Low-Fat Holiday Treat: Chocolate Mint Meringues

low fat cookies

Chocolate mint meringues make a guilt-free holiday treat.

This is a recipe and post from a few years back, but the story is so classically me and the cookies are so tasty and seasonal, I just had to bring it up from the archives. Enjoy!

It all started with the Meyer lemons.

I was doing my just-buy-the-necessities-because-we-are-leaving-town shopping trip last week when a display of vibrant yellow Meyer lemons caught my eye. I cannot resist Meyer lemons, which are bigger and sweeter than typical lemons with an especially shiny smooth rind, because they make an exceptional lemon curd. (For the lemon curd recipe, go to my friend Marisa’s blog, Food in Jars.) So, although it was not exactly practical, I bought half a dozen Meyer lemons and some extra eggs to make the lemon curd. Over the weekend, I made the lemon curd and processed it for shelf-stability because, again, we were going out of town in a few days.

But the problem was, the byproduct of Marisa’s lemon curd recipe is six egg whites. I hate wasting food. So I saved those egg whites in a Tupperware and popped them in the fridge. With only a few days to go until our trip, those egg whites were staring at me balefully. What was I going to do with them? (I have since learned that you can freeze egg whites, a fact that I did not know in time.)

Well, my favorite thing to do with egg whites is to make meringues. My husband loves meringues and they happen to be a very low-calorie treat. I had this notion that I could mix some of the candy canes that my kids had dragooned me into buying into the meringues to make mint meringues. How tasty and seasonal! So again, although it was not exactly practical, I whipped up a batch of these chocolate mint meringues. They turned out better than I expected so I proceeded to give them away like crazy to neighbors and friends as a last-minute holiday gift. And, of course, I got a blog post out of it.

Packaged nicely, these cookies are quite pretty and, for anyone on your list who is watching his or her weight, these can be a guilt-free holiday indulgence.

Chocolate Mint Meringues
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup egg whites at room temperature
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 candy cane, crushed
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 TB unsweetened cocoa
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 225.
  2. Combine crushed candy cane with granulated sugar and set aside.
  3. Sift powdered sugar and cocoa together and set aside.
  4. Place parchment paper or Silpats on two baking sheets.
  5. In standing mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed.
  6. Gradually add granulated sugar/candy cane mix to egg whites, one tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed.
  7. Continue to beat until the meringue holds stiff peaks. (That means that when you remove the whisk, the meringue forms a peak that stays in place.)
  8. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in powdered sugar/cocoa mixture until blended.
  9. Drop dollops of meringue onto the prepared baking sheets using a spoon, or pipe them into “kiss” shapes using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, or simply a large plastic bag with one corner trimmed off.
  10. Bake meringues for two hours or until dry and crisp.
  11. Store cookies in air-tight containers.
Notes
Don't bother making meringues on a humid day. (This is not a problem in Chicago in the winter!) They won't ever get dry and crispy enough.

Comments

  1. Emily, do you think this recipe would work with egg whites from a carton? I am not sure how the processing would affect the recipe……. I’d love to make these for my book club’s cookie swap but don’t want to end up with a bunch of yolks.

    • Hi Susan! It is not recommended to use packaged egg whites in any application where the egg whites are whipped. The pasteurization process hinders the egg whites ability to puff up. So I recommend using fresh egg whites. But don’t despair about the yolks! There are a lot of uses for extra egg yolks, including, of course, citrus curds, which make great gifts. Egg yolks are also good added to meatballs or meat loaf or add them to ricotta cheese and make a filling for stuffed shells. Here is the link to a post I wrote all about how to use up extra egg whites or yolks: http://www.westoftheloop.com/2012/04/12/what-to-do-with-extra-egg-yolks-and-egg-whites/