It is just after Thanksgiving and probably best to take it a little easy when it comes to eating dessert. If your family served nine kinds of pie—This. Means. You.
I don’t mean anyone should skip dessert entirely—I would never suggest anything as radical as that—but here is an opportunity to eat something a little lighter.
I wouldn’t call this healthy or good for you, but honestly, it is not too bad, as far as desserts go.
These are easy to make, so if you just spent days cleaning and cooking for T-Day, then this is surely the way to go. And you probably have all of the ingredients in your house already, since there are only four. But note: don’t make these on a rainy or humid day—ironically these Cloud Cookies won’t turn out.
It starts off simply–first you take three large eggs and leave them at room temp for about an hour or so. If you don’t have time to spare, then take your three eggs and put them in a bowl of hot tap water for 5 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 275° F and line a large baking sheet or two with parchment paper and set aside.
Next, you crack the eggs, and separate the white from the yolk using any one of the following methods:
1. Pour the yolk from shell-half to shell-half, letting the white drip down into a bowl.
2. Crack the egg into a bowl and carefully reach in and take the yolk out with your hand.
3. Buy a fancy-schmancy egg separator from a high-end food store and let gravity do the work.
Put your room temperature egg whites and a pinch of salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. And yes, you can use a hand-held mixer if that is what you have. Let the eggs whip for a few minutes on high until billowy peaks form. Add half of the sugar and beat some more.
Add the rest of the sugar, so as not to deflate your whipped whites, and continue to whip until glossy firm peaks form.
At this point their shiny white ethereal beauty will tempt you to stick a finger in to taste, as they will resemble the most gorgeous bowl of whipped cream, but I’d advise against this as salmonella is an ever-looming threat of un-cooked eggs.
Resist, and then finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
For the next step you could pipe them prettily onto your baking sheet, but I say, just grab two spoons and go for it.
Take a small spoonful and use the second spoon to push it off to make little dollops in rows leaving a little space between each. Don’t worry about making them perfect—they are much more fun to eat when they have a little bit of personality.
Bake time will be an hour total, but don’t think of this as baking per se, but instead think of it as a drying out process that will give the cookies their magical crispiness. Place them in the oven for 30 minutes at 275°F. And then lower the temp to 250°F for the final 30 minutes.
Remove the cloud-like meringues from the oven and let them cool on a rack, although admittedly, I never can wait and always burn my tongue a bit. When you sink your teeth into these and experience the sugary sweet shattering of the meringue’s exterior and are rewarded with a little burst of chocolate in each bite, you will be pleased.
Warning: be sure to eat over a plate as sugary shards will fly:
Cloud Cookies or Chocolate Chip Meringues
- 3 egg whites, at room temp
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cups sugar
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 275°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with a pinch of salt. Whip until they go from clear to white and frothy and keep mixing, stopping to check when soft peaks form.
- Add half of the sugar and continue to whip until firm peaks form.
- Add the rest of the sugar and whip until glossy.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Using two spoons place dollops of the mixture onto the parchment paper in rows.
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Then lower the oven temp to 250° and let bake for another 30 minutes.
- Remove trays from the oven to a rack and let cool.