Juniper Berry Chocolate Chewie Meringue Cookies


Beyond Gin: Juniper Berries and Chocolate Come Together Into A Delightful Cookie! 

Juniper Berries became the main ingredient in gin during the Eighty Years’ War when the Norwegians were fighting for independence from Spain. It was intended to help calm the anxious soldiers! The history of juniper berries as a spice goes much further back in history. Ancient Egyptians used this spice medicinally. Romans used it as a substitute for pepper. In the present day, juniper is used to flavor elk, reindeer, and blackbirds in Scandinavia. While Germans love adding it to sauerkraut as well as apple desserts. 

After experimenting with Juniper Berries, we just couldn’t get past the idea of combining this sweet and citrusy spice with chocolate. So, we added it to a Chocolate Chewie recipe and the juniper’s citrusy, piney flavor blends well with the deep dark chocolate flavors. The juniper flavor hits just after the chocolate spreads across your mouth creating a craveable flavor! It’s one of those flavors that is surprising in a good way!

The Flavors That Make This Cookie Special!

Juniper Berries have a clean, fresh, and quite sweet flavor with notes of pine and citrus. That citrus flavor pairs well with chocolate in this recipe. These berries are crushed lightly just before using. When crushing them, they should be slightly oily and sticky. 

Vanilla Extract. Just a touch of vanilla extract brings a caramelly sweet note. Learn how to make your own homemade vanilla extract in our Vanilla Extract Guide.

Pacific Flake Sea Salt. Most desserts need just a pinch or two of salt to balance all the sweet flavors. This recipe isn’t any different and Pacific Flake Sea Salt is our favorite salt for dessert recipes! This all-natural kosher flake sea salt is naturally flaky and melts quickly in baked goods ensuring you’ll never end up with an unexpected bite of salt.

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These unique cookies are technically a chewie – which is very much like a meringue, but with a bit more body from just a few tablespoons of flour and cacao powder. 

The addition of both cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate creates a cookie that is definitely a treat, but isn’t too sweet. If you’d like a sweeter cookie, substitute a milk chocolate for the bittersweet chocolate. 

The recipe calls for chopped pecans. Feel free to substitute any nut you’d like. We love the pecan version, but have found that peanuts are just as delicious. When stirring in the nuts and chocolate with the juniper berries, be sure to stir gently so as not to collapse the stiff egg whites. 

For our vegan friends, fear not! The world of aquafaba (chickpea water) awaits. Roughly two tablespoons of unwhipped aquafaba can be whipped up to replace a single egg white in this recipe.

Time to get baking these unique and delightful cookies! The sweet warmth of the chocolate, the delightful crunch of the nuts, and the intriguing whisper of juniper berry come together into a treat you won’t soon forget!

Let’s Get Cooking!

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Juniper Berry Chocolate Chewie Meringue Cookies

Difficulty: Beginner



  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. While the oven warms, grab a whisk and combine the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

  3. Using a mortar and pestle (or the back of a spoon in a pinch), crush those juniper berries and chop them finely.

  4. With the help of a stand mixer or hand mixer, begin incorporating the egg whites, one at a time, into the dry ingredient mixture.

  5. Once all three egg whites are incorporated, add the vanilla extract and whip the mixture for three minutes. You're looking for stiff peaks here!

  6. Gently fold in the chopped pecans, chocolate, and juniper berries. Remember, be a folding master – we don't want to deflate the air we've so carefully whipped into the batter!

  7. Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of batter onto your prepared cookie sheets, leaving about an inch of space between each one.

  8. Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges are set but the centers are still delightfully soft.

  9. Let the cookies cool completely before carefully removing them from the parchment paper.

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