Chewy Chai Meringue Cookies

After preparing some delectable Lemon Bars last week, I was left with seven perfectly good egg whites without a tasty home. I was initially tempted to make another Pavlova Pyatt, but was deterred because fresh tropical fruits are currently out of season. These Chewy Chai Meringue Cookies by Alison Campbell of Austin, Texas won the 2008 Faraday’s Kitchen Store Christmas Cookie Contest. They are crusty on the outside, chewy in the middle, and remind me of wispy clouds.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts, lightly toasted (macadamias were used in Alison’s prize-winning entry, but pecans or cashews are also good)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together powdered sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cornstarch and set aside.

In a double boiler, over simmering water, whisk together egg whites and sugar until mixture is warm and sugar has dissolved. Be careful not to overheat, as egg whites will cook and congeal!

Remove from heat, add cream of tartar and salt and beat with electric mixer until egg whites hold stiff peaks, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar and mix just until incorporated.

Gently fold in reserved powdered sugar mixture, white chocolate, and nuts.

Drop by large tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.

Makes about 24 cookies.

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