cookie swap time is coming up this weekend. as such, i've been a baking machine. what's that you say, mr. j? you're baking now, too?
relax. even i can't screw these cookies up. i'll leave the cupcakes and more complicated things to my better half. for now, i've got these cookies dialed. hell, i even memorized the recipe. if you don't have an electric mixer, stop reading. seriously, you won't be able to make these cookies without one, unless you can make a meringue without one. in which case, kudos to you!
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. chocolate chips
preheat the oven to 350. line cookie sheets with parchment paper. set aside.
separate the egg white from the yolk carefully. save the yolk for a sick baby chicken, make some creme brulee, your choice. me, i just tossed them at the squirrels. (no, not really.) begin beating the egg whites in a metal mixing bowl until they get some air in them, kinda foamy. add the cream of tartar. begin adding the sugar slowly, a few tablespoons or so at a time. when you've added half the sugar, add the vanilla extract. finish adding the rest of the sugar. by now the mixture should be white. keep mixing (on a pretty high speed) until the meringue is smooth, tight, and shiny. it should form small peaks and hold its shape pretty well. fold the chocolate chips into the meringue.
dole out the cookies-to-be with a teaspoon onto the parchment paper about an inch apart. these cookies will not spread out a whole lot. i was able to fit about 2 dozen on a sheet. put them into the oven and turn the oven off.
yes, i said turn the oven off. do not open the oven, don't peek, don't poke or prod. leave the cookies alone overnight (actually, it's only a few hours, but you can't overcook them.) when you wake up in the morning, the meringue will have dried out, and you'll be left with a crispy, delicious, cotton-candy-melt-in-your-mouth delicious treat.