By Riki Shore
This weekend my daughter and I made these Chewy Chocolate Meringues for her table at a kid’s marketplace. The idea was simple: kids would sell wares they’ve made by hand and manage the money transactions themselves.
As a homeschool family, we’re always looking for constructive and fun ways to connect with other children, and the marketplace seemed to offer a great opportunity. She’d be practicing discipline, planning, time management, measuring, counting, marketing, and sales all in one go. With any luck, she’d make some money to boot.
In addition to the meringues, we decided to make chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter rice crispie bars, honey lemonade and iced coffee. Interestingly, the lemonade was the biggest seller – and it wasn’t even that hot!
When we got to the park, we set up shop between the Marshmallow Shooters and the Rice Puppets. Two tables down was another gluten-free baker, but he had pumpkin muffins, so it wasn’t stiff competition.
Also present were a henna artist, a knitter, a jewelry maker, an egg seller, a fudge maker and two painters. The whole atmosphere was one of supportive conviviality. The kids were eager to show off what they’d made and soon side deals were sprouting up left and right. (“I’ll give you a lemonade for that pendant.“)
In the end, we made two new friends and netted $30. Stella came home with three pairs of dangly earrings, a knitted bracelet, a stone pendant, a painted treasure box, a dozen eggs, and a beautiful henna tattoo.
These meringues are inexpensive and pretty much foolproof to make. You can substitute chopped dried fruit or nuts for the chocolate chips, if you prefer.
1 cup egg whites
2 cups raw sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place the egg whites and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar melts.
3. Place the warm egg white and sugar mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until the whites are stiff and glossy, about 5 – 10 minutes.
4. Add the chocolate chips and mix on medium until incorporated.
5. Scoop large spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. These cookies won’t spread, but you want to keep an inch between them on the sheet. They will look like fluffy clouds, and will retain this shape during baking.
6. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until they are hard on the outside and soft in the center. The best way to test is to break one in half and make sure it’s cooked through, but still soft.
7. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before removing them carefully with your hands. Store in an airtight container up to 4 days.