (and a special thanks to your mom for this one in particular!)

  65. Katie

    I just finished baking these cookies and found myself bawling and crying on the floor-the cookies were gorgeous and puffy in the oven, but, once I took them out to cool, they flattened into flatbread! Plus the bottom of the cookies stuck to the parchment paper! I found myself picking out the chocolate chips and throwing the rest into the rubbish bin. Can someone please tell me what I did wrong?

  66. Joe

    So I’ve made these cookies four times and each time I’ve had a different result. The first time, I think the egg white was too stiff and they were rather uneven in size, however, their spiky-Matterhorn-ness was rather cool looking and they were still crunchy on the outside and hollow on the inside. The second time they looked similar to the ones you photographed and were gone in about 30 minutes. The third and fourth batches are where the problems lie…They looked similar to the first batch (spiky and awesome) but they keep going from sticky when they come out of the oven, to crunchy, to sticky again a few hours later. I don’t think I’m under cooking them because they look like barely toasted marshmallows when they come out of the oven. Any suggestions?

    1. deb

      The spiky is actually more often how they look. The smoother ones are generally just beaten less, or in this case (the photos), the batter was out for a while and deflated a bit. Getting sticky is common, and generally has more to do with humidity. The more traditional approach to meringues that I mention at the bottom of the recipe has a very long and slow baking time those tend to be less susceptible to stickiness from humidity than the way my mother makes them, with the gooier centers. Hope that helps.

  67. Joe

    You know, now that I think about it, when I made them the second time, I forgot to preheat the oven, so my batter DID sit out for a while :O I think I’ll try leaving it out for a while next time cause those were perfect :3

  68. Abby-Wan Kenobi

    I think I’ll try these this weekend for my niece’s birthday party – I like to mix and match cookies usually, so I’ll probably make some plain, some with chip, some with nuts and some with both.

    This recipe is actually *more* complex than my usual meringue recipe – only two ingredients – egg whites and brown sugar. Just whip and bake, I don’t even bother with the parchment paper (if I let them cool completely they come off a baking sheet pretty painlessly). They are really, really sweet so I usually make them quite small and pair them with coffee.

    I cook them at 200degrees and have given up on timing. I use destructive testing – after about 45 minutes I just pull one out, let it cool and eat it. Repeat every 10-15 minutes until the consistency is right. Otherwise I overcook them every time and they end up dry all the way through.

  69. Jess

    I was looking for an easy cookie recipe I could make with what I had in my pantry and fridge and poked around the recipe index until I found this. It was easy and quick to put together and they came out delicious. I cooked them around 200F and it took about 1 hr and 45 minutes. So easy!

  70. Hi Deb,

    I’m an English grad student, and I still can’t find the words to tell you how much I love Smitten Kitchen. That being said, I was reading the comments (my meringue’s are baking as I type), and feel like a total nerd: I scooped big and only got 9! No wonder they’re taking me such a long time to bake. My bad :o)

  71. Eileen

    I also grew with a Mom who made meringue cookies, but she put peppermint in hers and man-oh-man, I promise you, mint chocolate meringues are a killer combination. Tonight, I had 4 egg whites leftover so I decided to make them both ways — the shorter cooking time of your recipe & the long-cook/low-temp traditional method. I was VERY happy to discover that I like the short-cook cookies the best. They have more flavor & more texture. A crumbly exterior, hollow center & chewy bottom, with a slightly caramelized flavor. YUM! The “traditional” slow-cook meringues looked perfect, I grant you, but they tasted rather bland by comparison. Isn’t it great when the shortcuts actually end up tasting better?!

  72. Pamelamb

    Thank you for your recipe. It reminds me of a wonderful cookie my grandmother made when I was young. However, she didn’t chop up the chocolate or use chocolate chips. What I remember, when pulled fresh from the oven, was an amazingly light, melt in your mouth meringue cookie with a fantastic partially melted chocolate center that oozed perfectly over your tongue. She somehow incorporated chocolate kisses in the mixture. I don’t know if she simply placed them on the cookie sheet 1st & then spooned meringue over them or if they were mixed into the batter & carefully placed on the cookie sheet, one kiss per dollop. Plus, I do remember that humidity definitely negatively effected how they turned out. If you know of how to use the chocolate kisses with this recipe, I’d sure like to know. Thanks again!

  73. I’m so happy your website turned up in my Google search for meringue cookies. This recipe is delicious. It’s one of the few recipes that my boyfriend requests. The first time I made these he walked by the cooling rack and said, “Those look weird.” Then he took a bite. “These are good!” I’m also happy your website turned up because it’s my new obsession. Thanks for posting delicious recipes paired with gorgeous photos. I look forward to seeing your cookbook.

  74. Maya

    Baked these this weekend. Lovely treats. I used WHITES from the store (Egg beaters’ Whites only) – I always do when making a large batch of meringues. I used half the amount of Choc. chips and pecans, and they were still very tasty. They proved quite hardy too: the tea kettle my husband turned on (electric) came to a full boil right next to the mixer containing the nearly stiff meringue. With steam billowing into the mixer bowl, the meringues appeared to shrink 25%, I raised my voice at least 25%, husband kept at a safe distance, while they baked – needing extra time in the oven to get a dry bottom. But then they came out just like Deb’s pictures, and yummy!

  75. Faye

    I know you posted this recipe a while back, but I just came across it today….

    These are my most favorite cookies…in my family and some old church cookbooks they’re called “forgotten cookies”. Because instead of baking them in the oven right then and there….you can turn on the oven to 350 (preheat it while you mix the cookies….or do this after you’ve been doing alot of other oven cooking). Put the pan of cookies in….shut the door….dare everyone in the house to not open the oven. Turn off the oven…and when you wake up in the morning (or come home from work) they’re all done.

    Recipe I usually used is found here:

  76. Darlynne

    My thanks to you and your mom for a leftover egg white recipe that doesn’t involve piping and pastry bags. I don’t know how yours manage to look so perfect and button-like, but at least my haystack clouds are still pretty tasty.

  77. Rachel

    I was completely discouraged when I read David Lebovitz’ macaron recipe. I wanted so bad to eat the cookie but all the hair-pulling methods that you need to perfect are just not worth it. So I was so elated to see this recipe. Thank you so much! I think I will replace the nuts with powdered almonds to make it more like a macaron but I don’t have any cream of tartar. Do you have any replacement suggestions or do I need to pack the van and get to the grocery store?

  78. FailAtMeringueMaking

    I dont know why, but I seem to be a fail at meringue making! I probably should have taken it as a sign when it took me three tries just to seperate the whites! Im not sure what I did wrong but for some reason it just wouldnt form peaks!! It ended up being a sloppy mess! :(
    Oh well Ill try again…Hopefully it will turn out better the next time!!
    I love your website, Its addicting!!

  79. Hi there. I just came across this in the 3 years ago after following Heart of Light’s link to your monkey bread. Anyway, I just want to say thank you for publishing this. My mom used to make something very similar with leftover egg whites, and I never got around to asking her the method. She passed away very suddenly a few years ago and this recipe is one I still long for. So I’ll make YOUR mom’s meringue cookies and think about my mom. Thank you. Geez, now I have a frog in my throat!

  80. I love the information and comments regarding this topic. It is a shame more people don’t embarrass the parts that are right regarding this topic. I will be back to see how this conversation string progresses.

  81. Anna

    I made these with sugar and egg whites only plus nuts. Nuts I added after I went to your website to look for cooking time for these. I love the way they came out but they are sticky and dent easily. I know cream of tartar would fix this but I feel about cream of tartar the same way I do about shortening. How can I fix the ‘sticky and easily dented’ issue and avoid using cream of tartar?

  82. melissa

    made these today, and was so SATISFIED!!! ^___^ it’s soooo gooooooood!!!!

    it’s my first time dealing with egg whites because i’m intimidated with the “peaks”. so glad i decided to conquer that fear =D

    this recipe is so simple, that i remembered the exact ingredients and procedure when a friend asked for it earlier. =]

    i substituted equal amount of cane vinegar for the cream of tartar, since i didn’t have it.. and used the same sugar level as you suggested.

    thank you so much! =]

  83. Sally

    My grandmother made these. I made them with my own kids & then lost the recipe. We called them Egg White Cookies. We were also taught not to make them on rainy days as the moisture will keep the whites from forming peaks. Thanks for helping me find this recipe. I’ve loved these cookies for over 50 years! Yum!

  84. These look delicious!
    Whenever I make meringue cookies, they never turn out right! They just become flat, and stick to everything. I don’t know how to get them right! I’ll keep trying. Maybe if I try this recipe they’ll work out :)

  85. Arianna

    I’m thirteen and i just tried to make these meringue cookies… Everything was perfect until i folded in the chocolate and the nuts o.O What did I do wrong?

  86. Paris

    How long can these keep? I wanted to make some for a party three days away, and I just made your poppy seed lemon cake so I now have a ton of egg whites :)

  87. Summer

    These are delicious! And so Easy! I recently went gluten Free, and still struggle with learning to cook with gluten free flours so the fact that these have no flour and are easy makes them one of my favorites, my mom and brothers love them to! I even started playing around with them a bit, by using white chocolate chips, or just putting a Kiss in the middle super fun and a great recipe. 5 out of 5

  88. jenn

    Hey! I am a late bloomer in the kitchen, shedding my phobia last year at tender age 40, so I am a very new and oft intimidated baker. Sadly my wasteline shows the excitement with which I’ve delved into my new passion. :) So you can imagine it was a matter of time before I needed to conquer my meringue fears. Everyone says baking is a science, but I find not so much when it comes to meringue. Tons and tons of variation out there (except for: difficulty on humid days, and adding sugar slowly). Anyway, I’m glad I found your site! Very welcoming and I love when folks are willing to share family recipes. Thanks for clarification on temperatures (I was losing my mind on that one… but wait! You mean you can go high and get one result, or low and get another???) Peace from Buffalo, NY

  89. Lynette

    I had this recipe years ago and lost it when I was moving. This is the exact recipe, thank you so much for sharing. My children will love me making this again!

  90. jmarie

    just made these tonight (with the leftover whites from the slice-and-bake cookies) and they turned out great! put in 3/4 c sugar without noticing the 1/2 c recommendation and agree that they’re pretty sweet (i justified it by leaving out the choc chips). still, they’re delicious!

  91. CathyG

    Another variation that I like is to use M&Ms instead of chocolate chips and nuts. I like the red and green ones for Christmas.

    And another – fold in a cup of shredded coconut (I use sweetened) to make macaroons.

    I love the days when I make an egg-yolk-heavy dish, so I can use the whites and make meringues.

  92. I love these cookies! I think they taste like cookies ‘n’ cream.
    To Hannah (comment 72):
    I have had similar problems in the past (and, well, present), but have also had my meringue correctly mount to hard peaks. I think that it is all in how you add the sugar. Make sure your meringue is already at soft peaks and then spoon the sugar in. I find that spooning in the sugar helps me subconsciously slow down.
    That being said, if your meringue does turn funny, whip it until it is still weird and glossy but is much thicker and then continue on. I find the end product indistinguishable from the “correct” version.

  93. GillyB

    The smell in my kitchen is beyond description :) Can’t wait to see how these turned out! I’m so excited to try them, I only wish they were a little fluffier before I spooned them onto a baking pan. Thank you!

  94. I made meringues this weekend following another recipe (essentially this one, but with different cooking times/temps) and served them as a gluten-free alternative to the strawberry shortcake. I made them kind of bowl-shaped to hold the berries. They turned out great! I don’t know why I didn’t check your website: I looked all over and was wildly confused about the variety of cooking times (anything from 25 minutes to four hours) with little explanation for the differences. Should have known to look here! Thanks for the information.
    BTW: I used pasteurized eggs my roommate had given me and only later read that pasteurized eggs take MUCH longer to get fluffy. Live and learn, I guess. :)

  95. Abbie

    Just made these two days in a row; the first ended in smoke (my fault), but the second are delightful. I did vastly different lengths of time when beating the egg whites but both batches formed the appropriate stiff peaks. I used up all of my chocolate during the first round, so I replaced it the second time with dried apricots and finely ground almonds. The result is really good and makes me confident this recipe is highly adaptable. My only note is that I’ll cut up the apricots or whatever the filling is into smaller pieces next time (this time I cut each apricot into about eight little pieces). I usually think bigger is better with desserts, but the bigger pieces overwhelm the cookie.

  96. Abby

    I just made these and have to second the other Abbie’s comments–needed to better chop my chunks of chocolate and nuts. But the recipe is so refreshingly simple, as compared with complex meringue recipes I’m used to.

    Also, as an aside, Deb–I’ve been on a Smitten Kitchen bender recently: scallion meatballs, red onion and ricotta pizza, lemon ricotta pancakes, and lentil salad. All winners! Thanks for so many great recipes over the years!

  97. Carol

    Deb, I wanna make those giant, free-formed, filled meringues. Eli Zabar sells them at Grand Central Station. They’re soooooooo good!! I can’t find a recipe anywhere. Surely you must know how. Gotta recipe?

    1. deb

      Carol — I’ll have to look out for them so I know which you are speaking of. Are they piped or do they have the blob shape of these? Are they mostly dry and crisp, or are they crisp and a little stretchy/chewy inside? Meringue ingredients are almost always the same, but baking times vary depending on the final texture.

  98. Emilee

    My mum and I made these using both methods and everyone agreed that the “more traditional approach with a longer baking time of 200 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours” is far superior! We used 3 egg whites because the free run eggs were on the small side, but used the correct amount of everything else. Turned out absolutely flippin’ fantastic. Thank you so much for the spectacular recipe! Tonight we’re going to attempt your gluten free chocolate souffle/mint cream cupcakes and I bet they’ll be just as amazing! :)

    1. deb

      Hi Peggy — Sorry that I’ve never checked the yield (but I’d say at least two dozen, possibly three) but I make about tablespoon-sized dollops. Enjoy.

  99. Jen

    I love that this is the exact same recipe that my mom made when I was a kid, which she called Surprise Meringues. (“Surprise, there’s chocolate chips!” I guess?) Except we don’t use nuts in ours. It’s the only meringue recipe I’ve come across that cooks at such a high temp.

  100. I was craving these today. I just turned to my mom and said, “I’d love to have Judy’s meringues.” I figured I’d check out your site to see if the recipe was on here and sure enough it is! My next door neighbor’s daughter trekked through the snow to bring me cream of tartar so now I’m set. :)

  101. Yael

    I made it for passover, which is today, but it was so good and so addictive (you have to eat just one more…and more) all the cookies were gone. Now I need to make it again and this time i will triple the amount. Thanks for another great recipe!

  102. Susan

    My late MIL made meringues that called for 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and for the life of me, I cannot get the darn batter to stiffen. I watched the video you linked to (and many others on youtube) and even her batter didn’t look particularly stiff though it was way stiffer than the way mine turned out. The recipe is from an old (1940’s) Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, so I know it’s a tested recipe and was made successfully by MIL. I can’t figure out what I could be doing wrong? It could be a patience issue, maybe. My family bugs me constantly to make MIL’s recipe and I want to but I keep failing. If you make meringues again someday, will you include some process shots? (I’m commenting here because you referenced these as a whim-make on your current grain taco recipe and now I’m fired up, too! Darn it, Deb! Thanks a lot!)

  103. deb

    I can’t attest to how egg white batters stiffen with powdered sugar because I can’t think of a time I’ve used it in them, but the egg white photo in this recipe or the third photo here should give you an idea of what you’re looking for — pretty stiff peaks. You want them to stay on the beater/whisk when you lift it out of the bowl. Once it does, you’re good to go. (And yes, I’ll add photos next time!)

  104. Susan

    Thanks, Deb. The sweetened egg whites I’ve attempted in the BHG recipe end up looking more like marshmallow crème; thick and gummy. I may be adding the sugar too soon, before the whites have gotten to soft peak. I don’t know, it has me frustrated and intimidated! The finished product that my MIL used to make looked just like yours here, like soft clouds. They had a very thin crisp outside and the inside was soft and fluffy/chewy and full of chopped dates and pecans. The are so good but I’ll be darned if they work for me. I will try again. Imagine being beaten by egg whites. Grrrr…NO!

  105. Myriam

    Hey Deb,

    I’m in love with your meringue cookies recipe! I’ve been doing them for a while now and they turning out as described crisp on the outside with a hollow centre and a soft bottom but my only issue is that they are not turning out as white as in your picture. They are looking more like lightly toasted marshmallows (i.e light brown colour) and I’ve read on the Joy of Baking website (the link you have posted up) that this is not a good sign and the oven temperature should be dropped as it is too high. Is this outcome normal or do you think I should decrease the baking temp and increase the baking time from 25 to say 35 – 40 mins. Right now, the bigger sized cookies (between 7 and 8 cm) are taking about 30 to 35 mins and the rest as per your baking time. Please help as I’m not being able to find any other similar recipe for meringues to compare. All recipes I have found use the longer baking time.. Thanks a million!!

  106. deb

    Myriam — I’ve had them come out darker when baked longer or when in a more robust oven (the ovens in my NYC rental apartments have been dinky and terrible, without fail). You can definitely lower the temperature to adjust for this; pretty much any time you’re getting more color than you want on a cookie cake or other baked good before the center is where you want it, a lower temp is advice.

    Not sure Joy of Baking had a meringue recipe like these; she might be making the more traditional ones that are dried fully in the center through a long low baking time. For these, people try to avoid color. No harm in getting it slightly beige here, though, so long as it doesn’t make the flavor unpleasant.

  107. Myriam

    Thanks for your prompt reply Deb! Next time, I will try lowering the temperature and increasing the baking time and see if the outcome would still be crisp, hollow and chewy :)

  108. Anna

    Hi Deb,

    I just made these for the first time, and they taste delicious! I did run into a problem though — I had a really hard time getting them off of the parchment paper. It was like the centers were sticking to the bottom, they weren’t getting that nice crust on the bottom even though the tops came out well. Do I need to cook them longer (I used the 25 minute version)? Beat them more? I have no idea why that happened.

    1. deb

      Anna — These do tend to stick, although it’s worse with some parchment paper brands than others. just a little. I use a thin offset spatula to carefully loosen them and transfer them to a cooling rack; from there, they firm up just fine. Hope that helps.

  109. betty

    Deb – halp!! I’ve tried making these twice and both times, after 25 minutes, the meringues were still super soft and stuck to the parchment paper. I let them bake for another 20-30 minutes both times at 325F, and the first time, they crisped after sitting out for an hour or so, but the second time they never crisped. Any guesses as to what’s going on? Could it be because I’m making them too big? I’ve been using a 3 tbsp ice cream scoop.

    1. deb

      betty — Mostly, they really like to stick to parchment paper, and some brands more than others. You can let them cool a lot on it, then use a thin spatula to slide them off.

  110. Myra

    Just made these because I had all these egg whites after making lemon curd! I used the 1/2 cup sugar amount and they are good but a tad too sweet. Also used aluminum foil and no sticking!

  111. Deb

    You are absolutely right. I’ll never be able to throw away a leftover egg white again. Made exactly per your recipe and they are marshmallowy and delicious right out of the oven. I know they’ll be a hit at my bridge club tomorrow. Thanks for another great recipe.