Crisp peppermint-flavored meringue baked with chocolate chunks and peppermint candy.
I started making meringue cookies for the holidays because I wanted to use up leftover egg whites from eggnog. Every year I switch up the flavors, and this year I chose to use chocolate and peppermint. These cookies are light and crisp, like eating a peppermint cloud with chocolate-candy bits.
These cookies are not difficult to make. But they are meringue, so there are a few things that can go wrong. I try to have everything I need for this recipe set up and ready to go. The longer the meringue sits after it is made, the more it will deflate. So the pot is simmering on the stove, the oven is hot, candy is mixed, and sheet pans are lined. I use a stand mixer to whip the whites and the mixer’s bowl throughout the entire process. If this is not an option for you, it is not a big deal. Transferring the cooked whites to a stand mixer will not affect the final product.
Lightly whip the egg whites until foamy before adding the sugar. This starts the incorporation of air into the meringue. Whip in the sugar and place on the double boiler. Whisk the whites constantly to prevent curdling. If the whites curdle, the meringue will not come to full volume, and you will have to start over. After 8-10 minutes, the sugar should be completely dissolved and the egg shiny white. The mixture should be thicker but run off a whisk.
Once it reaches this stage, the mixture is ready to whip. Whip the meringue on medium to medium-high speed until it is stiff and holds its shape. Peaks in the meringue will be soft. Gently fold in the peppermint oil and candy mixture with a spatula. I use Lorann peppermint oil, a concentrated candy flavoring. If using a different product, adjust the amount of flavoring to your taste. Don’t over mix the meringue. Leave streaks of unincorporated candy. Overmixing will deflate the meringue. Some of the chocolate and mints will start to melt. A little melting is ok. It just adds more character to the cookies.
I use two spoons to transfer the meringue to the sheet pans, one to scoop the meringue and the other to release it onto the pan. Once the meringue is on the pan, I use the back of a spoon to create peaks, giving the cookies shape and texture.
Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. The cookies will puff and expand in the oven. The exterior should be thin and crisp. The interior should be light and mostly hollow. Some browning may occur on the tips or bottom, but the cookies should remain white. Cool the cookies completely before removing them from the pan and enjoy!
Peppermint Chocolate Meringue Cookies
- 8 egg whites
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 tbsp flour
- 7 ounces chocolate chopped
- 3 ounces peppermint sticks crushed
- 6 drops peppermint oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop the chocolate and peppermint sticks. Mix them with the flour and set aside.
- In a pot bring 2 cups of water to a low simmer. In a heat resistant bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add sugar to the egg whites. Place the bowl on top of the pot with the water. Whisk the whites constantly until thick and creamy. About 10 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the heat. Whip the whites with an electric mixer until it is thick enough to hold it's shape. Peaks may droop. Fold in the chocolate mixture and peppermint oil with a spatula.
- Line 2 sheet pans with parchment. With a large spoon, scoop dollops of meringue onto the pan about 2 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Allow the meringues to cool before removing them from the pan. Store in an airtight container.