Although these Chocolate Chip and Pecan Meringues are popular all year round in our home, I think of them mostly for Christmas. My late mother in law made them nearly every year. It feels odd typing ‘late’ in front of mother in law. It’s only been 36 hours since she passed away and it all still feels a little unreal.
My mother in law – whose name coincidentally was Avril – was a wonderful housewife and mother whose family meant everything to her. She was also an accomplished painter who played tennis and golf. It was hard seeing her so ill these last few years but while she is no longer suffering, she will be much missed.
Anyway, Avril loved Christmas. It was her absolute favourite time of year and her Christmas dinners were the stuff of legend. These Chocolate Chip and Pecan Meringues were served when we arrived at the house in the late morning, designed to stave off any hunger pains from the journey and keep us busy until the main event. Their crispy light golden outer shell gives way to a soft, slightly chewy centre, all mixed up with gorgeous crunchy pecans and delicious chocolate chips, making Avril’s Chocolate Chip and Pecan Meringues positively addictive.
There are lots of different theories out there on the best way to cook meringues. The best way to cook Chocolate Chip and Pecan Meringues is at a very low heat. Then turn the oven off and let them continue to dry out as the oven cools. Once they are almost cool, you can carefully remove them from the baking sheets and cool completely on a wire rack.
Chocolate Chip and Pecan Meringues
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- a generous pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 2 cups pecan halves, do not chop
- Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).
- Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper or other baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks are beginning to form.
- Gradually add the sugar, a bit at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips and the pecan halves.
- Using two tablespoons, gently drop tablespoons of batter on to the greaseproof paper.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the outsides are no longer sticky and are beginning to turn golden brown.
- Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for 20 to 25 minutes. Be careful they do not get too brown.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the meringues to cool a bit before gently peeling them off the greaseproof paper and cooling on a wire rack.
- When cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like A Very British Christmas.