Kids, please: Don’t let’s get into a turf war with the distinguished and wonderful French Macarons, or with the somewhat less distinguished and ubiquitous canned Passover Macaroons that linger for months after Passover, or anything in between: Here come Meringues! So move over sweeties, and let’s all play in the same sandbox, and have fun: There’s lots room where those cravings came from!
The trademark of Meringues is a very stiffly beaten egg-white-and-sugar mixture, to which can be added any number of flavorings in a short selection: Nuts, coconut, lemon extract, coffee, chocolate. I love their flaky exterior and chewy inside. I am offering here two options, both with chocolate; the one with the folded chocolate chips is just as delicious, albeit not as dramatic.
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons potato starch or tapioca
- 2 cups grated coconut, try your best for unsweetened
- 1 cup real semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon oil
Preheat oven to 325. Beat the eggs with the salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form, then add the sugar gradually, beating constantly, until the mixture is very stiff. Add the vinegar and starch and beat just a few more seconds to combine. Gently fold in the coconut. Using 2 tablespoons, form small mounds 1 inch apart and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake 20 to 23 minutes, until golden brown. do not let them get dark or they will harden. Let them cool and firm up. Melt the chocolate chips and oil on a very low flame in a very small saucepan, or microwave 1-2 minutes, and stir until smooth. Dip the bottoms of the meringues in the sauce, or dip them vertically in the sauce to coat one side. Place on a tray to dry. Store at room temperature.
Variation: fold in the chips at the same time as the coconut (no oil), and proceed just as above, no dipping.