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Vanilla Meringue Cookies

Want to learn how to make meringues? This meringue cookie recipe creates light, airy morsels. It's the perfect fat-free treat to really beat a sweets craving. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min. + standing
  • Makes
    about 5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons clear or regular vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Directions

  • Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 250°. Add vanilla, cream of tartar and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition, until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes.
  • Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; insert a #32 star tip. Transfer meringue to bag. Pipe 1-1/4-in.-diameter cookies 2 in. apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake until firm to the touch, 40-45 minutes. Turn off oven; leave meringues in oven 1 hour (leave oven door closed). Remove from oven; cool completely on baking sheets. Remove meringues from paper; store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Vanilla Meringue Cookie Tips

Why are my meringue cookies flat?

Flattened meringue cookies are typically the result of too much air collapsing out of your meringues. To prevent this collapse, make sure that you have your egg whites at room temperature before you begin. Start whisking the egg whites in your mixer slowly until they are foamy. Gradually increase your mixer speed and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, not all at once. When the sugar is completely added, continue beating to incorporate more air, bringing the mixture to stiff, glossy peaks.

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 sugar to egg whites. For soft, billowy meringues appropriate for topping pies, you would use a lower amount of sugar to egg whites. For a stiffer, crisper meringue that you can bake, such as with this meringue cookie recipe or pavlova, you would use a larger proportion of sugar to egg whites. Learn more about how to make meringues and our favorite meringue desserts. (Be sure to check out our chocolate meringue recipe and these meringue cookies without cream of tartar, too!)

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.

Why are my meringue cookies chewy?

Meringue cookie recipes can turn out chewy because 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 until the oven has cooled—no peeking). If you still don't have success, you may be storing them improperly. Meringue cookies can absorb moisture from their environment or other ingredients they are near.

Research contributed by Rashanda Cobbins, Taste of Home Food Editor
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 10 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 free food.
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