Looking for a light and airy dessert that’s easy to make and perfect for any occasion? Look no further than these delicious vanilla meringue cookies! Made with just a few simple ingredients this vanilla meringue cookie recipe makes the best meringues even if you have never made meringue cookies before!
Vanilla Meringue Cookies Recipe
I love to bake cookies and one of my favorites to make is classic meringue cookies. These soft, airy, and crispy cookies are such delicate treats that everyone always loves when I make them.
If you have never made meringue cookies before this is the perfect recipe to get started. This meringue cookie recipe is easy to follow and easy to make.
Meringue cookies have a delicate and light texture, with a slightly crispy exterior and a soft and chewy interior. With their delicate texture and subtle flavor, they’re a great addition to any dessert table. I can sit and eat them and not realize how many I have eaten. Its a good thing that these cookies are not high in calories or I would really be in trouble!
Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this vanilla meringue cookie recipe is sure to become a new favorite in your recipe collection. So let’s get started and whip up a batch of these delicious cookies!
Meringue Cookie Recipes
- Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
- Chocolate dipped strawberry Meringue cookies
- Apple shaped meringue cookies
- Strawberry Meringue cookies
- Peppermint Meringue cookies
- Green meringue cookies
- Christmas Tree meringue cookies
What are Meringue Cookies?
A meringue cookie is a type of cookie that is made primarily from whipped egg whites and sugar. The egg whites are beaten until stiff peaks form, then sugar is gradually added to create a glossy and smooth mixture. The mixture is then piped or spooned onto a baking sheet and baked at a low temperature until the cookies are crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside.
Tips for Making Meringue Cookies
Do NOT open the oven while baking. I know it is tempting to open the oven when cookies are baking to check on them. When making meringue cookies it is important that you leave the oven closed after you put the cookies in while they bake.
Do not let the bowl touch the water. When you are making meringue cookies you are going be using a pot of simmering water and placing your mixer bowl on top of it so the heat from the water heats the egg whites, sugar, and tartar but it is very important that the water does not touch the bowl you are mixing everything in does not touch the water.
Line the baking sheets. I know sometimes when I am making cookies I try to avoid this step only because I am being lazy, however, this is one cookie recipe where you need to line the cookie sheet with either a silicon mat or parchment paper.
Room temperature eggs. It is important that the eggs you use are room temperature. Before getting started be sure to take the eggs out of the fridge and bring them to room temperature.
Clean dry bowl. When you are making the meringue cookies it is important that before you place egg whites into the bowl above the simmering water the bowl is clean and dry.
Use Disposable piping bags. I find it easiest to use disposable piping bags when making these cookies, you can use reusable ones however it is important that they are clean and dry before adding the meringue cookie mixture into the bag.
What do Stiff Peaks mean when making Meringue Cookies?
When making meringue cookies, “stiff peaks” refer to a stage in the whipping process where the egg whites have been beaten to a specific consistency. To achieve stiff peaks, you need to beat the egg whites until they are firm and glossy, and when you lift the beaters out of the mixture, the egg whites stand up straight without falling over.
When you touch the egg whites with a spatula, they should feel smooth and not gritty. Stiff peaks are important when making meringue cookies because they help give the cookies their light and airy texture. If the egg whites are not beaten to stiff peaks, the cookies may not hold their shape and could end up flat and dense.
As you mix the eggs and sugar mixture it will become thick, glossy, and sticky, that’s exactly what you are looking for to make sure that you have the right texture. A stiff peak means that the batter stands up straight and does not fall into itself.
Can I use a hand mixer?
I personally prefer to use my kitchenAid stand mixer, but if you do not have one you can use a large bowl and an electric mixer.
Can I over-mix the Meringue?
Yes! If you are not careful you can totally over mix the meringues, once you get the stiff peaks STOP the mixer.
Variations of this Recipe
Change up the flavor. We are making vanilla meringues with this recipe but you can change up the flavor by changing up the flavor extract that you use.
Change up the color. You can make these cookies in different colors by adding a few drops of your desired food coloring before beating the egg whites into stiff peaks.
Change up the shape. Traditionally these cookies are small and round as the white mixture is added to a baking sheet with a piping bag or spooned onto the tray. But if you want to get fancy you can make them into different shapes by piping the mixture, some easy shapes are flowers and hearts.
Add sprinkles. Before putting the cookies in the oven you can add sprinkles on top of them to decorate them if you want to.
Use a different piping bag tip. Depending on the size and pattern you want on your cookies you can use a different piping bag tip. I wanted these to be small, short, and delicate so I used an open piping tip. If you want taller and thicker cookies then you will want to use a start piping tip.
How to Pipe Meringue Cookies
You will need a pastry bag and an Open Star Piping Tip. Holding your pastry bag about a quarter inch off the sheet pan, press out the meringue cookie mixture out of the bag onto the baking sheet.
How do you know when Meringues are done Cooking?
Meringue cookies are cooked on low heat for a long period of time. You know they are done when you can easily remove them from the baking sheet. You want to make sure they do not get brown and look like they have been baked at all, which is why you will cook them on a low heat for a long period of time.
Why Did my Meringues crack?
If you find that your meringue cookies have cracked it is because they were cooled to quickly. Leave the meringue cookies in the oven after they are done baking with the oven turned off to slow the cooling process and this will stop the cookies from cracking.
Why did my Meringues turn out chewy?
There are 2 reasons that your meringues would end up being chewy instead of light and airy. Either there is too much humidity or they were not baked long enough. If you want to crisp them up you can put the cookies on a baking sheet in the oven at 200 degrees F for 10 minutes to see if they will get crisper.
How do you Store Meringue Cookies?
Store meringue cookies in an airtight container away from any heat or moisture. It is VERY important that you allow the cookies to cool completely before storing them. If it is summertime, or your house is kept at a warm temperature it is best to store them in the fridge.
How Long Do Meringue Cookies Last?
When stored in an air-tight container, away from the heat these cookies will last for 2 weeks. They will keep in the freezer for up to one month.
Can you Freeze Meringue Cookies?
If you are not going to be eating the cookies right away one thing you can do is freeze meringue cookies. It is important that you carefully defrost them. If not careful and they get any moisture they will get soft.
How to Freeze Meringue Cookies
After the meringue cookies are completely cooled from being in the oven, put them in an airtight container. Then place them in the fridge for a few hours. After they have been in the fridge for a few hours move the container of cookies to the freezer.
I find it best to use a shallow plastic container, place a layer of meringue cookies and then place a piece of parchment paper on top of the layer of cookies and then another layer of cookies. You do not want to cram the cookies into the container, you want them to not get squished in the container.
How long can Meringue Cookies be frozen
Meringue cookies will keep in the freezer for up to one month when stored properly.
Vanilla Meringue Cookies Recipe Ingredients
- Egg whites. You need to be very careful that you do not get any egg yolks in with the egg whites. I find it best to crack each egg into a small bowl while separating the yolks and the whites to also make sure that no egg shell gets in the egg whites before pouring the egg white into the bowl of other egg whites.
- white sugar. Granulated white sugar is what you need.
- vanilla extract. You can use homemade vanilla extract or store bought vanilla extract.
- Cream of tarter. Use the pinch measuring spoon.
How to Make Vanilla Meringue Cookies
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks and put all of the egg whites into a small bowl. Set aside. You will not need the egg yolks at all for this recipe and can discard them.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees F.
Bring a pot of water to a simmer on the stove over medium heat. (A simmer is when you bring hot liquids just below the boiling point.).
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add the sugar, egg whites, and cream of tarter.
Place the bowl on top of the simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water at all.
Using a whisk mix until the sugar has fully dissolved.
Once the sugar is dissolved remove the bowl from the heat, and turn the stove off. Then place the mixer bowl on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly beat the egg and sugar mixture. Add in the vanilla extract. If you are wanting to make these colored here is where you will add in the food coloring as well.
Slowly increase the mixer speed to medium speed and continue to beat until soft peaks have formed. At this point watch the mixture closely for the stiff peaks to form.
Once stiff peaks have formed remove the mixture from the mixer.
Transfer the meringue batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large straight piping tip and pipe the meringue cookies on the baking sheet.
Bake for 2 hours. Then turn off the oven and leave the oven door slightly ajar for meringues to cool down with the oven.
Vanilla Meringue Cookies Recipe
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks and put all of the egg whites into a small bowl. Set aside. You will not need the egg yolks at all for this recipe and can discard them.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees F.
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer on the stove over medium heat. (A simmer is when you bring hot liquids just below the boiling point.).
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add the sugar, egg whites, and cream of tarter.
- Place the bowl on top of the simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water at all.
- Using a whisk mix until the sugar has fully dissolved.
- Once the sugar is dissolved remove the bowl from the heat, and turn the stove off. Then place the mixer bowl on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly beat the egg and sugar mixture. Add in the vanilla extract. If you are wanting to make these colored here is where you will add in the food coloring as well.
- Slowly increase the mixer speed to medium speed and continue to beat until soft peaks have formed. At this point watch the mixture closely for the stiff peaks to form. Once stiff peaks have formed remove the mixture from the mixer.
- Transfer the meringue batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large straight piping tip and pipe the meringue cookies on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 2 hours. Then turn off the oven and leave the oven door slightly ajar for meringues to cool down with the oven.