Peppermint Meringue Cookies

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Whenever I make ice cream from scratch, we usually have lots of leftover egg whites to use up. Meringues (or as my nephew calls them, “little pavlovas”) are little cookies made with basically just egg whites and sugar, with a little vinegar and salt added to help the mixture hold its structure when whipped.

In this recipe we’ve folded in some crushed peppermint sticks, leftover from Christmas. Mini chocolate chips can be added as well!

What I love about making these meringues is that you just put them in the hot oven, turn off the heat, and walk away for a few hours. Come back to sweet little meringue cookies, light and airy that practically melt in your mouth.

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Peppermint Meringue Cookies Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 24 meringue cookies.

It's easiest to separate the eggs when they are cold. Since you'll want the egg whites to be at room temperature before whipping them (they will get more lift that way), for best results, separate your eggs at least a half hour before starting this recipe, and leave egg whites out to come to room temp.

Make sure that all bowls, hands, and utensils that might touch the eggs are clean and free from oils.

For best results, avoid making on a humid or rainy day.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Tbsp thoroughly crushed peppermint candies*
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar (use superfine if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

* Pulverize candies by placing them in sealed, doubled-up freezer bags. Use a meat mallet (smooth side) or hammer to gently pound them into a fine powder.

Method

1 Preheat oven to 300°F.

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2 Put egg whites into a standup mixer, add a pinch of salt. Start the mixer on low, gradually increasing the speed to medium until quite foamy and soft peaks can just begin to form, about 2-3 minutes. Egg white bubbles should be small and uniform.

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3 Increase the speed to medium high and slowly add the sugar, a little (1-2 teaspoons) at a time. Continue to whip egg whites and sugar for a few minutes, then add the vinegar. Increase the speed to the highest setting and whip the egg whites until they are glossy and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, about 4 to 5 minutes.

4 Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the crushed peppermints (and the mini chocolate chips, if you are using).

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5 Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. If you are using parchment paper, you can put a dollop of the meringue mixture in the corners of the pans before placing the parchment paper on them, to help secure the parchment paper in place (pastry chef's trick, thank you, Shuna). Either use a spoon to drop teaspoonfuls of the meringue mixture onto the cookie sheets (spaced an inch apart) or use a pastry piping bag (can make one with a plastic freezer bag with the corner cut off) to pipe mounds (1 1/2 inches wide) onto the lined cookie sheet.

6 Put the cookie sheets in the 300°F oven, close the door. Wait for one minute only, then turn the oven OFF. Do not open the door for another 3 hours. You can leave them in the oven overnight. The meringues will gently cook in the residual heat of the oven. When done, the meringues will be lightly crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside. If they are still a little chewy after 3 hours, just let them dry out for a few more hours.

Store in an airtight container.

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Showing 4 of 24 Comments

  • JLY

    I made some meringues several years ago for a church funtion. I made three types; one I inserted in the center (and covered over) some chocolate, mint, butterscotch or peanut butter chips. In another batch I added extracts (NOT OILS!) of almond wtith almond slivers on top, peppermint with crushed candy canes sprinkled on top and lemon with lemon drops crushed on top. Another batch I scooped out a small indent and filled before serving with chocolate and lemon pudding and some jams/perserves. If memory is correct, I baked them at 200 degrees for an hour and left them in the oven for several hours. They were a huge success. They can be kept for no more than 10 days in an air tight container. I didn’t put into fridge, I don’t think they can be frozen. If at a higher altitude I would think you could turn the oven back on after an hour or more at 200 degrees for a few minutes, enough to heat up the stove again, and then allow the cookies to continue to dry out.

    Sugar substitutes can not be used, that is what I read elsewhere. Disapointing as I have a son who is diabetic.

  • Jeanice Reyes

    I just made some similar to these, instead of the candy I used 1/8 tsp of peppermint extract and dotted some red jel into the meringue. When I put the meringue in my pastry bag, I swirled the meringue, making a candy stripe!

  • Simone

    Made ice cream last night so I had 6 egg whites that needed to be used up. I usually make mini pavlovas with them but wanted something else this time so I made a batch of these – They are great! The second batch I made similar but instead of peppermint candies, I added about 2/3 c of shredded coconut and they are amazing!

  • Mary

    I am diabetic, could I make these with a dry type sugar substitute, such as Truvia or Stevia?

    Great question, I don’t know the answer. You could try it with a small batch, maybe just using 1 egg white and see if it works. Let us know if you do! ~Elise

  • Tami & Darlene

    We made these today & live in Wa so elevation played a role in keeping the egg whites from peaking properly. Despite the peaking problems, they turned out pretty yummy after having them sit in the oven for a couple hrs longer than it called for. We used Andes’ Minthes instead of chocolate pieces and added silver sprinkles on top to make them festive for the holidays. They taste great!

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