Peppermint Meringue Cookies are a delightful holiday treat that adds a swirl of festive charm to any occasion. These red-and-white confections are not only visually appealing but also incredibly light and crisp, creating a cloud-like experience for your taste buds.
The Perfect Holiday Twist
Derived from a classic vanilla bean meringue recipe, these Peppermint Meringue Cookies are infused with the delightful flavors of both vanilla and peppermint extracts. The magic happens when the inside of the pastry bag is delicately painted with thin red stripes using liqua-gel food coloring, giving them a candy-cane-inspired appearance. The key here is moderation; thin strokes create the perfect red-and-white balance, resembling the iconic holiday candy.
Tips for Success: Patience is Key
Creating these meringue cookies might seem intimidating, but fear not! Patience is your best friend in the process. These confections require time to bake, approximately 2 hours, and an additional hour to dry out. How do you know they’re done? Lift one off the baking sheet; it should feel light, and a tap on the underside should sound hollow. Cooling them in a turned-off oven gradually prevents cracking and ensures their delightful texture.
Longevity and Easy Restoration
The beauty of Peppermint Meringue Cookies lies not only in their taste but also in their longevity. These treats can last up to 10 days, making them an excellent addition to holiday cookie boxes. If they become sticky over time, a quick stint in a 225°F oven for 10-15 minutes will re-crisp them, reviving their freshness.
Getting Creative: Tools and Alternatives
While a pastry bag with a large star tip and a thin paintbrush for the food coloring are recommended for the perfect swirls, don’t worry if you don’t have these on hand. A resealable plastic bag with a snipped corner works as a makeshift pastry bag. Alternatively, for a more rustic appearance, simple dollops created using a cookie scoop or spoons will do the trick.
- 5 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp. Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (83 g) powdered sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. peppermint extract
- Red gel food coloring (such as Chefmaster liqua-gel super red; for pastry bag)
- Pastry bag
- Ateco #848 or other large star tip
- Very thin paintbrush
In conclusion, Peppermint Meringue Cookies are not just treats; they’re a creative expression of holiday joy. With a little patience and a touch of creativity, you can craft these delightful cookies to add a burst of color and flavor to your festive celebrations. Enjoy the magic of the holidays with these swirly, twirly, and striped delights!
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Inventive Ideas: Themed Variations of Peppermint Meringue Cookies
How to Make Peppermint Meringue Cookies?
Preheat the Oven: Set the oven temperature to 330°F.
Prepare Egg Whites: Place the egg whites in a stand mixer and add a pinch of salt.
Beat Egg Whites: Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Gradually Add Sugar and Vinegar: Slowly incorporate sugar into the beaten egg whites. Add vinegar gradually while continuing to beat until the mixture becomes glossy and holds stiff peaks.
Fold in Crushed Peppermints: Gently fold in the crushed peppermints into the meringue mixture.
Pipe Meringues: Using a pastry bag, pipe the meringue mixture onto a lined cookie sheet, creating small mounds.
Bake and Cool: Bake the meringues for 1 minute, then turn off the oven. Allow the meringues to cool inside the turned-off oven until they are crisp and dry.
Enjoy your homemade Peppermint Meringue Cookies!
What Are the Key Ingredients for Peppermint Meringue Cookies?
- 3 large egg whites
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar (superfine sugar is recommended if available)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons thoroughly crushed peppermint candies
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
These Peppermint Meringue Cookies require simple yet essential ingredients, including egg whites, sugar, and a touch of vinegar for stability. A pinch of kosher salt enhances the flavors, while crushed peppermint candies provide the delightful peppermint twist. For an extra indulgence, you can add mini chocolate chips to the mix. Gather these ingredients, and you’re ready to create these festive delights in your own kitchen.
Tips for Baking Perfect Peppermint Meringue Cookies?
How to Make Perfect Peppermint Meringue Cookies:
Prepare Your Baking Equipment: Gather all the necessary baking tools and equipment before you start.
Gather the Ingredients: Ensure you have all the ingredients ready and measured for accurate baking.
Check Oven Temperature: Double-check and calibrate your oven to the precise temperature for consistent results.
Prepare Piping Bags: Create striking red-and-white stripes in your piping bags using food coloring for a festive appearance.
Embrace Fat-Free Ingredients: Opt for fat-free ingredients to maintain the meringue’s texture and stability.
Slightly Warm Egg Whites: Warm the egg whites slightly before beating to encourage better volume and stability in the meringue.
Add Sugar Gradually: Add sugar slowly and steadily to the egg whites, allowing for thorough incorporation and a glossy texture.
Beat Until Stiff Peaks Form: Beat the mixture until stiff peaks form, ensuring the meringue holds its shape and results in perfectly baked cookies.
Follow these tips closely to achieve the ideal texture, flavor, and appearance in your Peppermint Meringue Cookies. Happy baking!
How Long Do Peppermint Meringue Cookies Last?
Once baked, Peppermint Meringue Cookies should be light and crisp, with a delicate texture. The perfect meringue cookie is not browned but can be easily lifted from parchment paper, with dry bottoms indicating they are done. To store Peppermint Meringue Cookies and maintain their freshness, it’s crucial to store them properly. When stored in an airtight container at room temperature, these delightful treats can last for about 2 weeks. Keeping them in a cool, dry place ensures their longevity, allowing you to enjoy their festive flavor and texture over an extended period.
What Is the Trick to Making Meringue?
When crafting the perfect meringue, a small addition of cream of tartar or vinegar at the beginning of whipping works wonders. These ingredients stabilize the foam, reducing the likelihood of it collapsing during the process. However, a crucial tip to remember is to avoid using plastic bowls. Plastic bowls might retain a film of fat from previously mixed or stored items, which can deflate the meringue. Opt for clean, dry metal or glass bowls to ensure your meringue achieves the desired light and airy texture.
What Is the Most Stable Meringue for Cookies?
Italian meringue, much like Swiss meringue, is a cooked meringue that stands out as the most stable among the three types. This meringue variation is perfect for various applications, including buttercreams, piped decorations, topping tarts, and especially baking into cookies. Unlike other methods, Italian meringue requires no double boiler, making it a convenient and reliable choice for achieving stable and delightful meringue cookies.