My husband and I took the week off last week so we could hang out with the kids. Nothing too exciting (a staycation, if you will), we basically just took them swimming, bowling, shopping, and did a lot of hanging around the house. Not to say that we weren’t busy – one of the projects we tackled was the making of ice cream throughout the week.
Each kid got a chance to prepare ice cream, whatever flavor they desired. As I presented this opportunity to them, I imagined we would be preparing all sorts of creative, never-seen-before ice cream concoctions. Nope. Chocolate, Vanilla with chocolate, and chocolate with chocolate swirl. I suppose I had forgotten that sometimes, the simplest answer is the best, at least when it comes to our kids and food. (This also means that most of my culinary experiments are lost on them…oh well.)
So after making batch after batch of ice cream, I wondered what to do with all of the leftover egg whites. I threw some into breakfast tacos (along with a whole egg or two – I’m not a fan of “egg white only” scrambled eggs). But I still had leftovers. Hmmm…what gluten-free baked goods could I make with egg whites (without a trip to the store)? The signs all pointed to one solution – meringues.
Meringues are one of the easier desserts to make, as they only use a handful of ingredients. At their most basic, they only contain egg whites and sugar. This recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for Forgotten Kisses. My only change was that I eliminated nuts from his recipe, and used miniature chocolate chips, as they were on hand. They came together pretty quickly, and since the oven is turned off after preheating to bake them, I felt comfortable diverting my attention elsewhere for the remainder of the afternoon. Of course, after several hours had passed, I returned to remove them from the oven, and “taste test” one of the meringues. These treats are sweet and light, and delightfully melt in your mouth. The kids enjoyed them as well. Brittany exclaimed more than once while eating them “Wow, these are really good!”
Meringues, aka Forgotten Kisses, adapted from Emeril Lagasse
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 t cream of tartar
2/3 c granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 c miniature chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until fluffy but not dry. Add the sugar gradually. When half of the sugar has been added, add the vanilla extract. Continue beating and adding sugar in batches, until all of the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is very glossy and tight. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Working one teaspoon at a time, push a teaspoonful of meringue from the tip of one teaspoon with the back of another teaspoon onto the lined baking sheets. Space meringues 1 inch apart. Place baking sheets in oven and turn the oven off. Leave the cookies in the oven for at least 2 hours, or until cookies are crisp and dry. (don’t disturb or open the oven for 2 hours.)
Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.