I love making meringue cookies. They’re a favorite of mine whenever we need to bring something to a get together because they’re delicious without being decadent, don’t involve too many ingredients, and can be prepared several days in advance. I made four flavors of meringues for our DIY wedding, and I’ve kept experimenting with them ever since then! I’m always trying out new flavors and, while some are, admittedly, big flops (literally – a batch of chocolate mint meringues I tried to make recently refused to set), sometimes I create a new favorite. These cinnamon spice meringue cookies are one of those delicious successes that keep me experimenting!
Many meringue recipes use 4 or 5 eggs, but I like to make smaller batches with only 2 eggs. If you need more meringues, simply double the recipe. =)
People always say the you can’t bake meringues when it’s humid or raining. I’ve learned that’s only mostly true. I’ve successfully baked merginue cookies in the rain on several occasions, but it does make things more difficult and they may not keep as well. On a nice, dry day, the meringues need to bake for about an hour. If it’s humid in your home/raining outside, keep baking until the points and edges of the meringues become dry/crispy. I’ve baked a batch for up to 2.5 hours before in the rain in order to reach this point!
Another important thing to keep in mind with meringues is that your bowl and whisk have to be absolutely clean. Any spot of oil, including from your fingers, can prevent the meringue from forming correctly. Make sure everything, including your hands, the whisk, and the bowl are freshly cleaned with hot water and soap.
I use this heavy duty “half sheet” sized baking sheet whenever I bake because it’s super sturdy, doesn’t warp in the oven, and distributes heat evenly. With this baking sheet, I only need to use 1 pan, lined with my favorite Silpat silicone baking mat, for a small batch of meringues. If you have smaller cookie sheets, you may need to use two. Other supplies you may want include disposable icing bags and a large “open star” tip (or a large round tip). If you don’t have a tip, you can just cut the end of a piping bag or a Ziplock bag. If you don’t want to pipe the meringues, simply use two soupspoons and create large dollops of meringue. For a bit more info on piping meringues and links to some helpful tips, please stop by my airy lavender meringues recipe!
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature (just bring the whole egg to room temp, then crack and separate it when you're ready to begin)
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Scant ⅓ cup of granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- If you haven't already, allow two eggs to come to room temperature.
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 225º.
- Use an electric mixer (I used my stand mixer with the whisk attachment), beat the egg whites on medium-low until they become slightly opaque and frothy. This should take 20-60 seconds.
- Add the cream of tartar and increase the mixer's speed to medium high. Beat the egg whites until they become white and thick. They'll actually look and act sort of like shaving cream! This usually takes 90-120 seconds.
- Slowly add in half of the sugar and continue mixing. Once it is fully incorporated, reduce the mixer speed to low.
- Add in the remaining sugar, vanilla extract, and spices. With electric mixer, beat until just combined.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a tip or a ziplock bag, as discussed above.
- Pipe the meringues onto a baking sheet, trying to make the cookies each about the size of an unshelled walnut and spacing them an inch apart.
- Bake without opening the door for at least 60 minutes, or until the tips and ridges have become dry, as discussed above.
- Once the tips/edges of the meringues are dry, turn off the oven and allow the cookies to cool without opening the door for at least one hour. Allowing them to cool for several hours is even better!
- Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container. They keep very well and, if allowed to fully cool in the oven, should keep for about least two weeks.
These meringues have just a hit of spice warmth and they literally melt in your mouth!
What’s your favorite flavor of meringues? If it’s one I haven’t tried, I may have to make more meringues soon!