This recipe won a local cookie recipe contest in Austin, Texas, and was featured on cookiemadness.net blog. The recipe calls for 4 egg whites, and I only had 3, so I did some quick math and changed the measurements. I was a bit worried about the cloves, as I thought they were going to overpower the other flavors; but when the cookies baked up, the flavors were perfect and really quite mild. This recipe has everything in it to ensure success: cornstarch, cream of tartar and really no liquid except for the small amount of vinegar. Still, it's best not to try these on a humid day. The humidity levels here in New Bern were 41% inside, 31% outside today, so it was a good day to make these. They puff up nicely but don't spread too much. Meringues are not very pretty to look at, but the taste of these is divine. They're light as air and just slightly crunchy, and slightly chewy inside with all the surprise flavors to greet your teeth as you chomp down. You can make them a little nicer to look at if you spoon the batter into a resealable plastic sandwich bag with the corner snipped off and a star tube inserted in the hole. Really, try these. They are wonderful cookies. Thank you Alison!
Alison's Chewy Chai Meringue Cookies
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup 10X sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/8 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. ginger
1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (Sam's Choice at Wal-Mart is good stuff.)
1/2 cup toasted finely chopped nuts (I used pecans)
3 egg whites, room temperature or slightly warm
3/16 tsp. cream of tartar
pinch of sea salt
3/8 cup superfine sugar
3/4 tsp. white or rice vinegar
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 300 F. In small bowl, sift together the first 5 ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix together. Set aside. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt till stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Gradually add the superfine sugar and beat till glossy and stiff. Add the vinegar, stir once, then fold in the powdered sugar mixture. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for about 30 minutes or till meringues are set and just beginning to turn golden around the edges. Remove to cake rack to finish cooling completely. Yield: About 32 cookies that are delicately crusty on the outside and very slightly chewy on the inside. These freeze well.