Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

She reached across the table and ran her hand along my cheek. A tender gesture from the new wife of my father’s best friend as she remarked on “my beautiful young skin”. I was in my early 20s and didn’t think of my skin as anything but freckled and pale.

Today, as I look at my own girls’ tender young skin I see now what she saw then. Uncreased, unblemished by sun or time or worry. Wrinkle free. 

Being in my forties, the creep of age shows on my face. I’m trying my best to find the beauty in the creases, the crinkles around my eyes, the crepey skin at my throat. It finally resonates why Nora Ephron titled her memoir, “I feel bad about my neck”.

I want to embrace  the changes in my face, but instead find myself wondering why they call them fine lines at all. There is nothing fine about them. Try as I might, I can’t see the pretty in my own imperfections the way I can see it in others.

I look at the crease along my oldest daughter’s eyebrow and recall  the exuberance and confidence of her six year old self — the little girl who earned that scar  jumping across the steps of a fountain. 

I run my finger along the crack in a piece of pottery I made in college, remembering how crushed I was when it came out of the kiln that way. Over time, I’ve come to see that it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without it. 

I note the lines around my husband’s eyes, recognizing them as a sign of someone who has spent the better part of his life smiling. On him, the wrinkles read as charming and handsome, not old.

I admire the broken veneer of a meringue, just out of the oven. It’s not a flaw, more like an invitation to pick it up, break it open, and not wait another single second before eating it.

I know there is beauty in the cracks. I’m hoping, some day, I can  see it in myself. 

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

These meringues were one of my very favorite sweets growing up. Although not exactly health food, my version does scale back the sugar by 25 percent relative to other recipes. Each cookie weighs in at about 30 calories. Be warned: eating them may cause pleasure and pleasure leads to smiling and smiling causes fine lines. 
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Calories 45 kcal
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 bakings sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large, supremely clean bowl. Reserve the yolks for another use.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and salt to the egg whites. Beat the whites in a stand up or electric mixer on medium speed until they form soft peaks
  4. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar, taking about 1 minute to add it. Add the vanilla and turn the speed to high, beating the whites to stiff peaks, about 1 more minute.
  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold the chocolate chips into the whites.
  6. Drop generous spoonfuls of the eggs whites (just shy of 1/4 cup) onto the baking sheets.
  7. Bake until firm and dry with a pale brown cast to the exterior, about 1 1/2 hours.

Comments

11.09.2015 at 6:17 AM #

Christina Nystrom Mantha

This looks fantastic!! Do you have any tips on how to separate the yolk from the white of the egg? I’ve never been able to do it well.

11.09.2015 at 6:17 AM #

katiemorford

It can be tricky. I’ll share a link to a method I have taught my kids that works pretty well. I recommend cracking the white into it’s own little bowl and then adding it to the big mixing bowl. Do this one at a time so that if you accidentally get yolk in one of the whites …let’s say on your 3rd or 4th egg … you don’t ruin the whole batch of whites, just the one. http://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-way-to-separate-an-egg-is-with-your-hands-tips-from-the-kitchn-197431

11.09.2015 at 7:39 AM #

Sally @ Real Mom Nutrition

I am right there with you. RIGHT there. But I have to say, when I look at YOU, I only see a beautiful friend! (those cookies look really good too.)

11.09.2015 at 7:39 AM #

katiemorford

Likewise, Sally 🙂

11.09.2015 at 9:02 AM #

Elizabeth Ward

What a wonderful writer. You nailed it! And the cookies look great, too. I love meringues, and appreciate their cracks (because nothing’s perfect) but can’t see any cracks in YOUR face!

11.09.2015 at 9:02 AM #

katiemorford

Means a lot coming from you since I have been a quiet fan of your writing for years.

11.09.2015 at 10:24 AM #

Cynthia Jones

As a woman who turns 60 in about a month, those wrinkles are long established on my face and a badge of honor. I can only say that acceptance of my aging body has been a process – the 50’s were the most difficult as menopause made the biggest difference in the shortest period of time. I am now more accepting, and although I must admit that vanity remains a struggle and there are days I sigh when I look in the mirror, most of the time I feel like I walk into a room (particularly in a professional setting) with a bit more gravitas that engenders a measure of respect. So these changes are not all bad, but yep, it is different! Thanks for raising the topic Katie.

11.09.2015 at 10:24 AM #

katiemorford

Thank you for chiming in Cynthia. Love hearing your perspective. The upside of getting older and wiser, right?

11.09.2015 at 2:32 PM #

Melanie

This was written so well! It made me think about how easy it is for me to see the beauty in others and the flaws in myself. Thanks for the reminder to find the beauty! Those meringue cookies look delicious too!

11.09.2015 at 2:32 PM #

katiemorford

Thanks Melanie. I think that’s what it comes down to…we are often the most critical of ourselves. Cookies help.

11.09.2015 at 2:57 PM #

christine

I will have to try these with the leftover water from cooking chickpeas instead of egg whites.

11.09.2015 at 2:57 PM #

katiemorford

I’m intrigued. I’ve heard of using chick pea water for eggless meringue, but have never tried it. I’d love to hear if you make these that way.

11.09.2015 at 3:40 PM #

Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

Your writing is poetic Katie. Although still in my 30s I look back at pictures of myself before my kids were born and I can’t help but bemoan how aged I’ve become in the past 4 years. But life without my sweet girls wouldn’t be the same. So I am thankful for them despite my aged face! Thanks for the reminder to look beyond the cracks. And on that note, I see some delish chocolate chips beyond those meringue cracks!

11.09.2015 at 3:40 PM #

katiemorford

Appreciate that Jessica. Yes, the kiddos bring worry lines, but a lot of laugh lines too. Like you, I have girls, so it feels especially important for them to see me embrace my face (hey, sounds like a jingle I might need to sell to Ponds).

11.09.2015 at 10:23 PM #

Anne|Craving Something Healthy

Such a beautifully written post Katie 🙂 and I love the recipe too.

11.09.2015 at 10:23 PM #

katiemorford

Thank you Anne. Nice to hear from you.

11.13.2015 at 1:38 PM #

Jenny

I loved this article! What an open post, so very heartfelt. I love the way you write!

11.13.2015 at 1:38 PM #

katiemorford

Thank you Jenny. That sort of comment makes my day.

11.17.2015 at 10:54 AM #

ELANA NATKER

I just saw this post again, now on Huffington Post. So beautiful – and so timely since last night, my 7-year-old decided to point out to my husband and me all the wrinkles on our foreheads! Ahhh….kids. Funny thing is, I remember doing the same thing to my mom and running my finger across them. But like you, where I see my husband’s creases, I see friendliness and wisdom. When I see the seemingly permanent vertical lines between my eyebrows, I wish they made a tiny ironing board for skin. Anyway, thanks for the beautiful words. YOU are beautiful, too! (if only we could see it in ourselves, right???)

11.17.2015 at 10:54 AM #

katiemorford

It’s funny, too, because our kids are probably quite innocent in exploring our fine lines…they are just another part of their mom’s familiar face….but we can so easily interpret that curiosity as criticism. Thanks for commenting.

11.20.2018 at 7:29 PM #

Misty

I learned from top chef how to separate the yolk from the whites without getting any yolks in with your whites. You do it in your hand. Messy, yes. But it works perfectly!

11.20.2018 at 7:29 PM #

katiemorford

Good tip! I do that sometimes myself.

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