These swirled chocolate meringue cookies are a textural paradise. They’re chewy and soft in the center with crisp exteriors that deliver a series of satisfying snaps.
Crisp, chocolatey, and light as air best describe these meringue cookies with chocolate. The delicate confections worthy of any elegant dessert tray are downright delectable. The sweetness is on point, the sugar doesn’t overwhelm the chocolate’s complexity, and we can’t overlook that these cookies are as cute as can be. These all began with chocolate chip & pistachio meringue cookies I made a while back. They were so fantastic that I drew inspiration from that recipe for these meringue cookies but went straight for the chocolate this time. Melted dark chocolate replaces chocolate chips, and then I decided to drizzle more melted chocolate on top because there is no such thing as too much chocolate!
Why You’ll Love Swirled Chocolate Meringue Cookies
Only five ingredients – Generally, desserts don’t get much simpler than that.
Decadent chocolate flavor – The rich dark chocolate seamlessly swirled into the meringues adds a layer of indulgence that will satisfy even the most intense chocolate cravings and gives the cookies more visual appeal.
Gluten-free delight – You want to ensure that the chocolate you select is gluten-free, but these swirled chocolate meringues are gluten-free sweets.
Simple elegance – Despite their gourmet appearance, these meringues are surprisingly easy to bake, making them a go-to dessert for novice and experienced bakers alike.
Versatile dessert – Enjoy them on their own, as a beautiful garnish over gelato, or use them for decorative cakes and other confections – the options are endless. Swirled chocolate meringues also make lovely edible gifts!
Dark Chocolate Meringues Ingredients Notes
To make swirled chocolate meringues, you’ll need:
- Egg whites: Room-temperature egg whites are the foundation of these meringue cookies. They provide the structure and volume needed for the perfect meringue. Room-temperature whites also whip up faster.
- Caster sugar: Caster sugar easily dissolves due to its finely ground granules. The sugar is the primary sweetener in this recipe and stabilizes the whipped egg whites. If you’re curious, the only difference between caster sugar and granulated sugar is texture, so if you don’t have caster sugar on hand, you can make some by pulsing sugar in a blender or food processor until fine but not powdery.
- Vinegar: Plain white vinegar is another critical structural component to prevent the dreaded meringue collapse. It works by preventing egg proteins from bonding too tightly, which can lead to separation and, ultimately, collapse.
- Dark chocolate: Use a premium baking bar for this recipe: 70% dark or something similar works best.
How to Make Chocolate Meringue Cookies
Refer to the recipe card below for a complete ingredients list with measurements.
- Preheat and prepare: Preheat your oven to 215°F—line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Whip the whites: Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whip the whites until frothy. Next, slowly add the caster sugar, vinegar, and vanilla extract until the meringue holds stiff peaks. I would not recommend doing this without an electric mixer. Is it possible? Yes, but I can’t imagine doing this without one. I would be exhausted.
- Taste: Take a little bit on a spoon to ensure it isn’t gritty.
- Melt the chocolate: Chop the chocolate and melt it. Do this in a double boiler or the microwave. For the microwave method, melt in 30-second increments until smooth.
- Time for a swirl: Fold most of the melted chocolate into the meringue until evenly distributed. Be very gentle as you do this to avoid losing any volume.
- Scoop and bake: Use a scoop or large spoon to drop portions of the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, drizzle the tops with the remaining chocolate, and bake until crisp.
Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips
Replace vinegar with cream of tartar – Like vinegar, the acidic powder is commonly used in meringue.
Room temperature egg whites – This was mentioned before, but I can’t stress this enough. Ensure your egg whites are at room temperature (68°F to 72°F) before whipping them.
Clean utensils – Make sure your mixing bowl, beaters, and utensils are clean and free from grease or residue. A mere trace of oil can prevent the egg whites from whipping properly.
Use an oven thermometer – They sell for less than $10. To use, pop in the oven as you preheat to get an accurate reading of the oven’s temperature. This is because ranges tend to run hot, but maintaining a low temperature is vital for any meringue since higher temperatures will cause them to crack.
Cooling – After baking, leave the swirled chocolate meringues on a wire rack to cool. This cooling process helps them firm up and develop their desired texture.
What Exactly is Meringue?
Meringue is a light and airy mixture made primarily from egg whites and sugar. There are different types, which include French, Italian, and Swiss meringue. French meringue is at the base of these swirled chocolate meringue cookies. This type is the least stable yet the lightest and airiest. Moreover, French meringue is baked to achieve a crispy exterior and chewy interior.
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups caster sugar, see notes to easily make your own from sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- 4 oz dark chocolate, divided
- Preheat oven to 215 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whip the egg whites until frothy and light in color then gradually add in the castor sugar, vanilla extract, and vinegar until the meringue holds stiff peaks and there is no sugar grit (you should be able to tell by tasting the mixture and seeing if you can feel the granules of sugar on your tongue).
- Then melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave (I prefer the double boiler method) and drizzle about 3/4 of the chocolate directly into the meringue.
- Gently fold until the chocolate has been just distributed (don't mix!) then, using a cookie scoop, scoop out the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle with the remaining chocolate and place in the oven (on the lowest rack) for about 50-60 minutes. Once finished, turn off the oven and leave the meringue to cool for another 20-30 minutes.
To make caster sugar from granulated sugar simply blend sugar in a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder until fine but not powdery.
Try these cookie recipes next!