These light and crispy meringue cookies are not only adorable and taste like my favorite ice cream flavor, but they're also 21 Day Fix approved!
Ghosties!! Come on, are these guys adorable or what? Can I just tell you how many batches of meringue cookies I went through before perfecting, not only the cookie, but also the method of making them look so stinking cute? Well, actually I can't because I lost track. Let's just say it was quite a few. I knew that I needed to lose a lot of the sugar without sacrificing a great, crispy texture, so that took a few tries to get just right. The good news is, after cutting WAY back on the amount of sugar that is normally in meringue cookies, these are still sweet, sinful (tasting!) and delicious. They got a big thumbs up from the girls (even my oldest, who has no problem telling me when she thinks something needs "a bit more sweet" as she likes to say).
Ya know, I never used to think that I liked meringue in any form, but especially meringue cookies. They were always waaaay too sweet, sometimes had a strange, off-putting flavor and a weird texture that I just couldn't get behind. Blech. If you haven't guessed already, I had only ever had the store-bought variety and they're just a horse of a different color. A really gross, unfortunate color (IMO, anyway).
It wasn't until a few years ago when I came upon a recipe for a Strawberry Schaum Torte that I thought maybe I had misjudged meringue. A Schaum Torte is really just a meringue that's baked in a springform pan like a cake (instead of free-form like a Pavlova). It. Blew. My. Mind. It was crazy delicious. I truly couldn't believe it. It had this amazing, light texture and a sweet vanilla flavor that paired perfectly with the strawberries. Like an angel food cake but better. I was in love. Could I been wrong all along? Just don't tell my husband, I'm still trying to convince him that that never happens. I must have made that Strawberry Schaum Torte a million times that summer. Since then I've made several other forms of meringue, but never cookies, though I've thought many times that they would make a great 21 Day Fix cookie. It was time to rectify that situation.
Originally I was going to make these cookies into bones for Halloween, thinking that they would be an easy thing for everyone to make. Wrong. I don't know what the heck it was, but I just could NOT get them to look right. Even when they came out "ok," they still looked a whole lot like a dog biscuit. #fail. I racked my brain. And then I racked it some more.... I tried a few different shapes... a moon, a rectangle (thinking that I could somehow decorate it to look like Frankenstein - um, no), a skull, and a much-less appealing (and way more difficult) ghost before working out this one. I really appreciate any time I get an opportunity to add a few chocolate chips somewhere, plus it turned out that this was actually the easiest cookie to make! I'm always so glad when things work out that way. I'm figuring you are too. 😉
The instructions on how to make the ghost shape are in the recipe, but I thought some pictures were in order here. Please forgive the rough lighting, I didn't think to take these until the last minute! Hopefully they help you guys, they really are easy. I hope you try them!
If you make this recipe be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making 🙂
- 3 egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ⅛ teaspoon mint extract
- ¼ cup raw sugar
- 28 mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 14 regular sized semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Prepare two large baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper. I'm told you can also use aluminum foil, but I've never tried that personally, just fyi.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), add the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and mint extract. Mix until the beaten egg whites form soft peaks (when you pull out the whisk attachment and flip it upside down, the whites won't stand straight up, they'll flop over), then add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until incorporated. You will probably have to stop the mixer after all of the sugar is in to scrape the sugar back into the bottom of the bowl, then continue beating until the mixture stands straight up when you flip the attachment over.
- You could just dollop this mixture onto your baking sheets any way you'd like, but if you want to make these adorable ghosts, this is what you do:
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round decorating tip (I used an Ateco 809) with the meringue - you could also fill a ziplock bag and then cut the end off, I tried both ways and using the tip was a lot easier, but either can be done.
- See the above pictures for extra help, but basically, you're going to make a circle with your meringue, swipe to the left directly underneath it (going slightly upward at the end), swipe to the right the same way, back to the left, right again, left again, then back to the right, making a tail at the end. My cookies all turned out about 3 inches in size, making 14 cookies. Next, place you chocolate chips, two minis for eyes and one large one for the mouth. Now, marvel at your adorable creations. 🙂
- Put in the oven for 15 minutes. Switch your trays, putting the bottom tray on top and vice versa (you also want to flip each tray around so that the front of the tray is now in the back.) This will ensure even baking. Bake for another 15 minutes or until they just start to turn a very light golden brown. Turn off the oven but leave your cookies in there to dry for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Pull out your cookies and using a thin (metal works best) spatula, remove your cookies from the parchment.
- Meringue cookies can be temperamental, especially if it's humid where you are. If you leave them out on the counter, they'll quickly lose their crispness and start to get soggy and nobody wants that! However, if you store them right away (whatever your aren't eating right away!) in an air-tight container that has a little bit of cornstarch in the bottom, then a layer of parchment on top of that and in between each layer of cookies, you should be good to go. You need to keep them in the coolest place in your kitchen or even the fridge if need be (I kept mine in the fridge and it worked great!)
Storage: Meringue cookies can be temperamental, especially if it's humid where you are. If you leave them out on the counter, they'll quickly lose their crispness and start to get soggy and nobody wants that! However, if you store them right away (whatever your aren't eating right away!) in an air-tight container that has a little bit of cornstarch in the bottom, then a layer of parchment on top of that and in between each layer of cookies, you should be good to go. You need to keep them in the coolest place in your kitchen or even the fridge if need be (I kept mine in the fridge and it worked great!)
21 Day Fix Container Counts per Serving: 2 teaspoons of sugar per serving (so each cookie = 1 teaspoon of sugar) - There isn't enough protein here to count any red, even if you ate the whole batch, it would only count as ⅓ of a red. With regards to the chocolate chips, for two cookies, there is not enough to count (adds only 7 calories per serving).
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points per Serving: 2
Nutrition Information:Yield: 7 Serving Size: 2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 41Total Fat: 0g