Easy Meringue Cookies

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Light, sweet, and crunchy, easy meringue cookies are cute little bites of dessert that are as fun to eat as they are to make.

Light, sweet, and crunchy, easy meringue cookies are cute little bites of dessert that are as fun to eat as they are to make.
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Meringue cookies might not look like much, but these dainty bites are some of my favorite cookies ever. They’re crunchy and sweet but not over the top, and they’re just oh-so cute! They’re like the more charming and quaint cousins to Hershey’s Kisses, with more texture and oomph to them.

I love throwing together a batch of these to create an assorted cookie plate for events or parties (especially around the holidays!). People often expect the regulars on cookie plates, like chocolate chip, sugar cookies, or even oatmeal raisin. But meringue cookies add a whole different architecture and simple sweetness with a touch of vanilla flavor.

Light, sweet, and crunchy, easy meringue cookies are cute little bites of dessert that are as fun to eat as they are to make.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Gluten-Free: Since meringue cookies are made without flour, they’re naturally gluten-free.
  • Light and Airy Texture: Meringue cookies have a delicate, airy texture that melts in your mouth.
  • Long Shelf Life: These cookies have a long shelf life compared to many other baked goods. They can last for several weeks as long as they are properly stored in an airtight container.

Ingredients

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Egg Whites: be really careful not to get any yolk in them when separating or they won’t whip up like you want them to for a meringue
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cream of Tartar

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities 

Light, sweet, and crunchy, easy meringue cookies are cute little bites of dessert that are as fun to eat as they are to make.

How to Make Meringue Cookies

Step #1. Preheat the oven and arrange the racks. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside. Combine the salt, cornstarch, and sugar in a small bowl with a whisk.

Step #3. With the mixer still on, gradually add the sugar mixer and beat until the mixture is glossy and has stiff peaks.

Step #2. In a large mixing bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla on medium-low for about 1 minute until they are foamy, then turn the speed up to medium high until the whites are soft and billowy.

Step #4. Using a spoon or pastry bag filled with the mixture, dot the parchment paper with 1-1/4 inch kisses, keeping them about an inch apart. Bake for 1 hour then turn off the oven and leave the pans in the oven for one hour to cool (2 hours if humid).

How long do meringue cookies last?

Store your completely cool meringue cookies in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

How long does it take to make meringue cookies?

They’re easy to make, but do take some time because the trick to their cute shape is letting them cool for an hour or two in the oven so that they don’t crack and crumble.

Can I put meringue cookies in the refrigerator?

You can store them in the fridge, as long as they are kept in an airtight container. (You may find that a little tricky to do.) The way to keep them crispy is not allowing any humidity to hit them.

Can you freeze meringue cookies?

Yes, you can freeze meringue cookies, but when you defrost them, be careful that they don’t absorb any moisture and soften the meringue. Layer them in an airtight container between parchment papers, and freeze for up to a month.

Why are my meringue cookies chewy?

Sugar actually pulls moisture from the air and into the cookies, so leaving the cookies in the oven for at least an hour (or two, if you live in a humid or rainy climate) is important to get them nice an crisp. If they’re still chewy, bake them for another 10 minutes at 225 degrees F.

Why did my meringue cookies crack?

Meringue cookies are very sensitive to the air — both its humidity and temperature — so make sure you leave them in the turned-off oven after baking for at least an hour. They’ll crack if they cool too quickly, so better safe than sorry… The longer time left in the oven, the better!

Light, sweet, and crunchy, easy meringue cookies are cute little bites of dessert that are as fun to eat as they are to make.

Expert Tips

  • Starting with room temperature eggs will make the meringue whip up faster. If you forget or are making these last minute, you can always place the whole eggs in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before separating them.
  • Make sure your beater(s) and bowl are free from any soap, grease, oil, etc. or your egg whites won’t whip up.
  • Stiff peaks means just that – when you lift the beater or whisk attachment out of your egg whites it will leave a peak that doesn’t fall over. If it doesn’t hold it’s shape like that, whisk it for another minute or two until it does.
Light, sweet, and crunchy, easy meringue cookies are cute little bites of dessert that are as fun to eat as they are to make.
Light, sweet, and crunchy, easy meringue cookies are cute little bites of dessert that are as fun to eat as they are to make.
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Easy Meringue Cookies

Light, sweet, and crunchy, easy meringue cookies are cute little bites of dessert that are as fun to eat as they are to make.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 24 (Make 4 dozen small cookies)

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F, and adjust two racks so that they are in the upper-middle and lower-middle position.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and whisk to combine.
  • Whip the egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar together with an electric mixer on medium-low speed, until the mixture is foamy, about 1 minute.
  • Increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and whip until the whites are soft and “billowy.”
  • Gradually add the sugar mixture while the mixer is running, and whip until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks, 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Use a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip to make 1 1/4-inch wide meringue kisses on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about an inch apart.
  • Bake the meringue cookies for 1 hour. Turn off the oven, and let the meringues sit in the oven for an additional 1 hour (or 2 hours if in humid or rainy conditions). Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool before serving, about 10 minutes.
  • Keep meringues crispy by storing extras in an airtight container if you live in a humid area.

Notes

  • Be sure that there is NO egg yolk in your whites — even a little will stop your egg whites from whipping up properly.
  • Along that line, make sure your bowl and mixer are free from grease — this will also cause your egg whites not to whip up correctly (egg whites hate fat).
  • This is a great recipe to have on hand for when you have made something that is egg yolk heavy, like pudding or creme brûlée so that you can use up all those leftover egg whites.
  • Add the sugar mixture slowly, about a tablespoon at a time and letting it mix a little in between, so that the sugar can fully dissolve in the eggs.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 of 48 small cookies, Calories: 28kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.03g, Sodium: 21mg, Potassium: 14mg, Fiber: 0.002g, Sugar: 6g, Calcium: 0.5mg, Iron: 0.01mg
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