Crunchy, light, and sweet meringue cookies are simple to make and last for ages. These cookies are perfect on their own, dipped in chocolate, or crushed into Eton Mess.
I have had a love hate relationship with meringue cookies. About six years ago my friend Candra asked me to make some. She said she had problems making them, never crisp enough. The first time I made meringues I had no problems they were perfectly light and crunchy.
Then I made them a few more times and they didn't always come out perfectly. I have learned you cannot skip letting the meringue cookies cool in the oven, and not for an hour- for hours- the only time I get great results is when I let them sit in the oven overnight to completely dry out.
Let's get to the recipe.
What ingredients are in meringue cookies?
You only need a few simple ingredients to make these cookies. The hardest part is time, you need to patient when you add the sugar and also be patient in letting the meringue cookies cool/ dry out.
- Egg Whites
- Cream of Tartar
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract (optional)
How do you make meringue cookies?
This recipe is a lot easier if you have an electrical stand mixer. But you can make it in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer.
Start by adding your egg whites to the bowl and whisk on medium speed until foamy- about 1-2 minutes. Then you will add your cream of tartar.
What does cream of tartar do in meringue cookies?
Cream of tartar acts as a stabilizer. It helps the egg whites up faster and foamer- creating a more stable and stiff meringue.
Whisk the cream of tart in for another minute or two. Then add the vanilla extract- the mixture will look brown but don't worry.
Once the vanilla is fully combined put the mixer on low-medium speed and slowly add the granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time. You must only add a tablespoon at a time because the sugar needs to slowly dissolve and if you dump it in all at once it will not.
Keep whisking on high until you reach stiff peaks.
Take a little bit of the meringue and rub it between your fingers- you should not feel the grainy sugar granules- if you do keep whisking.
Once the meringue batter is ready add it to a piping bag fitted with a tip. A wilton 1m works great or a plain round tip. The world is your oyster!
You can pipe the meringues in any shape you like. Just make sure they are consistent in size- this will help them bake evenly. Also- if you pipe one and its ugly just scoop the batter back into the top of the piping bag!
Check out this post on my Cookie Baking Tips
How do you know when meringues are done?
The meringues will not change in size drastically like say a chocolate chunk cookie, I like to gently tap the meringues if they are hard they are most likely done. You can easily also easily lift one off of the Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, you want them every so slightly golden. not browned.
Once the meringues are baked turn the oven off an let them dry in the oven overnight or at least 8 hours. I have tried cheating and letting them cool for 3 hours and it doesn't work. Just get over it and make these babies at night before bed- you will thank me!!
Why are my meringue cookies chewy?
They need to dry out properly. The sugar in the recipe creates lots of moisture. So making sure you allow for a full 8 + hours of drying time is key to crunchy light as air meringue cookies.
I have also had problems making meringue cookies when its raining outside- the moisture in the air can prevent them from drying out properly.
How long do meringue cookies last?
I love to use my meringues in Eton Mess. Grab that recipe here.
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
- 5 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature
- ½ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 250 grams (1 ¼ Cup) Granulated Sugar/ Castor Sugar
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner. Preheat oven to 225F/ 107C.
- In a large bowl with a handheld electrical whisk or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment add the egg whites. Whisk on medium speed for a minute or two until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt then mix again for another 30 seconds.
- Add the vanilla extract then increase the speed to medium-high. Gradually add one tablespoon of sugar at a time. Take your time adding the sugar then increase the speed and let it whisk for 5-10 minutes- until stiff peaks form. The mixture should be very glossy and if you rub some of the batters between your fingertips you won't feel the sugar granules.
- Using a large piping bag fitted with your favorite tip or just left open and round pipe the meringue batter. Bake in the oven for 1 Hour- 2 Hours, depending on what size you pipe the meringues. If you gently knock on the meringues they should feel hard, then they are done.
- Let the meringues cool in the turned off oven overnight or at least 8 hours. Store in an air-tight container.
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: meringue cookies, cookies, meringues