Isn’t it crazy what four (three, really) simple ingredients can create?! We don’t know what it is about them, but meringues are a dessert that feel effortlessly elegant and bring up images of teatime and white gloves for us.
We will say that, as with any recipe that calls for egg whites, it’s important to be strategic as to when you make these. Humidity is a death sentence for meringues, so we use the good weather rule of thumb when making them: when the weather’s good and the sky is blue, we take that as a good sign to go ahead; when it’s grey and cloudy out, we skip these and stick with something non-weather dependent. If you keep that guideline in mind, along with making sure to add your sugar slowly and not over mixing your egg whites, you should be good to go! We love these crisp cookies and, given the delicious results, the preliminary planning is no big deal, we promise!
Yield: approx. 7 dozen meringues
- 3 large egg whites (absolutely no yolk), room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- [Separate egg whites individually into a glass before putting them together in a bowl. If there’s any trace of yolk, discard and start again.]
- Preheat oven to 200º F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place egg whites in a large bowl or mixer and add cream of tartar. On medium-high speed, beat until soft peaks form.
- While beating, very gradually pour in sugar until it’s all added and stiff peaks form. Don’t over beat.
- Pour in vanilla extract and mix until just incorporated. 10-20 seconds.
- Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip (or a re-sealable plastic bag with the corner snipped off) and, holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheets, pipe meringue in equal, 1 1/2-inch circles, spaced about 1 inch from each other.
- Place baking sheets in oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until cookies are crisp and dry in the center.
- Remove trays from oven and let meringues cool completely.
- Serve immediately or store in air-tight containers.
Recipe adapted from Eating Well