Here’s another cookie recipe for you. This week, it’s a terrific meringue that just happens to be gluten-free!
I first tried this recipe a few years ago just because it sounded tasty. One of the reasons that I keep making the meringues is that they are so light. With lots of big meals and rich sweets this time of year, it’s nice to have something on the cookie tray that isn’t so heavy. Perfect for when you want just a bit of something sweet but are still full, or are trying to watch the calories. Of course, they are so light and tasty that you may find yourself eating a few too many. I speak from experience!
I actually chose to make meringues again this year because they are gluten-free, but don’t require any unusual ingredients. I have several friends that don’t eat gluten for various health reasons, and while I like to experiment with alternative flours, they are not ingredients that most home bakers have on hand. I’ve also tried a few other gluten-free cookies with mixed results. These turn out great: light, fluffy, and crunchy all at the same time.
Plus, there are endless variations. I chose pistachios and mini chocolate chips for this batch because that sounded good, but you could use a variety of other ingredients such as almonds, shredded coconut, or even dried fruit. The key is to chop whatever add-ins fairly fine so that they don’t all sink to the bottom of the cookie. If you want to add chocolate (and who wouldn’t?) use the mini chocolate chips. The normal size are too heavy. And, of course, if you are cooking for someone with celiac, take extra care when sourcing your ingredients.
Finally, the key to these cookies is to ensure that your meringue is in stiff peaks. This takes some time and patience, but is essential. When you pull the beaters up and turn them over, the peaks should stand straight up, with no drooping or bending, just like in the picture below. The Kitchn has a great video showing all the stages of meringue if you’d like an additional visual aid.
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped
- Preheat oven to 275 F. Line baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy.
- Then very slowly add the sugar while still beating. Keep beating on high speed until it reaches the stiff peak stage; this will likely take about 10 minutes. At this stage, the mixture should be smooth and glossy with peaks that stand straight up when you lift the beaters, with no curling at the tips. If the tips slump over, keep beating until they hold their shape.
- Then very gently fold in the chips and pistachios.
- Drop batter by the tablespoon onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. They don't spread so they can be fairly close together. They will also hold the shape they fall in so, if you are particular, gently nudge them into pleasing shapes.
- You can bake 2 pans at a time. Place one pan on the lower rack of your oven and one pan on the middle rack. Bake at 275 F for 30 minutes, then switch the pans so the one on the bottom is now on the middle and vice versa. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until the cookies are dry.
- Let cookies cool on the sheets for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- Store in airtight container. These are best within 3 days of making.
Adapted from a 2008 Cooking Light Recipe