Meringues are an absolute classic in the grand tradition of petit fours. But you’ll never see a mint chocolate-chip meringue on a French pastry tray – it’s a completely American flavor combination, and one that I love. In this easy, superlight cookie, I use shards of unsweetened chocolate and a sweet meringue mixture for a great contrast.
These meringues do have the melting texture of the French original. But don’t expect the bright green color of American mint chocolate chip ice cream! The finished meringues are a pale cappuccino color when baked, and will be dry and crisp all the way through to the center.
Makes about 90
½ cup egg whites (from about 4 eggs)
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon mint extract or mint flavoring (not mint oil)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped or grated
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
A pastry bag, fitted with a large plain or star tip
Two cookie sheets, well greased, or lined with parchment paper (page 000), or lined with nonstick baking mats or nonstick cookie sheets.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Heat the egg whites and sugar in the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water until warm to the touch (this will help you get more air into the whites when you whip them). Transfer to a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until soft peaks form. Add the mint extract and continue whipping just until stiff and glossy. Fold in the chopped unsweetened chocolate.
Scrape the mixture into your pastry bag. Pipe bite-size kisses onto the cookie sheets and bake until the meringues are the color of milky coffee, 25 to 30 minutes. To test, remove one meringue from the oven, let cool one minute, then taste. It should be dry and crisp all the way through. Let cool on the pans.
Melt the semisweet chocolate (page 000). Dipping the tines of a fork into the chocolate, drizzle the meringues with melted chocolate. Let sit until chocolate is set, 30 minutes to an hour (or let set in the refrigerator for 15 minutes).
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.