What to do with all the egg whites...
I made the first batch of ice cream and I will post about that soon but for now I wanted to write about a favorite cookie of mine. Most restaurants have a glut of egg whites lying around from ice cream making, creme brulees and custard sauces. Despite our best intentions, they often sit in the walk-in fridge until their time is up and we throw them out. Such a waste.
Instead, you could make lots of cake with Italian meringue buttercream but if you're looking for something a little bit lighter, these cookies are the way to go. We made these at a restaurant that had a cookie plate as one of the dessert options but I don't think these every made it onto the plate because we ate them all as soon as they were made. Walnuts are not my favorite nut but they really are the best for these- something about the amount of oil in them. Other nuts do work, though, as you'll see in this pistachio version.
Walnut (or pistachio) and Chocolate Chip Meringues
4 lg. egg whites, at room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6oz. toasted walnuts (or pistachios), chopped fine
8 oz. mini chocolate chips
large pinch Maldon sea salt (optional)*
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Whip egg whites until they begin to froth. Slowly add the powdered sugar on low speed. When all the sugar is added, beat on high until thick and shiny. Stir in the vanilla, nuts and chips. Scoop heaping tablespoons (I used a small ice cream scoop) of batter onto cookie sheets and bake for approximately 20 mins. The point here is for them to be crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and not really brown at all. Keep in mind that they become crispier after they sit out of the oven for awhile. You may have to mess with your oven temp. and baking time to get it right. But you'll know when you get it right!
*I added the salt because after trying this chocolate bar, I am in love with what the crunch of salt can do to sweets.