throwing my backpack on the floor and racing into the kitchen to bake meringue with my mother. the kitchen smelled of sugar and perfume, and i’d hold our old retro mixer still while the egg whites and sugar frothed up to stiff, glossy peaks before my eyes.
my mother would always bake the meringue in a pie dish, forming a sweet crunchy shell for my favorite lemon meringue pie (or, lemon on a cloud pie as we always called it).
i was never allowed to open the oven door to peek while the meringue baked, and when it finally came out of the oven, all crackly and light, i would sneak broken edges and let them dissolve into sweetness on my tongue.
Never made meringue before? Well this is a great time to start. All you need are three ingredients (egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar) and either a really strong arm or…a KitchenAid.
I love making meringue kisses like this because they’re so easy and light. Plus, you can store them in tupperware in the freezer for months. Two of these, plus a broken piece of extra dark chocolate, is my go-to daily dessert.
Making meringue is simple, but takes some patience. I always work with room temperature egg whites (they get the most air) so about an hour before you want to bake, separate your eggs and set your whites out on the counter. Then, beat them on high with a fourth of a teaspoon of cream of tartar until “you can’t see the bottom of the bowl anymore”, and then gradually add your sugar.
You might feel like you’re beating forever, but you’re not. You want to continue until you see very stiff, glossy peaks. In a KitchenAid, beating on high speed, this will take about seven to eight minutes.
Then, to make the kisses, just transfer the meringue into either a pastry bag with a tip or a plastic bag with a tip. Pipe out small blobs onto a lined baking sheet, like this:
Bake at 200 degrees for one hour and ten minutes, until totally dry and light. And…once you’ve closed the oven door, keep it shut! These kisses are super fragile and even the slightest bang will cause them to break while baking.
makes about 2 dozen
3 egg whites (room temperature)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until you can’t see the bottom of the bowl (it will get all frothy). Gradually add the sugar while the mixer is going on high and continue to beat for another seven minutes or so, until stiff glossy peaks appear. Test this by removing the whisk attachment from your bowl and standing it upright (see above photo). If the meringue doesn’t slump, it’s ready.
Pipe out kisses onto parchment paper or a silpat. Bake at 200 degrees for one hour and ten minutes, until light and dry.
heading to bed with three broken pieces of meringue and a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips in my fist. when i got to my room, the chocolate had melted in my hands and i ate the meringue bits quickly, so as no crumbs would get in my bed.
Jessica @ How Sweet It IsOctober 21, 2010 at 7:48 am
Meringue was my FAVORITE part of any pie! I was never a huge pie fan but my grandma would make the best meringue and like you, I would sneak pieces off the pie and ruin the beautiful presentation. Just thinking about that makes me miss her.
I’ve never made it myself but now I must try!
Jasmine @ Eat Move WriteOctober 21, 2010 at 7:56 am
I have to admit, I hate meringue. But, I’ve never had it in cookie form. I heart cookies, so maybe?
Love the memory, though. I have fond memories of baking with my mother, too.
Beth @ Beth's Journey to ThinOctober 21, 2010 at 7:59 am
My gosh I loooove meringues. It’s crazy how egg whites can transform into something so melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
R @ Learning As I ChopOctober 21, 2010 at 8:03 am
I love that your mom made all of these treats. I want to create that kind of home for my family
The Blue-Eyed BakersOctober 21, 2010 at 8:03 am
Love love love love LOVE meringues! They’re just such a sweet little cookie! We love them plain or with chocolate chips…! But it is sooo hard being patient!
Heather @ Side of SneakersOctober 21, 2010 at 8:03 am
This post makes me wish I liked meringue. 🙂
Heather (Heather's Dish)October 21, 2010 at 8:05 am
i’ve never made meringue by itself…always on top of pie though 🙂 these sound amazing, and they’re the cutest little guys!
Kristina @ spabettieOctober 21, 2010 at 8:05 am
I love how beautiful bright white they are!
rebecca lustigOctober 21, 2010 at 8:07 am
the meringues are so delicate and dainty! such a delightful change from an actual meal.
i love food memories. there’s something so comforting about them <3
Angela @ Eat Spin Run RepeatOctober 21, 2010 at 8:07 am
those are so pretty! i’ve made one big pavlova before and it was actually pretty good, but probably no where near as tasty as your meringues. so cute!
jennaOctober 21, 2010 at 11:15 am
mmmm pavlova! My favorite
grocery goddess jenOctober 21, 2010 at 8:10 am
Jenna, you’re actually making me want to make meringue. How would you make chocolate meringue? Can you just add melted chocolate or something?
jennaOctober 21, 2010 at 11:14 am
Hmm good question. I *think* you COULD just slowly stream in melted chocolate while the meringue is whipping but I’ve never done that so I can’t promise the results. A safe way would be just to add chocolate chips 🙂
Dani @ Dani Does ItOctober 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm
maybe cocoa powder??
Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)October 21, 2010 at 8:13 am
Little pillows of sugary goodness! Very pretty Jenna, very pretty!!
Samantha Angela @ Bikini BirthdayOctober 21, 2010 at 8:16 am
Meringues are good when they’re done right. I find them really tough for me to get right. When they’re too sticky or too sweet then I don’t find them all that appealing.
I love how you piped these though. They look professional.
Tracey @ I'm Not SuperhumanOctober 21, 2010 at 8:21 am
I love meringues, but my husband thinks they taste like paper. My favorite are mint with chocolate chips.
NicoleOctober 21, 2010 at 8:31 am
Great timing- I made merignues for (Canadian) thanksgiving, and then again last week. Unfortunately, I have no stand mixer, so I had to do it all by hand! Whew! My arm was sore the next day! I think that changed something about them- other times when I have made them they are crisp and crunchy the whole way through. This time, the outside was crisp, and the inside was soft and gooey (similar to the merignue on lemon merignue pie). I think I like the soft insides the best!
Moni'sMealsOctober 21, 2010 at 8:32 am
The beauty of meringues is what does it for me. They don’t rock my world as far as taste but their beauty, sophistication, elegance… is why I eat them over and over. Weird right?!
They are nice for a light treat though and I always add chocolate chips to mine.
Thanks for those pretty pics Jenna. 🙂
megan @ whatmegansmakingOctober 21, 2010 at 8:33 am
What cute little meringue kisses! I never thought of making just meringue before. Sounds delicious with chocolate 🙂
eatmoveloveOctober 21, 2010 at 8:41 am
I love the Meringue on Lemon Pie.
But as for the meringue cookies I see – not so much…I find they’re too fluffy…
I want something substantial to bit into ;)…although if there’s chocolate involved, there’s no chance…
ThereseOctober 21, 2010 at 8:41 am
I have always been terrified of merangue but I like the idea of making them for Christmas gifts so perhaps if I start practicing now I can get them right for Christmas! Thanks for the tutorial!
katieOctober 21, 2010 at 8:53 am
mmh i wish i could have meringue for breakfast!
Laughter-Loving StacyOctober 21, 2010 at 8:56 am
Beautiful… simply gorgeous. 🙂
Lauren at KeepItSweetOctober 21, 2010 at 8:58 am
i used to love when my mom would make meringue cookies – she always added mini chocolate chips -i think it is time i try them myself!
MeaghenOctober 21, 2010 at 9:10 am
I suggest sandwiching two meringues with real whipping cream. Then let them sit for at least 3 hours. The whipping cream makes the meringues turn soft and when you bite into them, they just melt in your moth.
Hands down my favourite dessert. My sister and I have “meringue wars” where we basically both just makes a ton of merginues for our family get together. Favourite war to have ever!
LisaOctober 21, 2010 at 9:15 am
My mom used to make lemon meringue. SOOOO good! She’s not a good cook, but she was always good at desserts. I’m the same way!
jennaOctober 21, 2010 at 9:16 am
what a sweet memory. I’ve acually never had merngue before. egg whites freak me out. yet i love omlets. weird.
Estela @ Weekly BiteOctober 21, 2010 at 9:20 am
Beautiful! That. Is. All.
cathy b. @ brightbakes.comOctober 21, 2010 at 9:26 am
I heart meringue!! And I love making it too! Something about it is pretty magical 🙂 Although maybe I just like it because I lick the beaters…and the bowl…and the scraper…yeah, that probably has something to do with it!
P.S. Gorgeous photos.
CharlesOctober 21, 2010 at 9:34 am
To be honest, I’ve never tried them before, but how could you go wrong? Sounds super simple. I suppose I ought take a whack at it.
chelsey @ clean eating chelseyOctober 21, 2010 at 9:34 am
I never knew meringue was so easy to make! I’m excited to try this!
Lina@GreenLivingNYOctober 21, 2010 at 9:38 am
I LOVE meringue, my grandma always makes them for me, so good!! 🙂
Krystina (Organically Me)October 21, 2010 at 9:44 am
Sigh. I tried making meringue cookies once and it was a nightmare. They tasted like raw eggwhites.
MariaOctober 21, 2010 at 9:55 am
I heart meringue!!! Any chance u wanna share the Lemon pie recepie aswell? Soundet sooo delish!
jennaOctober 21, 2010 at 11:13 am
I don’t have it…..I need to get that, stat!
Suzanne de CorneliaOctober 21, 2010 at 10:16 am
I’m sorry, I thought this was Merengue Dancing for Beginners. 🙂 Perhaps the meringue on the floor should be animated & doing the Merengue…& make themselves useful instead of just puffin’ around. 😉
Allison KOctober 21, 2010 at 10:16 am
Truth? I don’t like Meringue. I want to, it’s so pretty…but I just don’t dig it.
EliseOctober 21, 2010 at 10:30 am
This is by far one of my alltime favorite recipes! I have fond memories of making them for x-mas and decorating them with red & green sprinkles for a little ‘holiday’ spirit.
I might need to go buy some cream of tartar…stat.
stacey-healthylifeOctober 21, 2010 at 10:47 am
Love fluffy meringue cookies and they are so easy to make.
Mary @ Bites and BlissOctober 21, 2010 at 10:51 am
I love meringues!! I remember making them wayyy back when with my mom. 🙂 They’re perfect little treats.
Laura @ Foodies Not FattiesOctober 21, 2010 at 10:52 am
Yum! I love these cookies! My mom used to make these for me, but she called them Forgotten Cookies (as in, they become ‘forgotten’ in the oven because they have to sit in there so long). Sometimes she would put chocolate chips or slivered almonds in them and food coloring to make them fun! Good times, good times!
LizLivingVeganOctober 21, 2010 at 11:05 am
Haha I would SO want to open up the oven!!!!
Jessica@tastyandtrimOctober 21, 2010 at 11:09 am
I’ve never made meringue before and I have no idea why because I love it! It does not sound too difficult either. Looks like I’ll have to give it a go!
AngharadOctober 21, 2010 at 11:12 am
These are so so pretty but I don’t have a kitchen aid and I just don’t think my arms could take it! Sad.
Emily @ For Sweets SakeOctober 21, 2010 at 11:14 am
mmmm meringue! soo good! I used to always get key lime or lemon meringue pie, eat all the lime or lemon filling, then leave the crust and meringue for last since they were my favorite part 🙂
VanessaOctober 21, 2010 at 11:16 am
I made the cinnamon walnut loaf! Yum, Yum. I had some for breakfast and my two year old had two slices with cream cheese. But I have to fess up – – I added about two tablespoons of butter to the batter. I doubt this made any difference, but I couldn’t stop myself!
KellyOctober 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm
I just made the cinnamon walnut bread as well! Turned out great, I might take it to my mom’s for Thanksgiving.
On another note, do you ever shop at One Kings Lane? They have antique maps on sale this week and it made me think of your blog! 🙂 http://www.onekingslane.com/Event.aspx?l=00010805059900000000
CherylOctober 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm
Making these tonight! What do you suggest for storage, how to do they last, etc.?
HopeOctober 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm
Wow I haven’t had meringue in so long! I made some the Christmas before lastand the smooshed them all into vanill ice-cream and reset it….mmm meringue icecream
Rachel @ The Avid AppetiteOctober 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm
These are absolutely gorgeous! I cannot wait to try making them myself!
Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)October 21, 2010 at 12:51 pm
Meringue making is like canning was in my house…my mother guarded her freshly canned jars of fruit, jam, veggies, whatever it was, after she had spent tons of time peeling, chopping, pureeing, vats of boiling water…once those jars were outta the water and on the coutertop waiting for that almighty POP sound; the sound that jars had sealed, it was such a magical sound. It meant that my sister and I could begin breathing again…b/c til those jars sealed, there was no disturbing a thing in the kitchen!!
Dani @ Dani Does ItOctober 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm
I love these! I may just make them when I get home. Plus I recently got a piping bag set so these will be fun to test out my mad skillz, lol!
AshleyOctober 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm
I love your blog — I really have enjoyed reading all your recipes — plus your entertaining commentary.
CamilleOctober 21, 2010 at 1:25 pm
I love meringue. It just seems so wholesome. These are especially beautiful.
JodeeOctober 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm
Do you have a french macaroon recipe to share? I had them for the first time in Beaune, France 3 weeks ago and I’ve been dreaming of them ever since.
Natalia - a side of simpleOctober 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm
I think we all have a memory of hand-melted chocolate adventures in the bedroom…
And that sounds dirty but you know what I mean. 😉
ElizabethOctober 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm
That first picture of the meringue is so beautiful!
Just sayin’. 🙂
LoriOctober 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm
crush up some red and white peppermint candies and mix in with mini chocolate chips before baking. OH. MY. GOD. soooooooooooo good!
Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)October 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm
I heart meringues too!
They’re so light, sweet, wonderful. 😀
Amber KOctober 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm
What fun memories! I have never liked meringue. I think it was because I was told they were basically egg whites and I can’t get the picture of eggs out of my mind while eating it!
ChristineOctober 22, 2010 at 6:44 am
Making meringue is on my “to try” list of culinary adventures (aka fears). I am finally over my fear of bread baking/yeast recipes so this might be the next thing I try to conquer!
Lacey @ Lake LifeOctober 22, 2010 at 7:03 am
I may have to try these one of the weekends I stay at my parent’s house (I don’t have a mixer OR a strong arm).
Do you know the nutritional stats on these?
BunjiOctober 22, 2010 at 8:51 am
These are the first cookies I ever made by myself. I think I may have make a batch after work tonight.
DeeOctober 22, 2010 at 10:43 am
YUM! What cute little kisses! I want one.
Sarah @ BikingNBakingOctober 22, 2010 at 11:21 am
I LOVE merengue but have never made it because most recipes ask for you to leave them in the oven over night and that just sounds tough! I cant wait to make these!
AishaNovember 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm
I wanted a simple meringue recipe to test out my kitchenaid mixer, so thank you.
I used 2/3 cup sugar instead of 3/4 cup and then dipped them in melted chocolate once they cooled. OMG.
Thank you very much.
EmilyJanuary 8, 2011 at 9:08 am
Where did you purchase your SilPat? Have you ever had problems with it smoking? I was thinking of getting one for a friend for her birthday, but I read some reviews that it starts smoking if you go above about 350/75F?
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