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Plant-Based Meringue & Almond Meringue Cookies

Chef Derek Sarno, Director of Plant-Based Innovation at Tesco, & Chef Chad Sarno

Authors of The Wicked Healthy Cookbook


Photos: Eva Kosmas Flores


Makes 6 to 7 cups meringue & about 0 small cookies


For the plant-based meringue

1 can (14 ounces) no-salt-added chickpeas

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup semifinal (see Pro Tip) organic cane sugar


Strain the chickpea liquid into the bowl of an electric mixer. You should have about ½ cup. (Use the chickpeas for something else such as the Four-Bean and Sweet Potato Slow-Cooker Chili on page 166). Add the cream of tartar to the bowl and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until the mixture increases in volume and stiffens a bit, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium high and gradually add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Blend about 4 minutes more, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The meringue is done when it holds its shape as the whip attachment is lifted. You should also be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue falling out. Continue whipping until you can do that. Otherwise, the meringue will not hold its shape when cooked.


Plant-Based Meringue (see previous)

1 tsp almond extract

Seeds scraped from ½ vanilla bean

¼ cup finely ground unsalted roasted almonds, optional


Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make the meringue until it is fully whipped. Whip the almond extract and vanilla seeds into the meringue. Spoon the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Or use a zipper-lock bag and cut off a corner. If your parchment is curling up from the baking sheets, dollop a little meringue under each corner to secure it. Pipe cookies into pointy mounds about 1½ inches in diameter. They should look like big Hershey’s kisses.

You need only about ½ inch space between cookies because they won’t expand much during baking. Sprinkle the ground almonds, if using, evenly over the cookies. Bake until the cookies look dry and off-white in color, 2 hours. Rotate the pans halfway through the baking for even heating. Cool completely on the baking sheets. Store in well-sealed containers. Humidity and moisture will make the cookies sticky, so store them in a cool, dry cupboard.


Raspberry Meringue Cookies

When making the meringue, add 1/3 cup powdered freeze-dried raspberries (buzzed in a clean spice grinder) along with the sugar. Omit the vanilla and almonds, and substitute raspberry extract for the almond extract.

Lemon Meringue Cookies

When making the meringue, add 2 tablespoons lemon peel powder (buzz the dried lemon peel in a clean spice grinder) along with the sugar. Omit the vanilla and almonds, and substitute lemon extract for the almond extract.

Candy Cane Meringue Cookies

When making the meringue, reduce the sugar by 2 tablespoons and add 3 to 4 tablespoons crushed candy canes along with the sugar while whipping. Omit the vanilla and almonds, and substitute 1 teaspoon peppermint extract or a few drops of food-grade peppermint essential oil for the almond extract.


To make semi fine sugar, grind it in a food processor or Vitamix for 10 to 15 seconds. Excerpted from the book THE WICKED HEALTHY COOKBOOK by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim. Copyright © 2018 by Chad Sarno and Derek Sarno. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.


BONUS RECIPE! Bananas Foster Oatmeal


2 cups water

1 tsp cinnamon, divided

1 tsp vanilla, divided

1 tsp nutmeg

1 cup organic rolled oats or steel cut oats, soaked overnight and drained

1 tsp Earth Balance organic, plant-based butter

2 bananas

½ tsp brown sugar

½ cup sliced strawberries

½ cup blueberries

½ cup pecans, sliced or whole

¼ cup Kite Hill almond milk yogurt, plain

Mint leaves, for garnish


To prepare the oats: in a sauce pot on medium-high heat, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoons each of the cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg to the water, then whisk in the oats. Bring the oats back to a slow boil, stirring, and lower heat to medium low until water is noticeably absorbed, then lower to wicked low or shut heat off and let sit for a couple minutes covered. To prepare the “bananas foster” portion: Heat separate skillet to medium high heat. Melt butter, add the remaining cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, then add one of the sliced bananas and sauté for a minute. Add brown sugar and carefully toss to coat and cook bananas for another minute. Remove from the heat, then transfer the bananas to small bowl. Return to your skillet and deglaze the pan with 3 tablespoons of water and pour this mixture over bananas. Set aside. To prepare the mason jars: begin to build layers with strawberries, oats, banana, oats, blueberries and so forth. Top with fresh sliced raw banana, pecans, fresh unsweetened almond cultured yogurt and mint.

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