Jell-o Meringues aka “Forgotten Cookies”

by Elizabeth Dengler

I remember making these delightful meringues as a child with my mom and Nanna. I think they would make them intentionally so my sister and I would have to practice patience. They’re definitely worth the wait. How long must you wait? Overnight. The kicker was that the meringues would be ready to take out of the oven in the morning, but we were not permitted to eat them for breakfast, so more patience needed to be practiced. Although, the argument could be made that they’re basically some cooked egg whites and Jell-o, so just sayin’ I won’t judge if you snack on a few with your morning coffee. However as a kid, that argument wouldn’t fly.

Now, if I haven’t managed to tempt you to give these treats a try so far, let’s see if this next piece might tempt you into giving these a shot. My sister and I were responsible for cutting out a brown paper grocery bag to the size of our cookie sheet. We would place the paper on the cookie sheet then, we would place the meringues directly on the piece of paper to bake. I’m not sure if the brown paper was meant to prevent the meringues from sticking to the pan or if it was meant to draw excess moisture from the meringues, either way I don’t carry on this tradition, but you are more than welcome to give it a go. Your kids or grandkids won’t forget it, believe me, after 35 + years I’ve not forgotten.

My daughter and I began giving these away at Christmas in little cookie gift boxes that we would hand out to her teachers and our neighbors every year. The first time we made them was when she was in preschool. I went to pick her up in the afternoon and was cornered by 2 of her instructors wanting to know what the “funky pink cookies” were.

The meringues have a little bit of a chewy center and classic meringue “bite”. The chocolate chips add a wonderful compliment to the Jell-o flavor. Speaking of Jell-o flavor, you can pick whichever you’d like, but our favorite is Raspberry Jell-o. Picking a red Jell-o really lends its color to the holiday season. Let me know what you try and how it turned out!

3 egg whites (make sure your eggs are room temp)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt (you can omit)
3 1/2 Tablespoons gelatin powder (our favorite is Raspberry)
3/4 Cup sugar
1 Cup chocolate chips (we are fans of the semi-sweet chip)

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
Carefully separate your egg whites from yolks, any yolk left in the egg whites and you will not be able to make the meringue! I separate each egg in one bowl before I add to my mixing bowl to prevent possible yoke contamination.

In a clean dry mixing bowl whip your egg whites, white vinegar and salt until stiff, but not dry. Beat in sugar and jello powder.

Fold in chocolate chips.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (Pam or butter works if you don’t have parchment or you can try the brown paper bag), drop spoonfuls of meringue. I just use a large tablespoon, but you can use your cookie scoop, I just like a “dippity-do” in the meringues.

Bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees then turn off your oven and let them sit there overnight. Do NOT open the oven! This is where having an oven light comes in handy for kids who want to check that the goodies are still in there.

Take them out in the morning and eat one whenever you’d like.