12 Days of Holiday Cookies: Chef Meg's Cocoa Meringue Shells


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  28 comments   :  15,532 Views

These meringues are a fun treat when served with low-fat vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit.

Meringues are one of those cookies that fell out of favor somewhere along the way. They're really not very difficult to make as long as you follow a few rules, and they're virtually free of fat. They melt on the tongue, too.

When making meringues, always keep these tips in mind:

  • Separate the eggs when the eggs are cold and then let them come to room temperature.
  • Cleaning the bowl and beaters with vinegar ensures there is no grease on them. Egg whites won't stiffen if there is any grease or residue in the bowl or on the beaters.
  • If you don't have a piping bag, place mixture in a sandwich bag and snip off a tiny corner.

    • 12 egg whites, room temperature
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (This does make them very richly cocoa flavored. If you prefer a lighter cocoa taste, reduce the cocoa to 1/3 cup.)
    • 1 piping bag
    • 1 star tip

    Nutrition Info:
    Calories: 55.0
    Fat: 0.4 g
    Find full nutrition info here.

    • Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

    • Wipe out a mixing bowl and beaters with vinegar to ensure there is no grease on them.

    • Place the egg whites in the cleaned bowl, beat at high speed until stiff. This process with take almost 8 minutes. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat.

    • Slowly add the sugar.

      Remove the beaters and fold in the cocoa powder using a rubber spatula.

    • Using a piping bag fitted with a star tip, pipe circles onto the lined trays. Pipe one 8 inch circle, then outline the outer top of the circle to create a basket effect.

    • Bake in the middle and lower section of the oven for one hour. Turn off oven, and DO NOT open the door.

    • Allow the meringues to sit in the warmed oven for an additional hour. Remove from oven to cool. Store in an air-tight container.

    Yields 2 dozen cookies.

    Members who subscribe to SparkPeople's Recipe of the Day Newsletter receive one new cookie/dessert recipe each day, beginning December 1, to help them prepare for holiday parties and gift exchanges. We're also sharing them here because, well, who doesn't love good (and somewhat healthy) cookies?

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    Will you make this recipe? Do you like meringues?

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    NEXT ENTRY >   12 Days of Holiday Cookies: Skinny Gingies


    • 28
      I just made a bunch of these today, didn't clean the bowls with vinegar or anything special. Used real separated egg whites, the egg whites in the carton that I use for breakfast, it says on there not to make meringues with them because they have been heated to pastuerize them and they won't beat up well. I used the Splenda in those big bags that I use for all my baking, just exchange cup for cup, no problem with doing that either. Also tried them with the coconut that is flaked but not sweetened, my dh loves those especially well, tasted like macaroons to him. I planned on the oven being used for 40 min. for each cookie sheet full, so the oven time didn't bother me. They whipped up so fast, nothing like making whipped cream or something. Didn't have cream of tartar, but still worked out fine. Will make these again, using almond flavor and try some other flavors too. - 12/23/2010   10:12:33 PM
    • 27
      Questions were asked: *Can you use the egg whites from the carton... Yes, so long as it is the standard egg whites... that you would use for meringue anyway.
      *To "revert" so you dont' have the oven tied up for 2 hrs, I was always taught to cook them the last thing before you go to bed in the evening... turn them off, and don't open the oven until the next morning (i usually tape a sign that says, Oven in Use" to remind me and my family not to preheat the oven prior to opening the oven and taking the cookies out.
      *Store in a good air tight container or bag, if there is a lot of humidity, they can get sticky fast.
      *These are some of my favorites, and my son's favorites too (He is wheat free).
      *never tried splenda so i don't know if it will work.. i agree with the other poster who said DO not use artificial sweetners such as equal or saccharine.
      HTH :) Blessings - 12/6/2010   3:44:31 PM
    • 26
      They are beautiful and I never thought about it, but learning of their low fat virtue, I am liking them even more! It's just that they are soooo fussy to bake...It's a pain - but if you make them on rare occasions, they're well worth it! You can top them with fruit, lite cream or just about anything and have a not so bad sweet treat...So, yes! Love them!
      I have to make due without the cream of tartar as we don't have it in stores in my country.
      I have to leave now and fast, since the cookie mosnter is out to get me these days! LOL
      - 12/6/2010   12:03:21 PM
    • 25
      Can you use the egg whites that come in a carton? - 12/4/2010   11:44:39 PM
    • 24
      I too wonder if these cookies are supposed to be 8" in diameter. - 12/4/2010   10:52:14 PM
    • 23
      Yes i will probably try this sometime it sound yummy.
      considering i do like the merang shells my mom makes.
      - 12/4/2010   2:27:42 PM
    • 22
      I plan to try these - and add the ice cream, or even vanilla low fat yogurt, and berries. Maybe a bit of whipped cream. Because then it will be like individual Pavlovas - an absolutely fabulous dessert!!! - 12/4/2010   2:25:10 PM
    • 21
      I tried this recipe and the cocoa flavor was OK. I don't usually care for meringues and these seemed to be flat and not really great looking.
      I used the yokes in a Spritz Cookie recipe that came with my cookie gun.
      I think I will pass on this one next year.

      I did only make a half recipe and I was glad that I did. It makes quite a few.

      The long time in the oven is also NOT a good thing. It takes 2 hours before you can get to use your oven again.

      - 12/4/2010   2:04:44 PM
    • 20
      Is there a season to do meringues in? - 12/4/2010   11:22:33 AM
    • 19
      I like the Splenda idea! I'm going to give that a try too. - 12/4/2010   11:09:39 AM
    • 18
      I don't care for meringues so probably not. They look pretty! - 12/4/2010   10:49:49 AM
    • 17
      I make regular meringues with out the cocoa. Sprinkle them with red and green M & Ms thats where I got the recipe. We have them every year at Christmas. My youngest would eat them all year long but in the summer they wont turn out. - 12/4/2010   7:48:16 AM
    • 16
      You can make lemon curd with the egg yolks. I went to a baking class recently, and we made plain meringue shells and filled them with lemon curd and topped them with sliced fresh fruit. They were beautiful! It was a big sugar rush, though, so watch out! - 12/4/2010   6:35:40 AM
    • CHARLI101
      What do you guys do with the egg yolks? I hate to waste them. - 12/4/2010   12:46:58 AM
      That's a lot of sugar! Although I made homemade caramel corn 2 days ago. I think it would be great for a treat on an otherwise low simple carb day. - 12/4/2010   12:08:17 AM
    • 13
      I used to make meringues with peppermint extract and mini chocolate chips - I'll have to see if I can still find the recipe - but these sound great! - 12/3/2010   9:19:26 PM
      THAT looks incredible. Can't wait to make it.
      I tried a meringue with Artificial sweetener once. DON'T. It was gooey and not as nice as sugar. - 12/3/2010   4:55:20 PM
    • 11
      NO - 12/3/2010   4:45:22 PM
    • 10
      I'm going to try these with splenda granualted. to lower the carb load. we'll see - 12/3/2010   12:41:09 PM
    • 9
      cant wait to try. - 12/3/2010   11:35:31 AM
    • 8
      I'm so thankful for a gluten-free cookie recipe! Now if only I had the patience..... ;) Still working on that! - 12/3/2010   10:49:34 AM
    • JAM369
      Sounds yummy, I'll have to try! - 12/3/2010   10:19:28 AM
    • 6
      I've got it printed off. Gonna try it for a special dessert with the family this month. Pretty holiday peppermint ice cream would be so cool on these meringues. - 12/3/2010   10:19:23 AM
      I searched for years for this cookie. When I was a child there was a bakery across the street from my grade school that served huge meringue cookies. I didn't know what they were, but I loved the flavor and how they just melt in your mouth. As an adult, I searched recipe books and tried recipes trying to make the cookies I remembered. I was so excited when I discovered the recipe for Divinity, and so disappointed when it turned out not to be "the cookie" I was searching for. I discovered the recipe by chance in one of the women's magazines one year. The basic recipe was vanilla flavored - that gave me the texture, but not quite the flavor. Then I tried the almond flavored - EUREKA! - that's it - the texture, the flavor. I've been making meringues ever since - this is my top Christmas cookie. I make one chocolate batch, but I make several batches flavored with almond extract. I've done them as drop cookies, but I think it's actually easier to pipe them from the pastry tube - I use the star shape - and make a million of them. I have several friends and family members who look forward to my Christmas meringues. You can make them in just about any flavor you want. You can also add chopped chocolate/nuts/ candies or decorate them with sugars and nonpareils. And I must warn you, these cookies are addictive and it's easy to eat a million of them. Every time I make meringues, I have a delicious cookie to enjoy, plus a wonderful childhood memory.
      (Note: If the air is dry, you'll get wonderful crisp meringues that melt in your mouth. If it's humid, you'll get chewy meringues - not my ideal, but still tasty. Tip: I put lightly greased foil on my baking sheets and re-use the foil for multiple batches - this year I'll use the non-stick foil. I also re-use my parchment paper for traditional cookies - scraping the used sheets with my spatula between batches. I store them in the refrigerator - they last through many batches.) - 12/3/2010   9:29:46 AM
    • 4
      The recipe makes a good drop cookie, too. An 8" diameter circle? Or 8" of meringe placed in a circle? - 12/3/2010   7:53:50 AM
    • 3
      I love meringues! I've never tried to make them, though. I'm looking forward to trying these. ;0 Thanks for the recipe! - 12/3/2010   7:22:02 AM
    • 2
      Thank you. I'm looking for some low cal cookies to make this year that I can eat and not feel guilty. - 12/3/2010   6:39:29 AM
    • 1
      I worry about fail with meringues, with the NO FAT IN THE BOWL rule and the cool oven. - 12/3/2010   6:29:26 AM

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