By Alia Al-Chalabi
These meringue cookies are the perfect combination of a sugary pick me up and an easy snack. Just be sure you don’t throw out the yolks!
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 6 egg whites (save the egg yolks for a full flavored omelet or to make creme brulee)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Hand mixer, or by hand, or a kitchen aid
- Oven preheated to 200 degrees
- A spoon or a pastry bag
Add your six egg whites into a large bowl. This mixture will become the size of the bowl by the end of the process.
Add the vanilla and cream of tartar and whisk until fully mixed and the eggs start to form bubbles. Start to add the powdered sugar no more than 2 tablespoons at a time. I highly recommend using a stand mixer or hand mixer.
Whisk until mixture forms stiff peaks, maybe 15 minutes on medium speed. A good measure of a stiff peak if you can take the whisk out and a single peak stick straight up instead of flopping over. Be sure not to over whip as this can ruin your batter.
Gently, either pipe or spoon the mixture into quarter-sized dollops onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I find this is much easier to do with a spoon straight from the bowl. If you feel inventive, cut about ⅛ of an inch off of a Ziploc bag and then the batter in to start piping. This won’t work well without a pastry tip, so be careful.
This recipe will yield about 40 to 50 meringue cookies. Put the meringue into the oven at 200 degrees for two and a half hours. If the oven is free, turn it off and leave them in their overnight. Why so long at such a low heat? It’s very important to know that meringue gets its texture from a drying process, not from baking. The goal here is to try to dry the meringue out without baking it, and without making it a rock. Turning the heat off and allowing it to rest makes for a perfect texture and color.
Feeling fun and festive? Add no more than two drops of orange food coloring (or color of your choice) to the mixture after all powdered sugar is incorporated.
Be sure to store these in an air-tight container, or they will turn to mush when exposed to the air, as the air is humid and you just spent a night drying them,