Ingredients and Equipment Needed
To make meringue cookies, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients and some basic kitchen equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- Food coloring (optional)
- Piping bag and tip
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before you start. This will help them whip up into a fluffy, stable meringue. You’ll also want to have all your equipment ready before you begin, as meringue can deflate quickly if you’re not careful. With just a few simple ingredients and the right equipment, you’ll be well on your way to making delicious meringue cookies in no time!
Preparing the Meringue
To make the meringue for your cookies, start by preheating your oven to 200°F (93°C). Then, line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
Next, in a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they are frothy. Add the cream of tartar and pinch of salt, and continue to beat the mixture until it forms soft peaks.
Gradually add the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture. You’ll want to beat the mixture until it forms stiff peaks and becomes glossy in texture. This can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.
If you’d like to add food coloring to your meringue, you can do so at this point. Simply add a few drops of food coloring to the mixture and beat until the color is evenly distributed.
Once your meringue is ready, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Pipe the meringue onto your prepared baking sheets, making small mounds that are about 1-2 inches in diameter.
With your meringue piped onto the baking sheets, you’re ready to bake your cookies!
Piping Techniques for Beautiful Cookies
Piping meringue can be a bit tricky, but with a few simple techniques, you can create beautiful, uniform cookies.
First, hold your piping bag straight up and down, with the tip about 1/2 inch above the baking sheet. Squeeze the bag until the meringue comes out and forms a small mound. Release the pressure on the bag and quickly lift it straight up to create a peak on top of the mound.
You can vary the shape of your cookies by using different piping tips. A star tip will create a ridged, textured surface on your cookies, while a round tip will create a smoother surface. You can also experiment with different sizes of tips to create larger or smaller cookies.
If you’re having trouble getting your meringue to hold its shape, you may be overbeating the mixture. This can cause the meringue to become runny and difficult to pipe. Stop beating the mixture as soon as it forms stiff peaks to avoid overworking the meringue.
With a little practice and patience, you’ll soon be piping perfect meringue cookies every time!
Baking and Cooling Tips
Once you’ve piped your meringue onto the baking sheets, it’s time to bake your cookies. Here are some tips for getting the best results:
Bake your cookies at a low temperature (200°F or 93°C) for about 1-2 hours. This slow baking process will help the cookies dry out and become crisp on the outside while remaining chewy on the inside.
If your cookies are browning too quickly, you can reduce the temperature to 175°F (80°C) or prop the oven door open slightly to allow some of the heat to escape.
Once your cookies are done baking, turn off the oven and leave them in the oven to cool for at least an hour. This gradual cooling process will help prevent the cookies from cracking or collapsing.
If you live in a humid climate, you may need to store your cookies in an airtight container with a packet of silica gel to prevent them from absorbing moisture and becoming sticky.
By following these baking and cooling tips, you can ensure that your meringue cookies turn out perfectly every time!
Storing and Serving Meringue Cookies
Meringue cookies can be a bit delicate, so it’s important to store them properly to keep them fresh and crisp. Here are some tips for storing and serving your cookies:
Store your meringue cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for up to a week if stored properly.
Do not store your cookies in the refrigerator, as the moisture can cause them to become sticky and lose their crisp texture.
If your cookies do become sticky, you can crisp them up again by placing them in a 200°F (93°C) oven for a few minutes.
Meringue cookies make a beautiful and elegant dessert, and can be served on their own or as a garnish for other desserts like ice cream or fruit.
You can also dip the bottoms of your cookies in melted chocolate for an extra decadent treat.
By following these tips, you can enjoy delicious and beautiful meringue cookies any time!