You’ll fall in love with these dainty meringue cookies that have melt-in-your-mouth crispiness with the right amount of sweetness. These meringues just seem like little love bundles that you can eat yourself or give to people you care about.
Using just basic kitchen ingredients, these cookies come together quickly. They are simple to make but do require precision during the mixing process. They also need a lot of time to dry out in the oven, so give yourself plenty of time before you’ll want to eat them.
Their taste is definitely worth the effort to make. You’ll want to pat yourself on the back for making such a gourmet-looking (and tasting) dessert.
Other cookies that look and taste amazing but are very simple to make are Peanut Butter Blossoms and Funfetti Cookies. These cookies are all customizable for different occasions and come together quickly.
Meringues are the perfect blend of sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and your favorite flavoring. They are baked until all the moisture is gone, creating a satisfying crunch of sweetness.
Meringues also have the name forgotten cookies because the cooking process involves leaving – or forgetting – them in the oven for a long baking time. But once they come out of the oven, they’re not likely to be forgotten because they’ll get snatched up pretty quickly.
These meringue morsels are melt-in-your-mouth magic. They’re like part cookie and part candy at the same time. They are crispy and sweet, dissolving in your mouth for pure bliss.
These cute mini meringues are perfect for so many occasions! You can choose to gift them, use them for decorating or just enjoy for a snack! They’re easy to make with just four ingredients and minimal prep.
They make such great hostess gifts and they are easy to adapt to any occasion by using your favorite flavors and colors.
3 Types of Meringue
You’ve probably heard the term meringue used outside of cookies, such as a topping on pies or in frosting. Meringue is basically the result of beating egg whites with sugar, but they have different methods to reach the result. Each type of meringue is well-suited for different desserts, but they can all be baked into yummy meringue cookies.
Italian – Italian meringue involves making a syrup with sugar and water, and boiling it to the soft-ball stage. The hot syrup is gradually poured into beaten egg whites and whipped until it forms stiff peaks. Because this mixture has been lightly cooked and is very stable, it is often used to make buttercream frostings that can be piled high on cupcakes. It also makes light and fluffy mousses. Or you can bake it into crispy little cookies.
Swiss – This method involves first mixing egg whites and sugar in a bowl that is placed over simmering water. Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved in the egg whites. Adding the sugar to the eggs at the beginning of the process makes the meringue more dense. Pour into the mixing bowl and whisk on high for a few minutes until it forms stiff peaks. Add your flavoring and then mix for a few seconds. This meringue works great on top of pies. And, of course, it can be baked into bite-sized meringues.
French – This meringue is made by whipping egg whites with cream of tartar until you have glossy peaks. Slowly add sugar until stiff peaks have formed. Fold in the flavoring, then bake. This type of meringue is often folded into soufflés or other light desserts. French meringue needs to be baked, so it is also perfect for cookies. This is a great meringue for a beginner to try.
- Light, Airy, and Crispy
- Melt in Your Mouth
- Long Bake Time
Tools You Need
- Stand Mixer with Bowl and Whip Attachment – Whipping can take quite a while, so a stand mixer is more convenient than a hand held one.
- Egg Separator – it’s not essential, but it does make it easier to avoid yolks in your whites.
- Rubber Spatula – to scrape sides and fold in flavoring.
- Baking Sheet – the meringues don’t spread, so you can put the cookies close together.
- Egg Whites – Let these sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Cream of Tartar – This ingredient helps to stabilize the egg whites and helps the meringues to form those beautiful peaks and hold their shape.
- Sugar – Use a fine cane sugar, since it dissolves quicker than granulated and will prevent a gritty texture. You can use granulated, but make sure that it is fully incorporated.
- Flavoring – I like to use a little vanilla extract, but you can use whatever flavor you like. Almond, orange and peppermint extracts all work really well.
- Food coloring – I usually prefer subtle pastel colors, which require 4 drops. You can use whatever color you like depending on the occasion!
- Chocolate – Add 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder along with the sugar.
- Lemon – Substitute the vanilla extract with the same amount of lemon extract, then tint it yellow.
- Peppermint – Substitute the vanilla extract with the same amount of peppermint extract.
- Almond – Substitute the vanilla extract with the same amount of almond extract.
- Chocolate Chip – Fold 1 cup of mini chocolate chips into the batter at the same time as the vanilla.
How To Make Meringues
The full printable recipe is below.
- Prep – Preheat the oven and line cookie sheets with parchment.
- Combine – Beat the egg whites until foamy and stiff, add in the cream of tartar and half a cup of sugar at a time. Mix in the flavoring and color and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Make – Use a teaspoon or piping bag to drop the mixture onto the baking sheets.
- Bake – Bake until solid, but do not let them brown.
These mini meringues make for great hostess gifts and sweet snacks for every occasion from St. Patrick’s Day to Valentine’s, birthdays, and showers. Switch up the colors and flavors to match the party! I also like decorating cakes with them, or serving on top of ice cream for a yummy dessert!
How To Store
- Room Temperature or Refrigerate – Let them cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 2 weeks.
- Freeze – Place the cooled meringues in an airtight container with the layers separated by parchment. They will keep for up to a month. Thaw the meringues on cooling racks so that they don’t take on any moisture. They will take an hour to thaw and should be used within a day.
- Don’t Over Beat – Stop beating the mixture once stiff peaks start to form. If the meringue is coarse and grainy, it is likely you have over-beaten it. They will still taste good, but the texture will not be as pleasing.
- It is easier to separate egg whites when the eggs are cold. So, separate the whites from the yolks when you take them out of the refrigerator. Then let the egg whites come to room temperature before whipping them.
- Don’t let any yolk get into your whites.
- Make sure all of your utensils are very clean and don’t have any oils or grease on them.
- Meringues taste great even if they aren’t perfect–so don’t worry if they have cracks on the top. And they still taste great if they are a little chewy on the inside.
Meringues should be crisp and light but not browned when baked. If you can lift a meringue off of the baking sheet and the bottom is dry, then they are done.
Meringues are fat-free and gluten-free, but they do contain sugar. They are small, though, so each meringue is very low in calories. So, while they’re not considered a health food, they are a great treat to indulge in.
These meringues should be dry all the way through. If your meringue is chewy on the inside you can put it back in the oven for about 10 more minutes.
If they’re soft as soon as you’re done baking them, put them back in the oven for 10 minutes. They can also get soft by absorbing moisture from the air if they’ve been sitting on the counter too long. If that happens, just bake them again for 10 or so minutes.
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More Easy Cookie Recipes
- 6 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, almond extract, orange extract, lemon extract or peppermint extract
- 4 drops food coloring
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 200° F.
- In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy and stiff (if using a KitchenAid, gradually work up to speed 8).
- Add cream of tartar and ½ cup of sugar at a time.
- Add vanilla and desired food coloring.
- Beat until the whites form a stiff peak.
- Using a teaspoon, drop onto lined cookie sheets or pipe with an icing bag and tip. I prefer to use larger tips for meringues and disposable icing bags for quick cleanup.
- Bake approximately 60 minutes watching carefully to not let them brown.