Chocolate meringue cookies are light, chewy and naturally gluten free. Make this cookie recipe for yourself or to give as holiday gifts!
This holiday cookie recipe is one from mom’s collection, which she passed down to me. Who knew people were making gluten free cookies back in the 60’s?!
My mom’s family originally came from a prestigious neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts named Beacon Hill, and because my mom calls them Beacon Hill Cookies, I am assuming that is their origin.
Meringue is really popular during the holidays. I use it to make everything from these cookies to the topping on my sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving.
Chocolate Meringue Cookies
This recipe starts with making batter for traditional meringue cookies. Meringue is made by whipping egg whites and salt at high speed, then slowly incorporating sugar into the mixture. As a result, air is incorporated into the whites, causing them to become light and fluffy.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
To assist the meringue in holding its shape, a little white vinegar is added, along with vanilla extract for flavor.
To create the chocolate flavor in chocolate meringues, all that’s needed is some type of chocolate or cocoa powder to incorporate into the mixture. I like to use rich, dark chocolate, but any milk or dark chocolate can be used.
Unlike many chocolate meringue cookie recipes, this one doesn’t call for cocoa powder. Cocoa is fine for making things like Mexican hot chocolate and the sauce for pork mole negro, but I think using it in baked goods makes them dry out. Using only melted chocolate results in a rich, deep flavor packed into melt-in-your-mouth meringues.
To add a little crunch into the chewy chocolate cookie, chopped nuts are gently folded in. I prefer walnuts but other nuts like pecans or macadamia nuts would be fantastic too.
After the batter is made, the cookie dough goes on a baking sheet and magic happens in the oven.
Recipe tips and notes
- Avoid using a plastic mixing bowl, and thoroughly clean the beaters and the bowl.
Whipping egg whites is easy, but egg whites can be finicky. If there’s even a trace of fat on the beaters or in the mixing bowl, you’ll be hard pressed to get those whites fluffy.
It doesn’t take much effort; just wash and dry them as you normally would. Then dampen a paper towel with white vinegar and use it to wipe down the bowl and beaters.
- Bring the eggs to room temperature before whipping.
Cold eggs are more difficult to whip, so bring your eggs out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you start making the meringue.
- Be sure there are no yolks mixed in with the egg whites.
- Incorporate the sugar into the whipped egg whites slowly. If you dump all of the sugar in at once, it won’t disperse through the whites, which means they won’t whip up into fluffy goodness!
These are simply put, melt-in-your-mouth amazing. It’s almost as if when it hits your mouth it melts. A beautiful, rich chocolate flavored, meringue-like cookie, but with a little heft from the chopped walnuts. Just amazing.
Other holiday cookie recipes
If these cookies don’t seem right for the holidays, make some Mexican wedding cookies, this homemade cannoli recipe, or dark chocolate peanut butter cookies!
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This recipe, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Sept. 1, 2017 was last updated with new content Oct 13, 2021.
Chocolate Meringue Cookies (Gluten Free)
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 4 egg whites (save yolks for other use)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cider vinegar (See Note 3)
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts chopped fine
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Melt chocolate in microwave with power setting set at 5 and 30 second blasts. Stir and heat again until smooth. (See Note 1)
- Beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy and slowly add the sugar. Beat well until peaks form. (See Note 2)
- Beat in the vanilla and vinegar (See Note 3)
- Fold in the chocolate and walnuts.
- On a greased cookie sheet drop by tablespoon full and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Makes 3 dozen.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Hi Kevin, should I use raw or toasted walnuts?
Raw is what I use, but toasted would add another richness for sure.
So, my grandma taught me to make these we use pecans and coconut along with the chocolate. The recipe was lost with my memory so thanks for filling in the holes.
So glad I could assist Traci! Enjoy! 🙂
My middle sister is a fabulous Baker. I am now, sadly, gluten free. She brought these cookies to a family event. These cookies have renewed my will to live. They are so scrummy (scrumptious and yummy), I am going to try and make them myself. Wish me (and my neighbours) luck. Bless you, and your recipes.
All thanks go to my mom. So glad you enjoyed these Kathryn! 🙂
Hi Kevin. LIke you, I have a hand written version of my moms from the ’60’s. She would add shredded coconut(she always loved to tweak a standard recipe..)
I always called these the best “ugly cookies” on account of the blobby shapes. But put a plate of them down and they are gone in a flash! haha.
Agreed David, hands down I can eat the entire plate of these! 🙂
These are beautiful!! Thank you, I copied the recipe, these I have to make!!!
Thank YOU for reminding me of these Lisa, it’s been a while. Might need to make them happen tonight myself! 😉
Hi Kevin – my grand mother made these for us every time we visited. I adore them, and have her recipe (identical to yours.) Hers were just like yours, with a flat glazed top. However, when I make them, they get a little round meringue puff on the top and the chewy layer on the bottom with a big air pocket, which means they shatter when bitten into. Any hints on how to “unmeringue” them?
Thanks – at least I was able to make sure I didn’t write the recipe down wrong.
I must say that that also happens to me sometimes as well Gail. Maybe it depends on the size of the dough ball? Not quite sure.
Your site is so fantastic. I’m going to come back here again.
So now the wealthy even get their own cookies named after their exclusive neighborhoods? I’m going to invent a “south side of Chicago” cookie, and I’m not going to share it with anyone who lives in a “desirable” neighborhood. (Kudos to your mom, though. This sounds like a killer cookie.)
Hasn’t that always been the way? Ha! I would gladly come up with a South Side Chicago cookie for you if you like. Mom had the killer recipes, it’s what I asked for when she passed away from my dad when asked – all her cookbooks and notes for recipes. Great stash of memories and ideas. 🙂
OMG. I don’t follow a GF diet but one look at these chocolatey morsels and I’m tempted to say that I’m all in! Family recipes are clearly the best and these are just one more example, I love the legacy your mom has left behind. Great job as always, Kevin!
Me neither (obviously!) but these are a steadfast, tried and deliciously true recipe. Thanks Dan!
Hey Kevin! These sound SO good! I use pecans a lot, but if I’m making chocolate cookies I always use walnuts. And, no figs involved 🙂
Gotta love one of mom’s recipes! Thanks Dorothy!
This style of cookie is totally new to me and looks AHHMAZING!! Will be trying this recipe shortly…
These are killer indeed. A must try! Let me know your thoughts on them.
Fantastic cookies, Kevin! I could easily imagine their texture – slightly chewy in inside while being a little crispy outside…and melting, melting! And there are plenty of options to go with. Personally, I clearly see these cookies made with hazelnuts and perhaps a little of peppermint extract. I wish I could have some (8-16) cookies right now:)
Thanks Ben! I’m liking your hazelnut peppermint idea… a lot. 🙂