Meringue is basically just egg whites, sugar, and a stabilizer. No gluten. Depending on which type of meringue you’re making, there may be other ingredients added, but those 3 are the basics.
Meringue cookies are based on the Swiss meringue method of whisking over a double-boiler and then whisking until thick and glossy, like marshmallow cream.
Once you’ve achieved the perfect meringue consistency, you can then pipe the meringue into any shape before drying out in the oven on a very low heat. The drying-out process can be a little difficult if you are impatient, but it’s not something to be rushed. You want to dry them, not cook them.
Due to the fact that the presence of fats (ie: egg yolks) in meringue will cause the egg whites to deflate, and therefore never really able to achieve their trademark pillow-like texture, meringue is a naturally fat-free food. This is why it’s extremely important not to get even a speck of yolk in your egg whites when separating your eggs.
I often think of meringues as being a little too sophisticated to serve to my kids, but they beg to differ. Every time I make these, they are right there at the oven waiting for a taste. And trying to keep little hands out of the cookies once they’re completely dried out is basically impossible. They love the combination of maple and cinnamon in these fun-to-eat treats.
Meringues are also a fun departure from the standard Christmas cookie for your annual cookie swap. Just 2 egg whites and 1/2 cup of maple syrup turns into 70-80 meringues. That’s a pretty decent ROI, and if you’re using a KitchenAid stand mixer, you could double the recipe and have meringues all week long. Who wouldn’t want that?
- 2 Egg Whites, reserve the yolks to make some eggnog or pudding
- 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 1-1/4 tsp Ground Ceylon Cinnamon, plus more for dusting
- Ground Nutmeg, for dusting
- In a medium pot, bring a couple inches of water to a low simmer.
- In a large heatproof bowl (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer bowl or a glass mixing bowl), add the egg whites, maple syrup, and salt. Place bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.
- Whisk the egg whites over the simmering water until the mixture is warm to the touch. This may take about 3-5 minutes, depending on how low your simmer is. Remove from heat.
- Right away, start beating the egg whites on high speed using the whisk attachment on the stand mixer.
- Beat until the egg whites have turned thick and shiny (like marshmallow creme) with stiff peaks. This takes about 3 minutes with my KitchenAid.
- Gently fold in the cinnamon with a silicone spatula to combine evenly.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 200°F.
- Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip (or tip of your choice) and pipe cookies onto the parchment lined baking sheet. I make my meringues on the smaller side, about 1" diameter, but get creative if you want a different piping tip/shape/size.
- Sprinkle just a tiny bit of nutmeg and ground cinnamon on top of each meringue. I prefer to grate fresh nutmeg.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until dry to the touch. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door with a wooden spoon, and leave the meringues in for 1 more hour to finish drying them out.
- Keep in mind that humidity affects meringues. These are best made on low-humidity days. Winter is the best season for making meringues and ensuring they dry out completely.
- Meringues are destroyed by humid environments. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. So long as they are kept airtight, they should last for weeks.
- These are delicious eaten on their own or used as decoration on the Grain-Free Chocolate Mud Cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 75 Serving Size: 1 meringue
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 10Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g
Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate