Magical Mystery Meringues

Magical Mystery Meringues

Every now and then we stumble over some ingredient or procedure that seems to allow actual magic to take place. When I started reading that in certain cases the liquid left over from canned garbanzo beans can be whipped and used as a replacement for egg whites I loudly exclaimed, “Balderdash … poppycock … malarkey! Wait a minute, that could actually work.” Want proof? Try one of these meringue cookies. When the young daughter of my director of culinary ops tried one, she looked up and said, “It tastes like a cloud.” She’s wrong of course. Clouds are nearly this good.

Magical Mystery Meringues

  • 3/4 cup "aquafaba" – the liquid from one 15-ounce can of chickpeas* at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees F and line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the aquafaba and cream of tartar on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk until foamy – about 2 minutes. Gradually add in the sugar followed by the vanilla extract then increase the speed to high beat to stiff peaks, another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Scoop the meringue into a gallon sized zip-top bag (or piping bag) and pipe into quarter-sized rounds. Bake for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. The meringues may feel soft in the oven but will continue to dry as they cool.


  1. – Add 2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals and 6 drops of chocolate bitters to the batter before baking
  2. – Dip into tempered chocolate and cool

*Low-sodium or no-salt added recommended
YIELDS: Makes approximately 400 quarter-sized cookies


Add yours
  1. 6
    Ab Fan

    Well they are light as air as promised. If you didn’t know what was in them, then I’m not sure you would notice the “bean-y” aftertaste. But since I do know, I can’t get by the slightly off scent of them. I used low-sodium canned chick peas. But, i would have to say I am blown away that it worked as promised. I am making a normal egg white version and will see which I like better.

  2. 11
    Lesley Davies

    I use Alton’s method of pressure cooking my chick peas, would that “water” work in this recipe?
    Im loathed to purchase canned beans.

  3. 13
    Victor Rodriguez

    Don’t use a can of regular chick peas–even if it’s all you have. The cookies have a fairly horrid aftertaste that reminds you of getting hit in the face with a car and watching a puppy murdered. Go with the no-sodium stuff.

  4. 15

    Wow!!!! Just Wow!! Trying this Today to get some eyes bugging out. This is gonna get some people who’ve gone postal on me when I told them what I’ve snuck into their food. Thank You Alton!!

  5. 18
    Sean D

    I cannot wait to try these the next time I make hummus! I wonder if the cooking water from slow cooker chick peas would work? What do you think AB?

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