Dec 22, 2015

Meringue Cookies

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Cooling time: 1 hr
These light and airy cookies literally melt in your mouth.

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These light and airy cookies literally melt in your mouth. To make sure that your egg whites reach maximum volume make sure that all of your equipment is clean and that no parts of eggshell have made their way into the whites.

A meringue is properly whipped when it stands in stiff peaks when the whisk is removed from it. You should be able to flip the bowl upside-down without it falling out. This recipe is made using the French method – you can read more about the different types of meringue below.

Meringue Cookies

Meringue Cookies piped

What is Meringue?

Meringue is a light and airy dessert mixture made by combining whipped egg whites and sugar. It can be used for decor, cookies, pavlova or toppings. There are three different methods of making meringue:

French

French meringue is an uncooked method where the egg whites are beaten until frothy then sugar is slowly added until it dissolves and the mixture forms stiff peaks. While the least stable of the three methods it’s also the lightest.

Italian

This is the most stable of the meringues. It is made with a sugar syrup heated to the soft ball stage (326ºF – 340ºF) and slowly beaten into the frothy egg whites.

Swiss

Swiss meringue is thicker and a firm meringue. It’s made by stirring egg whites and sugar together in a bowl set over boiling water (the double boiler method).

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Egg whites – Meringue only uses the egg whites – not the yolks so I recommend saving the yolks to make a creamy custard like this creme brûlée recipe. Let the egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using them. Oddly enough older egg whites make for the best meringue.
  • Sugar – After the egg whites are frothy the sugar is slowly added with the mixer speed to high a few tablespoons at a time to ensure it fully dissolves into the recipe. I use granulated sugar though some prefer a finer sugar to ensure it dissolves.
  • Cream of tartar – While traditional meringue does not require the addition of cream of tartar, it mimics the chemical reaction that occurs when using a copper bowl to whisk whites which people believe makes the whites more stable and less likely to deflate. Think of it as adding reinforcements so that you are less likely to screw it up!
Meringue Cookies with chocolate chips

How to Make Meringue Cookies

  1. Beat egg whites. Preheat the oven to 225°F (110ºC). In a medium mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites with cream of tartar on high speed until foamy and soft peaks form.
  2. Slowly add sugar. Gradually add the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating consistently until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks. (If desired, gently fold in chocolate chips).
  3. Drop or pipe meringue. Drop round spoonfuls of the meringue batter (if added chocolate chips) or pipe through a pastry bag, 1-inch apart on waxed paper on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake the meringue. Bake until the meringues are firm and they easily lift off of the waxed paper, about 1 hour.
  5. Let cool in the oven. Turn off the oven and let the cookies stand in oven with door closed until cool, dry and crisp, for at least an 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. Store. Store in an airtight container.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Use a large star tip fitted with a large pastry bag to pipe meringue onto the prepared baking sheets. This is for the most visually appealing look (if you aren’t using chocolate chips).
  • Leave in the oven with the door closed when they are done cooking. Do not open the oven or take them out, let them sit so they are not gooey in the middle. The dry heat of the oven will keep them crisp.
  • Rather than using granulated sugar you can also use superfine sugar, it will dissolve in to the egg white mixture faster.
  • Try adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or peppermint extract for flavored meringues.
  • Lining the baking sheets with parchment paper or waxed paper keeps the meringues from sticking and adds another layer of protection from direct heat. It also helps to keep the bottoms from getting scorched as the meringues cook.
  • While I prefer the control a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment offers, a hand mixer can also be used to make the meringue batter. If you’re ok with a serious arm workout you can also use a whisk, though it will take much longer.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this meringue cookie recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Meringue Cookies

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cooling time 1 hr
Serves 2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup chocolate chip cookies (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 225°F (107ºC). In a medium mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites with cream of tartar on high speed until foamy.
  • Gradually add the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating consistently until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks. If desired, gently fold in chocolate chips.
  • Drop round spoonfuls of meringue batter (if added chocolate chips) or pipe through a pastry bag, 1-inch apart on waxed paper on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake until the meringues are firm and they easily lift off of the waxed paper, about 1 hour.
  • Turn off the oven and let the cookies stand in oven with door closed until cool, dry and crisp, for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Store in an airtight container.

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