Meringue cookies are the first thing I ever baked.
There I said it. It wasn’t a chocolate chip cookie or even banana bread. Why you might ask? My grandmother didn’t just like meringue cookies, she was obsessed with them. At Christmas time it was just one kind of meringue cookie you’d find in her kitchen but at least two or three.
Granny dipped her meringue kisses in chocolate and made french meringue, as well as lemon meringue cookies. Meringues were kind of her thing.
But if you ask me, for good reason. Meringue cookies might not be the obvious cookie to start your baking obsession with, but they aren’t difficult once you get the hang of them.
This meringue cookie recipe only has 5 ingredients. It’s also a super versatile and basic recipe to start with. Once you master this, there are a ton of different meringue cookie recipes you can make. From meringue cookies to chocolate meringue cookies, it’s all about swapping out flavors, toppings, and a few different ingredients.
If made correctly, meringue cookies are light and airy. Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They are a great summertime cookie (stores in an air-tight container of course!) when you need a little sugar pick-me-up, or a great addition to add to your holiday cookie rotation.
But before we dive in, let’s cover some meringue basics.
How to Make Meringue Cookies
What meringue cookies might lack in their need for ingredients, they make up for in a technique or two. But don’t worry, they’re basic cooking techniques, specifically: learning how to separate eggs, create stiff egg white peaks, and piping with a pastry bag (if you really want pretty cookies).
A quick note on ingredients: If you’re looking at the ingredients and thinking how many cookies is 2 egg whites and 3/4 a cup of sugar really going to make? Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of cookies from this recipe, around 2 dozen give or take. Once you start creating your meringue mixture, you’ll be surprised how these few ingredients increase in volume. You’ll have plenty of meringue “batter” to work worth.
Creating Stiff Peaks With Egg Whites
The hardest thing, if you can call it that, is creating stiff peaks for your meringue cookies. This is a basic pastry and baking technique that is good to have in your culinary arsenal. Follow the instructions below for perfect meringue peaks every time.
First you want to beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla extract until all the ingredients are dissolved and the mixture foamy. (This will take about 1 minute.) You can do this by hand if you don’t have a Kitchen Aid standing mixer or a hand mixer. But it goes without saying that it’ll be easier with an electric mixer.
You want to look for soft peaks. Think soft rolling hills here versus peaky mountains. You’re going to continue to beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 more minutes. Your mixture is going to start thickening and your peaks will get longer and pointier.
Now increase your mixing speed to high and slowly add in your sugar. After all the sugar has been added, continue to beat your mixture until you’re formed stiff and shiny peaks. You test it by pulling the beater out of the mixture (See image below.)
Now that you have your basic meringue technique down, let’s dive into our meringue kisses recipe! take a quit look below to make sure you have all the equipment and ingredients you’ll need.
- Standing or hand mixer
- Baking sheet or cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- Piping bag
- Mixing bowl
- 2 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or a vanilla extract substitute)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Pink food coloring
- Preheat oven to 225°.
- Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla with a hand mixer until you get soft peaks.
- Add sugar slowly while continuing to mix until you get stiff peaks. Then add food coloring if desired and mix one last time quickly.
- With a disposable piping bag, pipe your cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Meringue won’t spread like typical cookie dough so they don’t have to be too spaced about.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Turn off the oven and leave meringues in the oven for 2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
- 2 Egg white
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Cream of tartar
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- ¾ cup Granulated sugar
- Pink food coloring
- Preheat oven to 225°.
- Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla with hand mixer until you get soft peaks.
- Add sugar slowly while continuing to mix until you get stiff peaks.
- With a disposable piping bag (I use one with a large tip or cut the top off for a larger opening) pipe your cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Meringue won't spread like typical cookie dough so they don't have to be too spaced about.
- Bake 1 hour.
- Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven for 2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and store in an air-tight container. Enjoy!
Meringue Cookie Variations
The number of variations you can bake with a simple meringue cookie are unlimited! Here are a few of my favorites ideas: lemon meringue cookies, meringue cookies with white chocolate chips, meringue cookies with lemon zest, and my ultimate favorite, chocolate meringue cookies.
Looking for more pretty pink foods? Check out our new post all about pink foods!
Did you try one of these cookie variations? Let me know how it came out by dropping a comment below! Until next time: Stay salty, and sweat 😉