A simple recipe for crispy and sweet meringue that will melt in your mouth. You can make them large or mini or any size you want, and they will make a perfect gift for holidays.
I feel like December is passing by so fast! Here was just the beginning of the month and right now I am counting down until Christmas. 2 more weeks, then 10 days and Christmas is 8 days away. I am in the middle of a baking marathon for the holiday so I have to plan ahead to make some cookie dough, cake batter so that I can bake whenever I can (you know that it’s going to be busy for all of us this time of the year). Half of them will be for gifting and the rest will be for us. I can’t wait until we can wrap the gifts with beautiful paper and use those freshly baked cookies as a tag.
Meringue cookies are one of the simplest cookie recipes in my opinion. You only need a few ingredients such as egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract, cream of tartar and salt to whip it up. Just bear in mind that meringue should be on the sweet side, with a crispy texture that will immediately melt in your mouth. Therefore, you shouldn’t be tempted to use less sugar to cut the sweetness since it affects the meringue’s texture. It also helps stabilize the egg whites and prevent the meringues from turning out too soft.
MERINGUE COOKIE SIZE
I usually make meringue traditional mini sizes that look like kisses candies. I use a pastry bag fitted with a star piping tip to pipe the mini shape I want. You can also drop mounds of meringue onto a baking sheet using a tablespoon and flatten the top with the back of the spoon. The temperature will vary based on the size of cookies, which takes a shorter time for smaller cookies and longer for bigger cookies.
SOME BAKING TIPS FOR A FOOL-PROOF MERINGUES
- Make sure that the mixing bowl and beater that you are using to beat the meringue is super clean: No greasy, no trace of fat! Any moisture can make it impossible for the meringue to reach that stiff peak.
- Be careful when you separate the eggs. Make sure that no bit of egg yolk is in the egg whites, or you won’t have a proper meringue texture.
- Timing is the most important when making meringue. Just add sugar when the egg whites start to get foamy. Add the sugar gradually, one tablespoon at a time. It will help give the meringue time to dissolve before adding another one.
- Beat until stiff peak forms, do not over beat.
- 3 large (100g) egg whites, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 200°F/93°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Make sure that your mixing bowl and the beater is super clean, not greasy and no trace of fat (or egg yolk). In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine egg whites, salt and cream of tartar. Beat egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy.
- Increase speed to medium high, then slowly add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Meringue at this time is thick and shiny, and the sugar is fully dissolved. Add in vanilla extract. Gently fold by hand until combined and smooth. Fold in food coloring at this point if using.
- Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (I use Wilton 1M), pipe 1-inch diameter kisses onto the prepared baking pan lined with parchment paper. You can also spoon mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, using a tablespoon and flatten the top with the back of the spoon.
- Place in the middle part of the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the meringues are dry and crispy and they are easily lifted from the parchment paper. Turn off the oven and, without opening the door, let meringues cool completely in the oven for at least one hour.
- Remove meringue from parchment paper. Store meringue cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.