If I hadn’t tried it for myself, I would have thought all those photos showing beautiful, shiny meringue with stiff peaks (that we all strive for) on all those KitchenAid whip attachments were photo shopped.
Not because it can’t be done, but because they were saying those beautiful stiff peaks were made with the thick, liquid stuff you drain from your can of beans. Chick peas or garbanzo beans to be exact.
It’s being called a vegan meringue. Or better known as Aquafaba, the liquid in canned beans which is a mixture of starches, proteins, and other plant solids that remain in the water after cooking chick peas and beans.
Although it doesn’t sound quite appetizing (at all, if you ask me) this stuff is rocking the vegan world because it’s the closest thing to egg whites with its ability to emulsify, foam, bind, gelatinize, and form a beautiful stiff peaked meringue.
As for health benefits, aquafaba only has one percent protein compared to an egg white that has 10 percent protein. If you want to know more about the nutritional content of aquafaba, visit the Aquafaba website.
Yes, it has its own website where they explain the history and science behind aquafaba and you can even purchase an aquafaba cooking apron, t-shirt, or coffee mug. That’s how excited vegans are about this stuff!
The real test wasn’t just in whipping up the meringue. The real test was the taste test because my taste buds never fail me.
It was only after I had came home from the store after buying my cans of chick peas that I realized I should have purchased the low sodium or sodium-free chick peas.
This was recommended on many sites I browsed through while researching aquafaba AFTER I came home from the store. Ugh!
However, it was either my stubbornness or my sheer excitement and determination to make aquafaba, that I ignored those recommendations and used what I had on hand, my sodium filled can of chick peas.
Of course I did change my mind on flavorings from a light, Spring inspired flavor of rose water to a deeper, richer flavor of espresso that would (hopefully) cover any bean flavors from the aquafaba.
The end result were these beautiful, crisp coffee flavored meringue cookies with no hint of bean flavors. Anywhere.
You can’t tell the difference between egg white meringue cookies and aquafaba meringue cookies. And nobody else will be able to either.
It’s a win-win for the vegan community.
So next time you open a can of beans or chick peas, please do not pour that liquid down the sink.
An egg-free meringue cookie made using aquafaba. These cookies have a delicate flavoring of espresso with a cocoa sugar dusting.
- Drained liquid from 1-15.5 ounce can chick peas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 195F degrees.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Making sure to fit the parchment paper on the cookie sheet by cutting off any overhang. I found it easier to crinkle the parchment paper when placing it on the cookie sheet so it stays in place and won’t roll everywhere with its natural shape from being on the tube. Set aside.
- Add the drained liquid (aquafaba) into a large mixing bowl.
- Using either a hand or a stand mixer, whip mixture on Low to medium speed until aquafaba starts to look frothy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- On medium speed, add in vanilla and cream of tartar, gradually increasing to High speed for whipping.
- Gradually add in sugar and espresso powder and continue to whip until stiff peaks start to form, about 5 minutes. You can tell this when you remove the wire whip away from the mixture and it remains peaked.
- Spoon cookies onto prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
- Bake for 90–120 minutes. That’s one hour and a half to two hours baking time. You don’t want them to brown, so keep an eye on them after 90 minutes if they need to cook a little longer. They should have a crispy outer shell when tapped.
- After meringues have baked, leave them in the oven, turn off the heat, prop the oven door open about 3 inches to let the cookies cool and crisp up a little more. Leave like this for 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove cookies from the oven.
- Gently loosen cookies from parchment paper before dusting with cocoa sugar. To remove the cookies from the parchment paper, either gently twist off the cookies or gently pull parchment paper away from the cookies. They should come off clean. There might be a little sticky going on and that’s where the gentle pulling of the parchment paper away from the cookie works best. Be careful not to squish the cookies between your fingers while trying to remove them from the parchment paper.
- Let cookies cool completely before dusting with cocoa sugar.
- Mix powdered sugar and cocoa powder together in a small bowl.
- Place cocoa sugar mixture into a sifter and lightly sift over tops of cookies.
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month, 2 to 3 weeks in high humidity areas.
- These meringue cookies are egg-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and fat-free.
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