These chocolate pistachio meringue cookies are light and fluffy, with a chocolatey hit and delicate pistachio pieces dusted over top – perfect for Spring!
When I decided to whip up some meringue I knew I wanted them to scream spring-time – and these pistachio meringue cookies are definitely a new favorite!
These cookies are a bit of a twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie, with rich chocolate chips but all wrapped up in pillowy, delicate meringue. The earthy, mild pistachio flavor sprinkled all over is the perfect balance to the sweet filling and although these cookies look incredibly impressive, they actually don’t take much time at all to whip up, and even an unseasoned baker can make them!
The secret to the perfect meringue is the cream of tartar – it’s basically the cheat code to silky, light, perfectly formed little clouds! The acidity in cream of tartar helps the egg whites to achieve their full whipping potential and stabilizes them by holding in water and air. You can definitely make meringues without cream of tartar, it might just not look as ‘polished’.
Why You’ll Love This Cookie Recipe
If you’ve wanted to dip a toe into the world of baking, this is the recipe for you – quick, simple and with an end result that isn’t overly sweet or heavy. You can have these cookies on the table in under an hour, and with such a simple recipe you can make any number of different topping combinations! Meringues also store incredibly well, so you can make a huge batch of these cookies and store them for up to two weeks! Check out our storage tips at the end of the recipe to learn exactly how to store these gorgeous cookies.
Chocolate Pistachio Meringue Cookie Ingredients
- Egg Whites: You can buy egg whites on their own from the supermarket, or separate whole eggs into whites and yolks, and save the yolks to make your own aioli or mayonnaise!
- Vanilla Extract: For this recipe I just used vanilla extract however if you have it on hand, fresh vanilla scraped out of the pod is heavenly! You can also sometimes buy vanilla paste from the supermarket.
- Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar stabilizes the little bubbles in the egg white, which speeds up the whipping process and ensures you have a glossy, pillowy meringue that is less likely to spread out.
- Crushed Pistachios: To save on this step I highly recommend buying pre-shelled pistachios! Simply take your pistachios and crush them with a mortar and pestle, or roughly chop them into small pieces.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: The mini chips allow the chocolate flavor to spread out more evenly in a cookie.
- Food Coloring: I used green gel for a more vibrant color. Feel free to change the color and add-ins to fit your needs! These cookies were made to be adapted!
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)
How to Make Chocolate Pistachio Meringue Cookies
- Meringue: Beat the egg whites with the vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar until the meringue forms stiff peaks and you can turn the bowl upside down without it falling out!
- Fillings: Gently fold the chocolate chips and a drop of green food dye into the meringue until evenly distributed.
- Form: Using a cookie scoop, gently place scoops of your mixture on a parchment-lined baking tray with about 1 inch between them.
- Sprinkle: Sprinkle the crushed pistachios and some extra chocolate chips over the top of the meringues.
- Bake: Bake at 300 for 35 – 40 minutes or until the outside of the meringue is crisp.
Tips for Making Meringue
- Slowly add sugar, if you add in too quickly the mixture won’t stiffen up enough.
- Use egg whites from fresh eggs, versus packaged, to ensure a stable meringue forms.
- Don’t overbeat the eggs or beat them too quickly so the eggs keep their structure.
- Use a glass bowl to ensure no fatty films from a plastic bowl corrupt the meringue.
- Avoid making meringue on humid days which can cause the meringue to get sticky or chewy.
Variations and substitutions
- Cream of tartar substitute: Because it’s the acidity in the cream of tartar that has the desired effect, you can substitute it out for lemon juice or white vinegar. You can swap them out at a 1:2 ratio so for a ¼ tsp of cream of tartar you would swap this out for ½ tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Dairy free: Swap the chocolate chips for some dark, dairy free chocolate! Just make sure that it’s baking chocolate, as normal chocolate will melt and spread.
- Nut free: If you can’t eat nuts then a light, fun alternative is poppy seeds! They have a delicate but nutty flavor, and are the perfect size for sprinkling. Or you can experiment with other toppings like orange zest for a bright, zingy twist.
- Pistachio alternative: If you don’t have pistachios on hand or can’t find them at your supermarket, a great alternative is crushed up cashews or almonds – they have a similar texture and light flavor.
Did you know that you can freeze meringues? Baked meringue will store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a month, and un-baked meringues can be stored in the freezer for up to 10 months! I love to make a big batch of these cookies and then freeze some of the unbaked meringue so I have an impressive sweet treat ready to go whenever I feel like it.
To store the baked pistachio meringue cookies, ensure they are completely cooled and then store them in an airtight container in a dry, cool pantry. Moisture is the enemy of meringues but if stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight they can stay crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside for up to 2 weeks.
- 4 egg whites at room temp
- 1 tbs. vanilla
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- 1¼ cup sugar
- Green Food Dye (I used gel)
- ½ cup crushed pistachio's
- 8 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Add the egg whites to a clean/dry bowl along with the vanilla and cream of tartar.
- Using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment whisk on medium-high until the mixture forms soft peaks.
- Then, slowly add the sugar ¼ cup at a time (if you add it in too quickly the mixture won't stiffen up enough).
- Beat until the meringue forms stiff peaks and you can turn the bowl upside down without it spilling out.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Add a drop of green food dye and gently fold until well distributed (add more depending on how saturated you want the cookies)
- Preheat the oven to 300
- Using a cookie scoop, evenly space the cookies about 1 inch from each other on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Top with the crushed pistachios and chocolate chips
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the outside is crisp.
- Serve immediately or keep in a dry container for up to a week.
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