Meringue Madness

Light and airy like freshly fallen snow, these cookies will warm your heart—and belly—on a cold January day!

I know what you’re thinking: how can anyone possibly want to make more cookies after the holidays? My answer to you is—a sweet tooth doesn’t care what time of year it is! Well mine doesn’t, at least. These meringue cookies are easy—all you have to do is add a few ingredients to your stand mixer and let it work its magic (if you don’t have a stand mixer, use your hand mixer and get a bonus arm workout—hello New Year’s resolution!) Then pop them in the oven and relax. The cookies take almost an hour to bake and then rest in the oven for an additional hour—which means you can finally use that face mask or bath bomb you’ve been dying to try. Plus, they’re gluten-free, which means they are a great option for those with sensitivities. What better way to start the new year than with a cookie jar full of these sweet little puffs of “snow?”

 

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Meringues

Makes about 5 dozen bite-sized cookies

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
1-2 drops peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
¼ cup mini marshmallows
½ cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable/olive oil
 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250°.

2. Separate eggs, placing whites in a metal mixing bowl attached to a stand mixer. Discard egg yolks. Let the egg whites sit for half an hour to come to room temperature.

3. Add extract, cream of tartar, salt, and cocoa powder to the egg whites. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it is foamy.

4. Slowly add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while the mixer continues to beat on medium speed. Once all sugar is added, beat on high until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.

5. Using a piping bag or food storage bag with a whole cut in the corner, insert a star tip and transfer meringue to bag. Cookies can also be dropped directly from mixing bowl using a tablespoon. Pipe or drop 1-1/4-in.-diameter circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, keeping cookies 2 inches apart. If you accidentally pipe them close together, don’t worry—they don’t spread like normal cookies.

6. Sprinkle crushed candies and mini marshmallows on the tops of the cookies.

7. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cookies are done when they are firm to the touch and/or slightly golden. Once cookies are done, turn oven off—but do not open it—and leave meringues in for an additional hour.

8. Remove cookies from oven; cool completely on baking sheets.

9. Combine chocolate and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals until mixture is completely melted. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then drizzle over meringues. Allow chocolate to harden.

10. Place meringues in an airtight container. No refrigeration necessary—unless chocolate starts to melt.   

 

Cake Batter Meringues

Makes about 5 dozen bite-sized cookies

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla butter nut extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons sprinkles

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250°.

2. Separate eggs, placing whites in a metal mixing bowl attached to a stand mixer. Discard egg yolks. Let the egg whites sit for half an hour to come to room temperature.

3. Add extract, cream of tartar and salt egg to whites. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it is foamy.

4. Slowly add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while the mixer continues to beat on medium speed. Once all sugar is added, beat on high until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.

5. Gently fold in sprinkles with a rubber spatula.

6. Using a piping bag or food storage bag with a whole cut in the corner, insert a star tip and transfer meringue to bag. Cookies can also be dropped directly from mixing bowl using a tablespoon. Pipe or drop 1-1/4-in.-diameter circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, keeping cookies 2 inches apart. If you accidentally pipe them close together, don’t worry—they don’t spread like normal cookies.

7. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cookies are done when they are firm to the touch and/or slightly golden. Once cookies are done, turn oven off—but do not open it—and leave meringues in for an additional hour.

8. Remove cookies from oven; cool completely on baking sheets.

9. Place meringues in an airtight container. No refrigeration necessary.

 

Almond Joy Meringues

Makes about 5 dozen bite-sized cookies

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon coconut extract
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup sugar
1¼ cup milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 bag shredded coconut
½ cup whole shelled almonds

Directions:

1. Separate eggs, placing whites in a metal mixing bowl attached to a stand mixer. Discard egg yolks. Let the egg whites sit for half an hour to come to room temperature.

2. Add extracts, cream of tartar and salt egg to whites. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it is foamy.

3. Slowly add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while the mixer continues to beat on medium speed. Once all sugar is added, beat on high until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.

4. Using a piping bag or food storage bag with a whole cut in the corner, insert a star tip and transfer meringue to bag. Cookies can also be dropped directly from mixing bowl using a tablespoon. Pipe or drop 1-1/4-in.-diameter circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, keeping cookies 2 inches apart. If you accidentally pipe them close together, don’t worry—they don’t spread like normal cookies.

5. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cookies are done when they are firm to the touch and/or slightly golden. Once cookies are done, turn oven off—but do not open it—and leave meringues in for an additional hour.

6. Remove cookies from oven; cool completely on baking sheets.

7. Combine chocolate and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until mixture is completely melted. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate, place an almond in the chocolate, and immediately sprinkle with shredded coconut. Allow chocolate to harden.

8. Place meringues in an airtight container. No refrigeration necessary—unless chocolate starts to melt.

 

Recipes adapted from Taste of Home: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/vanilla-meringue-cookies

 

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