Meringue Cookies for Christmas, Valentines or Any Occasion
These candy-striped meringue cookies are perfect for two important occasions right around the corner – Christmas and Valentine’s. With their red candy-stripes, these sweet cookies make such wonderful edible gifts for your loved ones. I love that they are so easy to pack up in a gift beautiful box and presented without having to worry about refrigeration like other treats like macarons or cakes. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my dear macaron babies but there are times during the holidays when we might need to travel with our edible gifts or perhaps leave them on an office desk for the receiver to find. These beautiful meringue candies is the most perfect choice.
Easy French Meringue for Beginners
These meringue kisses are made using the French method for preparing meringue. In this method, sugar is simultaneously added to egg whites that are being whipped. Whereas in the Italian method, the sugar is first heated with water to create a syrup that is then added to egg whites that are being whipped. The French method is especially suited for beginners and many of you may already have experience making a French meringue from my Best Macaron Tutorial. You find all that practice you had making a strong and healthy meringue for macarons will now come in handy for these meringues cookies. For those of you who are new to making meringues, here are some tips below for mastering this little cookie.
Tips for Making French Meringue
- Meringues don’t whip up well when mixed with oil or water. Use a non-plastic bowl like glass or copper and wipe it down with some vinegar or lemon juice to remove leftover oils. (Plastic bowls are porous and may contain leftover traces of oil.)
- Wash and dry hands completely then separate egg whites straight from the fridge. They are easier to separate when cold.
- Make sure no yolks are present in the egg whites. If a trace amount comes into contact with the whites, you can scoop it out with the egg shell.
- Bring egg whites to room temperature before whipping.
- Always start on low speed when whipping egg whites and then gradually increase the speed. This will help the egg whites develop a more stable structure.
- Add cream of tartar or any other acid to stabilize the egg whites. Lemon juice or vinegar in double the amount can be used as substitutes.
- If possible, use castor sugar a.k.a berry sugar or extra fine sugar. This fine sugar will dissolve more readily than regular granulated sugar.
- Add the sugar slowly so it has time to dissolve.
- Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks has been reached. Stiff peaks is characterized by egg whites that have pointed peaks that don’t collapse on itself. (See photo below)
- If available, pipe the meringue onto silicone mats instead of paper since it’s easier to pull the piping bag away quickly to stop piping without dragging the paper up with the meringue.
- To prevent the meringues from cracking, don’t open the oven during the baking time.
- Once the meringues are finished baking, let it stay in the oven for 2 hours or more to let it cool off gradually without collapsing.
- 160 grams castor sugar*
- 60 grams egg whites (room temperature)
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar**
- A few drops of gel colour of your choice
- A few drop flavoured extract of your choice
- Set egg whites out at room temperature.
- Add a few drops of gel colour into a small dish. Use a fine food-grade brush to paint 3 stripes onto the inside of a pastry bag fitted with a 1A round tip. Set aside.
- Wipe the dry mixing bowl with some vinegar or lemon juice to remove oils.
- When the egg whites comes to room temperature, whip on low speed in the wiped bowl. Once it begins to foam, add cream of tartar.
- Increase speed to medium.
- Continue whipping until egg whites become opaque and the whisks starts to leave tracks inside the whites.
- Add the sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated.
- Add desired extract and incorporate.
- Continue to whip on med-high speed until stiff peaks are reached.***
- Place parchment paper or Silpat mats onto baking tray. If using paper, dab a bit of meringue onto the bottom of the paper and stick it to the pan to prevent it from shuffling around as you pipe.
- Pre-heat oven to 200F.
- Pipe a small circle onto the mat, release pressure and pull away quickly to stop piping.
- Bake for 1 hour at 200F. Do not open the doors while baking.
- Meringues are fully baked when they can be pulled cleanly away from the mat without sticking.
- Turn off oven. Leave meringues inside with the door ajar for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Once meringues have dried, remove them from the mat and place them in an air tight container. They will last for a week at room temperature.
* Castor sugar is also known as 'fine granulated sugar' or 'berry sugar'. Can also be substituted with regular granulated sugar but castor sugar is preferable.
** Cream of tartar can be substituted with double the amount of another acid like lemon juice or vinegar.
*** Stiff peaks is characterized by egg whites that hold a stiff peak that stands upright without falling over when the whisk is pulled out of the egg whites. Additionally, the egg whites don't slip in the bowl when tipped upside down.
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Heavy Duty Rimless Baking Pan for Macarons
Wilton 402-1001 No. 1A Round Decorating Tip, Multicolor
Ateco Disposable Piping Bags, 12-Inch, Pack of 100
Gel Food Coloring AmeriColor Junior Kit, 8 Colors.75 Ounce Bottles
PaperChef Culinary Parchment Multipurpose Non-Stick Paper, 205 sq ft
Toaster Oven Size Silpat Non-stick Silicone Baking Mat
Regular Sized Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat
RYBACK Stainless Steel Egg White Yolk Filter Separator Cooking Tool Dishwasher Safe Chef Kitchen Gadget
Nutrition InformationYield 80 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 8 Total Fat 0g Saturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 1mg Carbohydrates 2g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 0g Sugar 2g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 0g