Let’s be honest, cookies are great. Go to any holiday party, family get together, or office party, and there is usually a plate of cookies for everyone to share. They’re sweet, delicious and habit forming. The problem is cookies tend to be pretty unhealthy. Loaded with sugar and fat, they can really wreck a diet if you’re trying to eat healthy food. But if you show up with a “healthy” cookie, the reactions from other people is usually dismissive, claiming there is no such thing as a healthy cookie that tastes good.
Sadly, most recipe sites you may subscribe to don’t have healthy alternatives for these easily cravable foods, and if they do, they just don’t taste the way you were hoping. Then you end up at the shop, breaking your diet habits yet again. It’s okay, we’ve all been through this difficult task of maintaining a healthy diet and trying not to sacrifice good taste. But, is there a better option that will satisfy everyone? Chocolate meringues.
Who doesn’t love some delicious chocolate meringues? They’re great for any occasion: birthdays, holidays, family get togethers or just as an after school snack for you and your kids to share. It would be fine to buy them from the shop, but like with most food, nothing is better than some homemade chocolate meringues to have and share with the people you care about. They are much better fresh, anyway. Who knows how long they’ve been sitting at the shop? I love that my big brother was willing to share his with me because he really nailed the chewy meringues secret, his chocolate meringue recipe is to die for. They are almost too good to share.
A cookie surely can’t be delicious and healthy, can it?
Well, that’s where you’re wrong. The best thing about meringues is they are much lower in calories than normal cookies. They are made up of mostly egg whites and a sweetener, that’s about it. No flour, butter, or shortening. They don’t taste like it, however. Meringues are light and airy, with a crisp layer on the outside, and a chewy, almost marshmallow like texture on the inside, and that’s thanks to those amazing egg whites.
These cookies are mostly air, so think more sweet and slightly chewy clouds. Even with adding the extra chocolate, they are still a better option than the run of the mill chocolate chip cookies, and are so close to a more traditional cookie, you won’t feel like you’re missing out, and no one will believe that they are actually healthy. They are a good way to indulge cravings while trying to watch what you eat. Dieting can be hard, and this chewy meringue recipe can make life a little easier. Not to mention meringues are easy and can even be fun to make.
They have health benefits, too. Chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, is actually very nutritious. It is high in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese,just like almost any other food. Dark chocolate is also loaded with antioxidants, compounds that slow down, or even stop, cell damage, lowering the risk of getting certain diseases. Dark chocolate is also great for heart health, improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure, and raising good HDL. Eggs are also packed with protein, with one white giving about 4 grams of it. Finally, a cookie you don’t have to feel bad about eating.
Chocolate Meringues Recipe
3 large egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
½ cup confectioner’s sugar, sieved
½ cup golden caster sugar
1 tbsp. Instant espresso powder
½ tsp. Vanilla extract
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sieved
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 baking sheets.
Electric hand mixer
Zip top bag with one of the corners removed (for piping bag) or spoon (for the same purpose)
- Arrange your oven racks, with one in the top third and one in the bottom third of your oven. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F or 135 degrees C
- Cover your two cookie sheets with parchment paper, then spray with nonstick cooking spray
- Sift together cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar, and cornstarch into a small bowl.
- Combine the caster sugar, espresso powder, and cream of tartar in another small bowl.
- Melt half of the chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl, using 10 second intervals in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Let stand until lukewarm.
- Beat egg whites and salt in a clean, medium bowl with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla, and continue beating until there are the same stiff peaks as before.
- Add the caster sugar mixture, one tbsp at a time, and continue beating until meringue is very stiff and the sugar is dissolved.
- Gently fold in the cocoa powder mixture, the melted chocolate and the other half of the chocolate chips with a spoon into the mixture.
- Pipe the meringues using a zip top bag with the corner cut off onto the baking sheets in a swirl shape, or spoon them out (which can be much easier), leaving room between them.
- Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through, until hard and crispy on the outside and soft in the center.
- Let stand on cookie sheet until completely cool. Don’t be tempted to grab one off the sheet, they’re pretty fragile until they have cooled completely.
- Store them in a close lid airtight plastic container or plastic bag. They’ll be good for 4 to 5 days.
Want some macaroons instead?
Of course, if you’re feeling fancy you can always use these recipes to turn these basic chocolate meringues into chocolate meringues sandwich cookies! It really is close to the same thing, just if you want more flavor or texture in you cookie, this adds some savory cream to sandwich your cookies together with. With more in your chocolate meringues, it also makes it easier to impress.
You’ll be able to appease your sweet craving with much more satisfaction. These are a great thing to share with family and friends, and they make a great impression at a party, better than any other food. These are so close to something that tastes unhealthy, nobody will suspect that they actually are, indeed, a healthier alternative. Plus, these fillings are dairy free, so no worrying about your lactose intolerant guests. Give these filled chocolate meringues a shot, I’m sure the people you share them with will be just as surprised as you are.
Dairy-free Chocolate Whipped Cream Recipe
1 cup of unsweetened coconut cream, refrigerated
½ to 1 Tbsp. Confectioner’s sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, sieved.
2 Tsp. Espresso
- Whip the coconut cream on high speed with the confectioner’s sugar, until you’ve got nice, soft peaks.
- Add in the espresso and the cocoa powder. Continue mixing these ingredients until you have stiff peaks.
- Pipe the filling onto the bottom of a meringue, place another cookie on top, sandwiching the cream filling.
But what if that’s too rich for you?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on that too. Sometimes you just need a lighter mix of flavors so it’s not too overpowering, right? That’s why we’re here, to share as many amazing different flavor combinations with you as possible. The vanilla contrasts nicely with the richness in the cookies. This is especially useful if you’re going to make a big platter to take to a party and share with a large amount of people. Combining all three of these recipes we share with you here, and you’ll be guaranteed to be the hit of any party. Delicious cookies that are healthy? Who would have guessed!
Dairy-free Vanilla Whipped Cream Recipe
1 cup of unsweetened coconut cream, refrigerated
½ to 1 Tbsp. Confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- Whisk the coconut cream on high speed with the confectioner’s sugar, until you’ve got nice, soft peaks.
- Add in the vanilla extract. Continue mixing all ingredients until you have stiff peaks.
- Pipe the mixture onto the bottom of a cookie, place another cookie on top, and sandwiching the cream filling.
- If filling, eat them the same day. Moisture will break down the meringue over time. Filling them right before serving will help keep the crispy, crunchy texture on the outside of the meringue. This way they don’t feel soggy or left out too long.
- Always make sure whatever you are whipping the eggs in is super clean. Otherwise, they won’t inflate. The inflation of the egg whites are key in making the crisp outer texture and the marshmallow gooey center so distinctive.
- Use good quality dark chocolate, 60 to 70% cocoa. It’s healthier, and it tastes better. The darker, richer flavor adds contrast to how sweet these cookies can be. Balance is important, even in desserts.
- Keep them in a chilled, dry place. Their texture will change drastically if they get moist.
- If you’re using this “more advanced” (quite frankly, just better tasting) recipe to impress your boss, coworkers or even your in laws, you can sprinkle cocoa powder on top, very lightly as a garnish. While this won’t do much for flavour, it will make the presentation much more impressive, making you look like a fancy chef.
Like the recipes that help make these amazing chocolate meringues?
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