How to Make Meringue Cookies

Learn how to make meringue cookies from pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi, I'm Katie Rosehansen, today I'm going to show you how to make peppermint swirl and Christmas tree meringues. These are very fun cookies and very easy to make, although they do take a little bit of time to bake, but they're totally worth it. Here I'm starting with two egg whites in my mixing bowl along with about half a cup of sugar. So that's going right in and using the whisk that I would use in the machine, I'm just going to take this bowl and pop it over a pot of slowly simmering water.

That's going to be our double boiler, and what that does is helps dissolve the sugar, it warms up the egg whites and it's just going to build a more stable meringue. So I'm just going to take this over to my pot, set it over the double boiler and just slowly whisk until my egg whites start to warm up and my sugar dissolves. It takes about four to five minutes . . . So my egg whites are nice and warm to the touch and my sugar is dissolved. And I'm just going to put this bowl back into my mixer, my finger is stuck. I'm going to put this bowl right back in here and start it up. And you want to whip this until it's really light and fluffy . . . So my meringue is ready. When I pull it out of the mixer, you can see that it just makes these really beautiful peaks. I've gotten it to the point where it's just about medium to stiff peaks, I get this really nice kind of upright kind of swirl going on. So I'm ready to use it, but before I take it out and put it into my piping bags, I'm going to separate half from my Christmas trees and half from my peppermint swirls.

So I'm going to take a little bit out and the rest I'm going to leave in the mixer. So I have my green food coloring going into this mixer, I'm going to leave that in and that's going to be for our Christmas trees. So I'm using a green gel paste and the beauty of a gel paste is it doesn't add any liquid to your meringue, so you're getting all of that really rich, beautiful color without liquifying your cookies, which is, obviously, a very good thing. So let's beat that in . . . Beautiful. So that's done. Nice and green. And then for our peppermint kisses, first I'm going to add in just a little bit of peppermint extract. Not too much, but just a couple of drops just to add a little flavor, right in. And I'll stir that together first, OK, just to combine. And then I'm going to take a little bit of my red gel paste color, just on a toothpick or a lollipop stick and I'm just going to swirl in a little bit of red.

And then go in with my spatula and just barely swirl that color together, so get a little bit of that kind of peppermint colored swirl happening. So these may be two types of cookies but they could bake on the same tray and they'll bake about the same time. So I've got one piping bag that's fitted with a pretty large star tip, that's going to be for our Christmas cookies, our Christmas tree cookies. And I've got a bag with a slightly smaller star tip and that's going to be for our peppermint kisses. So let's fill that one up first, I'm going to take all of my meringue and pop it right into the bag.

Try not to mess with the meringue too much because if you move it around, that swirl that you have now is really just going to turn that whole batter pink and you'll kind of miss that whole point of the peppermint look. So just deck that all down in. Let's do the same for our Christmas tree meringue, just wrap off any excess and it goes right in to my second bag with my large tip . . . OK. So time to paste. We have our large tip here, so that's going to be much larger cookies. But I'm just going to take my bag and hold it straight up and just move it around in a little bit of like, a Christmas tree design. And just do a couple more of those. And I like to leave that big tip at the top, because then when I put decorations on later or if I just want it to be plain like this, it really does look like a Christmas tree with that nice peak happening at the top of the cookie. And obviously if you want more just make more meringue, it's super easy.

And then for my kisses, I'm just going to swirl and leave a little kiss right at the top. And at some points in the bag you'll get more red color, you'll get less, but they all come out really beautiful. And these are going to bake on a really low temperature, about 175 or 200 degrees for at least two hours, or until you can kind of pick one up off of the tray and they'll be really light and kind of firm to the touch. And then you know they're ready. So you get these right into the oven, and soon they'll be ready to fill . . . So my cookies are ready, they've been in the oven for about an hour and a half to two hours, and you can see I can lift it right off of the tray and they're really nice and light like little clouds, but they're firm to the touch. They aren't like marshmallows, these are stiff meringue cookies.

So just to finish them off, for my peppermint kisses, I like to sandwich them with just a dot of your favorite kind of chocolate spread or chocolate hazelnut spread. These make really cute little holiday sandwiches. And for my Christmas trees, I'm going to take some of the royal icing that I have left over from earlier and just top off my trees with a little icing and plunge them right into a bowl of your favorite holiday sprinkles. I like these little green kind of shards. They add a little kind of fresh Christmas tree look to the cookie. So that's it, that's how you make holiday meringue cookies.

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