Fluffy, crunchy, light and oh so pretty – these little meringue cookies are good on their own (if you have a sweet tooth) but they are also perfect to serve along side a dish of fresh berries or make a darling decoration on an iced cupcake or bake a batch of smaller ones to make a pretty and fun little border on a cake. If you like them on their own but want to tame the sweetness a little you can also dip the tops in a nice dark chocolate (and sprinkle with crushed nuts if desired).
I’ve tinted these with some pretty spring colors. Use whatever colors you want, or leave them white if you prefer.
Makes 2 cookie sheets full
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tarter
- food coloring
* optional – a few drops of your favorite flavouring (almond extract, vanilla, etc.)
Preheat oven to 225 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature and that your bowl, mixer, etc are all free of any oil or grease. Your eggs will not beat up properly otherwise.
Place your egg whites into a deep bowl and beat with electric beater (I use my stand mixer) on medium speed until the whites are frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat on high speed. Next add the sugar – slowly – this is important. If you add the sugar too quickly you will not get the light and fluffy meringue that you want. I add mine 1 tablespoon at a time.
Keep beating and adding sugar. Once you have added all of the sugar continue to beat on high until the sugar is all dissolved and you have stiff peaks. Add your extract now if you are using it.
If you are going to color your meringues divide your mixture and place into bowls. Add a few drops of coloring and gently fold until it is evenly distributed.
Fit a piping bag with a large star tip and fill with meringue mixture. Pipe the cookies directly onto the pans. There really isn’t any trick to piping them – if you’ve piped start decorations on a cake you already know the technique.
Place both cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Shut off the oven, open the door a little and let the cookies cool for at least an hour in the oven. If you are cooking these in the evening you can leave them over night.
Remove from pans and store in an air tight container. These also freeze well.