A billowy, light and airy, delicate and dainty, perfectly crisp and deliciously sweet treat. These whimsical cookies are a breeze to make as long as you follow a few simple steps and guidelines. A great nostalgic recipe to add to the recipe book and a perfect holiday treat!
Servings: 60cookies (approx.)
Ready in: 2hours25minutes
4largeegg whites,at room temperature (see notes)
1/2tspcream of tartar
3/4cup (150g)granulated sugar
Set oven racks in upper and lower third of oven*. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add egg whites to metal or glass mixing bowl of electric stand mixer** if you haven't already. Add cream of tartar and vanilla extract.
Set mixer with a whisk attachment and whip mixture on medium speed to soft foamy peaks, about 1 minute. Then while mixing on medium speed over the course of about 1 minute, slowly dust in granulated sugar and add salt.
Increase mixer speed to high and whip until very thick glossy peaks form, this will take several minutes.
Transfer half of the mixture to a piping bag fitter with a large star tip*** (I like to use Ateco 826 - 829 tips depending on desired shape).
Pipe meringue into rounds or tear drop shapes about 1 1/4-inches wide, and spacing each about 1-inch apart. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Transfer baking sheets to racks in preheated oven. Bake 30 minutes then switch and rotate baking sheets and continue to bake 30 minutes. Turn oven off and leave meringues in warm oven to rest 1 hour (or 2 hours on humid day).
Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, free from moisture.
To bring egg whites to room temperature working with one egg at a time, divide egg white and yolk, transfer to separate bowls. Be sure there is not drop of yolk or this can tiny amount of fat can prevent whites from whipping to stiff peaks.
Pour the one egg white (entirely yolk free) at a time into very clean glass or metal mixing bowl (plastic is not recommend as it can retain residual grease). If one of the egg yolks breaks when separating white and yolk then just reserve in fridge for another use.
Let whites rest until they come to room temperature about 60 minutes.
*Note that every oven is different, my oven tends to brown on top more than is standard so I usually try to put one rack near center and one in lower third but not right on bottom rack.
**I've also made this recipe many times using an electric hand mixer. While it works great it just takes about twice as long whipping on high speed to get to stiff peaks.
***Don't have a piping bag and tip? Mixture can also just be dropped by the tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheets using two spoons or a cookie scoop.
Use almond extract, lemon extract or peppermint extract (only 1/2 tsp of this one) in place of the vanilla. Mix in closer to the end since it has a hint of oil in it.
Fold in finely chopped pecans or mini chocolate chips, dollop by tablespoon full onto baking sheets instead of piping.
Sprinkle meringues with nonpareil or sugar crystal sprinkles before baking.
Dip cooled meringues in melted chocolate and let set.