Small-Batch Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies

A small-batch version of our family favourite, these Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies are festive and fun.

Meringue cookies, in any shape and any flavour, are always the first treat to disappear from the holiday cookie plate. Snatched up by my kids, there are usually only a few crispy shards remaining by the time I’m ready for something sweet.

This year I am wising up and creating nearly the whole cookie tin or plate with meringue cookies. I’ll leave room for a few shortbread, of course. Since my family are about the only guests I’m baking for, I may as well keep the customers happy.

Read on for a recipe you’ll want to add to your permanent repertoire and bake up for years to come.

Small-Batch Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies

Meringues are nothing novel, to be sure, but I think people forget how simple they are to make and how delicious they can be.

We tend to bake them mostly during the winter months. Summer brings a lot of humidity and achieving a crisp meringue can be tricky. If this is your first time playing with egg whites and sugar, there’s a great tutorial over on Kitchn.

There’s always a tin in the freezer over the Christmas holidays, and again at Easter, when I swirl in chopped mini chocolate eggs. So good!

I’ve designed this recipe to be a small batch, requiring just two egg whites. There’s a few reasons for this, the first being that our gatherings are smaller this year.

The second reason for the small batch meringues was inspired by my ever evolving journey to a zero waste kitchen. I use a random egg yolk here and there for recipes like my Rich Pie Crust or Caesar salad dressing. This leaves the whites – usually two – available for baking.

I’ve found having a family favourite recipe that only calls for two egg whites gives me incentive to transform the whites into cookies instead of shelving them in the back of the fridge.

Oh and if you’re making a citrus curd and have four egg whites leftover, rest assured that today’s chocolate swirl meringue cookies doubles perfectly.

Meringue Cookie Flavour Variations

We love our meringue cookies with a simple cocoa swirl and a touch of chopped chocolate, but I give a few more variations below. You should feel free to customize them to suit your taste! Here are a few ideas:

  • Add a few drops of peppermint to the meringue along with the cocoa
  • Fold in freeze dried fruit to the whipped meringue before shaping
  • Colour meringues with gel food colouring
  • Add a little espresso powder into the cocoa
  • Top with sprinkles before baking
  • Dip cooled meringues in melted chocolate

Of course, you could always add a drop of vanilla and leave them plain. I’ll be making a batch of mini winter white meringues for my Christmas Day dessert – the incredible show stopper Eton Mess-Topped Cranberry Curd Tart with Candied Kumquats.

Tips for Storing and Freezing Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies

Meringues love the dry cold of a freezer. They tend to absorb moisture, and if left on the counter, can loose their desirable crispiness.

The good news is that these confections are just as delicious after they have been frozen as they are fresh baked. The bad news is that they are very delicate, so proper storage is key.

  1. As soon as they have cooled, carefully pack them into airtight containers. I use large Rubbermaid containers or cookie tins.
  2. Don’t layer them more than 2 deep or they can crush the bottom layer.
  3. Place them in back corner or a freezer where they won’t get jostled or bumped.
  4. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Happy Baking!

Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies

A small-batch recipe, ideal for using up 2 egg whites.
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Gluten-free
Essential Ingredient: Chocolate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 1 dozen
Calories: 713kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 large egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 3 Tablespoons dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 oz chopped dark chocolate optional
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped pistachios optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the sugar and corn starch.
  • Place the egg whites in the squeaky clean bowl of a stand mixer. Add the pinch of salt. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form, about a minute.
  • With the mixer running, sprinkle in the sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Continue until all the sugar is incorporated. Beat until the meringue reaches stiff peak, about 3 more minutes. (When you remove and invert the whisk attachment, the dollop of meringue should stay stiff with only a slight bend to the tip.)
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape off the attachment. Sift 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder over the meringue. Using a rubber spatula, gently swirl it in, marbling the meringue. Sprinkle in the chopped chocolate, if using.
  • Use a small ice cream scoop to scoop 13 balls of meringue onto the prepared tray. They should be about 2 inches in diameter.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of cocoa over the top. Use a fork and run it in a circle around the meringue, dragging the tines through the cocoa for another swirled effect. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios if desired.
  • Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 45 minutes. This will give you a cookie with a slightly chewy, marshmallow center. For meringues that are crisp and crumbly all the way through, bake for 1h – 1h 10 minutes.
  • Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then finish on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Notes

Meringues may be frozen in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 713kcal | Carbohydrates: 127g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 693mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 108g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 6mg
About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Yum! We love meringues in any form here. Adding this to our list.

  2. These look amazing I’m going to make these this week I have everything in my pantry thanks for a small batch recipe. Happy holidays be safe.

  3. Vanessa Chesebro says

    4 stars
    These tasted lovely, but I have a couple notes: it took maybe 15 minutes for my mixer to get to stiff peaks, not the 3 she mentions here. It could be because I have a larger kitchenaid, and 2 egg whites is not much in the bowl. Also, they were pretty dry all the way through, so next time I will start checking at 40 minutes rather than leave the meringues in for a full 45 minutes. Made 10 with my ice cream scoop. My kids loved making them so I’m sure we’ll try again with the aforementioned changes!

    • Good point, Vanessa. Not all mixers or ovens are the same. I have the smallest stand mixer! 15 minutes. wow!

      And my ice cream scoop is 1 1/2 Tablespoons so on the small side.

  4. You could also try Zimsterne to use up egg whites around the year end holidays

  5. Question about the cocoa powder…it calls for 3 tsp cocoa powder, but then the instructions say “ Sift 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder over the meringue…….Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of cocoa over the top.“

    Is it supposed to be 3 tbsp instead of 3 tsp?

  6. sheila verghis says

    4 stars
    Dear Aimee,
    really loved the crisp yet delicate feel and taste of the meringue. Tanks so much. I did have a problem with the cookies sticking on to the baking paper on which i baked them. Th recipe says ” prepared tray”. Am unsure how to prepare. Kindly help here.

  7. 5 stars
    thank you, small batches also are a good way to keep me from going on a calorie splurge since cookies are one of my downfalls, so thank you for that too, but nice cookies regardless!

  8. Just put these in the oven and was wondering why mine weren’t very marbled but were more chocolate.

    Just realized the instructions say tablespoons but the ingredient list says teaspoons.

  9. 5 stars
    Absolutely divine Thank you Aimee
    Made them a few days ago and froze in Tupperware . Thawed two today as a treat …..absolute delight.
    Reading others comments, yes , even with the balloon attachment, my kitchen aid stand mixer took an unduly long time to beat the whites as required.
    If any of your readers have a kitchen aid seven speed hand mixer I can attest to the power that mixer has. Years ago we were doing a strawberry social at our church. Needless to say, lots of real cream to whip.
    My kitchen partner and I tried an experiment, her beating a quart of cream with her kitchen aid stand mixer and me with my trusty seven speed kitchen aid hand mixer. We finished in with perfectly whipped peaks at exactly the same time!
    I’ve rambled on, thank you again Aimee…..love your recipes.

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