Meringue cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The whipped egg white base just melts in your mouth and tastes absolutely divine. They are a beautiful dessert for any occasion!
Cookies are the perfect gift if you ask me. They are delicious and they don’t clutter up your counters or your storage bins. They are filled with love and are a thoughtful gift, and I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like! If you are like me and love gift-able cookies, you’ve got to try these crowd-pleasing Sugar Cookies, and these scrumptious Twix Thumbprint Cookies, and these perfect for the holidays Snowball Cookies.
Meringue Cookies Recipe
If you have never made meringue, you are going to love this recipe! I give you all the tips and tricks for this recipe to turn out perfectly. If you have made meringue, it might have been to top a lemon meringue pie. This meringue will have a different texture because you will be baking it in the oven. Meringue is mostly egg whites that are whipped until they get nice and fluffy. You put them in a piping bag and pipe them into cute shapes, and bake them in the oven. The meringue is crunchy on the outside and then melts into a soft and chewy dessert. It’s so fun to eat!
If you add food coloring or matcha powder, you can make them green and perfect for Christmas. You could add flavoring to them to make them chocolate, peppermint, or almond. I like making the cookies because it is like a mini pavlova but a little less work to make. I love pavlova so much, so these are great to whip up when I don’t have the time to make something more complicated!
The ingredients for meringue cookies are so simple, so the quality of the ingredients will make a difference in the taste. Make sure you give yourself time to separate the egg whites and let them come to room temperature before using them. You will have 6 egg yolks left over that aren’t needed for this recipe, so it would be a great time to try making a creme brulee too! You can find the exact measurements below in the recipe card.
- Granulated Sugar: Your regular pantry sugar will work great.
- Egg Whites: You will need 6 egg whites for this recipe. It is really important that you have ONLY egg whites, and no egg yolk gets into your meringue. If there is any egg yolk, the eggs will not whip up and get fluffy. Make sure to leave your egg whites out at room temperature for a few hours before you plan on making your cookies.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a little acid which helps the meringue to set up nicely. You want it to hold its shape when you pipe it out, and lemon juice helps that happen. You could use cream of tartar or vinegar instead.
- Salt: Salt helps to cut down on the sweetness and brings more flavor out of the cookies.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract helps to enhance the flavors in the cookie and adds a little vanilla flavor so they don’t taste like sugar.
How to Make Meringue Cookies
They are actually pretty simple to make. You do have to pay attention to details for this meringue cookie to turn out right, so follow the instructions! I’ve made them quite a few times, and I’ve given you all my tips and tricks. I promise they will turn out delicious and beautiful!
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 200℉ and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Simmer: Add 1 inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a slight simmer.
- Whisk: In a heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites and sugar. Whisk together until combined and place over the simmering water, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water.
- Whip: Whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly until the mixture reaches 140℉. Remove from the heat and fit on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip until soft peaks form.
- Add Ingredients and Whip: Add the lemon juice, salt, and vanilla extract. Whip until stiff peaks form. The meringue will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl and when the whisk is removed, the peak will stand straight up. This can take a good 10-15 minutes of whipping at high speed.
Pipe and Bake
- Prep Piping Bag: Prep your piping bags by fitting with a large star tip. Carefully spoon meringue into the piping bag and twist closed at the top, being careful to not overfill the bag (fill ½-⅔ of the way full).
- Pipe: Pipe 4 small dots of meringue under the four corners of the parchment paper and press down. This will prevent the parchment from blowing up and sticking to your meringue cookies as they bake. Pipe 2 inch rosettes onto the parchment, leaving about 1 inch between them. Sprinkle with sprinkles, if desired.
- Bake: Bake for 1-½ to 2 hours, until the outsides of the cookies are crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven and let the pan cool in the oven. Once the pan is completely cooled to the touch, remove from the oven.
- Cool and Store: Gently remove the cookies from the pan. Store in an airtight container or serve immediately. Do not refrigerate or leave uncovered otherwise you risk the meringue becoming tacky and weeping.
Tips for Making Meringue Cookies
They may have a reputation for being hard to make, but with a few simple tips, you’ll make the best meringue cookies around! I love the flavor and texture of these cookies so much. Your friends and family will love them too!
- Don’t Boil Water: Keep the water in the pan at just below simmering. If you let the water boil, you risk cooking the egg whites and ending up with scrambled eggs instead of the beginnings of meringue.
- Use A Thermometer: When cooking the sugar and egg whites, use a thermometer to ensure the mixture reaches 140℉. The sugar will be completely dissolved at that point and the meringue will be very stable for piping and baking.
- Experiment with Designs: You can choose your design! I did the wheels to make it look simple and classic, but you could make them any design you like. I made cute peppermint meringue lollipops that I piped on top of straws that were all kinds of designs and they turned out great!
Storing Meringue Cookies
Meringue cookies are best eaten fresh. They can get soft and saggy if they are not stored the right way. Here is how to store your cookies so they stay fresh and crispy.
On the Counter: Store your peppermint meringue lollipops in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Do not leave uncovered or refrigerate as the meringue will begin to weep and become very sticky and possibly melt.