light and delish: chocolate chip meringues

I know it’s not immediately apparent from the majority of the posts on this blog, but I actually do like eating relatively healthy and light.  I mean, I’m no health food nut, but I do have yogurt and granola for breakfast, cook with mostly fresh ingredients, and have almost completely cut soda out of my life (in high school, I drank 3 cans a day.  I kid you not).

Yet, I always find it difficult to keep dessert light.  Most everything calls for gobs of butter, egg after egg after egg, and sugar out the wazoo. And I often concede to these not-so-healthy ingredients because butter is wonderful, eggs are yummy, and sugar is king (or queen, depending on who you ask).

So really, you should be quite proud of me for trying this recipe for chocolate chip meringues (from my dear, personal friend, SK).  It contains no butter, egg whites, and (gasp!) only 1/2 a cup of sugar.  Furthermore, every meringue I’ve ever bought at the store has tasted like chalk, so it’s not like I have any fond memories of these airy little cookies.  But I gave them a go because SK loves them and so did (apparently) anyone who tried them.   And I’m nothing if not a slave to recipe comment logs (how did we ever know what was delicious and worth trying before they existed?).

There is definitely a learning curve for this recipe.  I had never beaten egg whites until foamy, used cream of tartar, or whipped a mixture until it formed stiff peaks before.  And yet, somehow, I muddled through.  I baked the silver-dollar-sized blobs of meringue until they were hard on the outside and lightly golden on the bottoms, and then let them cool on the baking rack before trying my first bite.

Friends, I am so happy to say that these were wonderful.  They tasted exactly like chocolate chip cookies with pecans and nothing like chalk, and were so light and airy that I couldn’t help but try far more than my share.  Because, hey, they’re hardly bad for you — in fact, I can tell you with certainty that they will cure the blues and rid you of any general malaise.  So bake a batch and congratulate yourself on your healthy, delicious choice.

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