Fudgy Chocolate Meringue Cookies {Aruba}

Fudgy Chocolate Meringue Cookies on a cooling rack

These Fudgy Chocolate Meringue Cookies are soft and chewy in the middle, with the most delightfully thin and crackly exterior! Not a week goes by that someone in our family doesn’t bring up a fun little (or big) memory from our cruise to the Southern Caribbean this past winter. Carnival treated us so well that week. The food, the activities, the genuine hospitality…all of it was so very good. I’m pretty sure they even ordered all that beautiful awesome sunshine for us to soak up, weary from our cold, bleak winter in Minnesota. We had one splendid time.

I’m reminded of these Fudgy Chocolate Meringue Cookies every now and then, whenever I’m needing an extra indulgent chocolate fix. Aboard the Carnival Breeze, I enjoyed them with a swirl of self-serve strawberry yogurt. Overlooking the Caribbean Sea. In the sunshine. Ahhhh…take me back!

Be sure to read to the end of this post where I share about my family’s favorite excursion while cruising the Southern Caribbean. (Aruba!)

Carnival Cruise 1979

* This post is sponsored by Carnival Cruise Line.  I just have to, have to, have to share this with you. Blake’s mom was cleaning out closets and asked if I’d like their travel album from the time they cruised on the Carnival Mardi Gras back in 1979. She knew better than to ask her own son, as he is not a saver of things. Of course, I had to take a look.

The girls and I got such a kick paging through the old album. Besides pictures and random memorabilia, the album contained paper after paper of Loree’s handwriting, describing their flights to and from Miami, everything about the cruise itself, and all you could hope to know about each of their port excursions. And looking at the photos, the 70’s clothing and hair styles, the dark wood paneling on the interior walls of the ship…we found it to be quite good entertainment.

Cookies on a cooling rack
a carton of eggs
Fudgy Chocolate Meringue Cookies on a white plate

That’s Blake with his mom and dad, in the photo above. Well here is some of my own kind of memorabilia, in recipe form. Of course! Every day, the dessert buffet onboard the Breeze was changed up. And one day my eyes locked in on their chocolate meringue cookies. I am so glad I didn’t pass them up. They were heavenly. If you’ve ever made anything “meringue”, you know that egg whites are at the heart of the recipe. Whipped until they’re fluffed and thickened, eggs are what give meringue desserts their unique airy texture. These chocolate meringue cookies are fudgy in the middle, with the most delightfully thin and crackly exterior. I remember when eating my first one on the ship, how I laughed out loud after taking my first bite. I had never eaten a chocolate meringue cookie before, and honestly expected to not even like it. But that sweet thing surprised me, and left me with another awesome travel memory to add to my list.

Fudgy Chocolate Meringue Cookies

Cook Time:10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted gently and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 c. finely diced walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet very lightly with non-stick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites, slowly adding in sugar, until mixture forms soft peaks. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in melted, cooled chocolate, vanilla, and nuts. Stir just until combined. Drop by spoonful (about 1-1/2 tablespoon in size), 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely. These cookies are best on the day they are made.

from Carnival Cruise Line

©
Fudgy Chocolate Meringue Cookies

aruba title
orange tiger painted land rover

I love Aruba’s slogan >>> One Happy Island. Everyone we met that day lived up to the claim. None of my family had ever been this far south before, as we were when visiting the islands of Curacao and Aruba. The skies were big and blue and full of warm sunshine. We felt welcomed, Aruba’s arms opened wide. 

Aruba Island Tour vehicle

Our family voted on which excursion to sign up for when visiting Aruba. And an open-air tour around the island with ABC Tours was the top pick. This brightly painted Land Rover was our mode of extreme fun transportation for the day as we explored the beautiful natural terrain of Aruba. It was a great way to take in the diversity of the island in a fairly short amount of time. But, beware, this ride is not for the faint of heart…

Ayo Rock Formations in aruba
two girls sitting on a large rock
rocky coastline of Aruba
family picture on aruba's coastline
waves in the ocean
wishing rocks garden in aruba
a girl stacking rocks
Bushiribana Gold Mill on Aruba
a girl standing in Bushiribana Gold Mill
Aruba Island Tour vehicles in a line
Aruba Island Tour
Alto Vista Chapel in aruba
beach in aruba
a girl drinking from a fresh coconut

The ride was hot and dusty, and extremely bumpy. But our very capable and entertaining driver, Eduardo, assured us, “You are safe with me. I’ve been driving crazy for many years.” Our first stop was the Ayo Rock Formations. We walked along the paths of these gigantic boulders, sometimes ducking and contorting our bodies between the rocks to stay on course. Once considered a sacred site by the island’s original inhabitants, the Arawak, rock drawings dating back thousands of years can be found here. What kid could resist climbing up into that fabulous rock?! The northern coast’s volcanic cliffs were rough and jagged, a stark contrast from the arid desert boulders and cacti. The crashing waves demanded nothing less than your respect for their power and beauty. Along a significant length of this rough coastline is a wishing rocks garden where visitors stack small rocks and make a wish. Our tour guide said these stacks were originally used by fishermen, marking their great catches from the shore. Our girls couldn’t get back in the Land Rover without creating their own stack. Gold was discovered in Aruba during the early 1800’s. The Bushiribana Gold Mill was built on the northern shore to process the ore from mines in the nearby hills. Its crumbling remains were beautiful against the solid blue of the sky and water. Visitors are allowed to climb around the interior. We were told that the mill was built to look like a fort, to help ward off pirates. At Alto Vista Chapel, a small restored Catholic chapel that dates back to 1750, the views were amazing from its higher vantage point.    It was there that we had our first distant look at those famous beaches of Aruba. This stop also left our oldest daughter smiling from ear to ear. Hatti had been on the lookout for a fresh coconut stand ever since our plane departed from Minneapolis, a bucket list item for her on this trip. Lucky for us, our final excursion in Aruba granted Hatti her wish. The fresh coconut water, was cold and extra refreshing after riding around in the heat and dust for a couple hours.

Arishi Beach in Aruba
Arishi Beach
Arishi Beach
three girls in the water at Arishi Beach

These guys know their way around coconuts and big sharp knives! Then we reached Arashi Beach, the final stop of our excursion. This moment was the moment I had been envisioning since booking our cruise. Aruba was this Southern Caribbean itinerary’s dream port for me. This soft, silky sand. This turquoise water. This endless blue sky, warm with sunshine. This. This. This. The water rolled gently, warm and soothing. The time my family spent right here, on this very beach, will forever be the highlight of this vacation for me. Each one of us left a piece of our heart in Aruba that afternoon. I only hope that one day we’ll be able to return, and for a much longer stay with more time in those warm sparkly waters.

For more about this Southern Caribbean cruise with Carnival, read here and here.

And for more travel from a farmgirl’s dabbles, be sure to follow along on Pinterest! Follow a farmgirl’s dabbles TRAVEL on Pinterest.

pinterest image of Aruba Island Tour

Disclosure: Our family was honored to be guests aboard the Carnival Breeze with Carnival Cruise Line. All opinions are 100% my own.

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