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Classic Meringue Cookies Recipe

Delicious, classic meringue cookies baked at a low temperature. These delicate cookies use no egg yolks, just whipped egg whites piped until stiff glossy peaks form (they will look like stars). This recipe is my favorite for easy meringue cookies. If this is your first time making meringue cookies, there is a learning curve. You might need a little practice to make perfect meringue cookies. I have shared lots of tips at the bottom. This recipe works best in a dry environment.

Easy Meringue Cookie Recipe:

Meringue Cookies Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar (where possible opt for superfine sugar)

meringue cookies on a baking paper

How to make meringue cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Place egg whites in a small mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract, cream of tartar,, and salt to egg whites; using an electric mixer beat on medium speed until foamy.
  • Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on medium-high speed after each addition, until sugar is dissolved. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down bowl sides.
  • Continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
  • Cut a small hole in the tip of a plastic pastry piping bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag–or you can use a reusable pastry bag (but it must be clean with NO oil residue); insert a #32 large star tip.
  • Using a clean rubber spatula transfer the meringue batter to the bag.
  • Pipe 1-1/4-inch diameter cookies, spacing 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined large cooking sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the meringue is firm to the touch.
  • Turn oven temperature OFF; leave meringues in oven 1 hour (leave the oven door closed and no peeking!).
  • Remove from oven; cool completely on lined baking sheets.
  • Remove meringues from parchment paper, and store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

making meringue cookies on a cooking pan

Vanilla Meringue Cookie Tips

Why are my meringue cookies flat?

What causes flat cookies?

Flattened meringue cookies are typically the result of too much air collapsing out of your meringues.

How to prevent flat cookies:

To prevent this collapse, make sure that you have you use room temperature egg whites.

Start by using the whisk attachment on your mixer and whisking the egg whites in your mixer slowly until they are foamy.

Gradually increase your mixer speed and add the sugar to the electric mixer bowl one tablespoon at a time, rather than all at once.

When the sugar is completely added, continue beating to incorporate more air, only until the mixture forms stiff glossy peaks.

Why are my meringue cookies chewy?

Meringue cookie recipes can turn into little chewy meringues if they are not baked long enough.

Check your bake time and make sure your meringues stay in the oven according to your recipe directions (commonly in a closed oven until the oven has cooled).

If you still don’t have success, you may be storing them improperly or your climate may not be suitable.

Meringue cookies can absorb moisture from their environment or other ingredients they are near.

A dry environment is necessary.

What are the different types of meringue?

There are two different types of meringue: soft and stiff.

The difference between the two is the proportion of egg whites to sugar.

Soft Meringue is the billowy meringue created for topping pies.

For this type of meringue, a lower amount of white sugar to egg whites is used.

Stiff meringue is what you want for this recipe.

It is a stiffer, crisper meringue that you can bake, It uses a larger proportion of sugar to egg whites.

How long do meringue cookies last?

Meringue cookies will last for up to two weeks when stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

Make sure you use parchment between the layers.

Other Ideas:

These are delicious eaten alone, or as topping for hot chocolate, pies, holiday cookie trays, and more.

Add a drop or two of food coloring to add color to the meringue cookies for a festive look!

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