Light and airy peppermint meringue cookies, made with egg whites, sugar, crushed candy peppermints, and optional chocolate chips.
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.
Looking for more cookie recipes for Christmas? You can see all of them here!
Peppermint Meringue Cookies Recipe
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.
- 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.
1 Preheat oven to 300°F.
2 Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt: 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.
3 Continue to beat egg whites, slowly adding a sugar, then vinegar: 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).
5 Pipe meringues onto lined cookie sheet: Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone. 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).
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 Bake 1 minute, turn oven off: 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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Peppermint Meringues Cookies
If you are looking for a simple festive Christmas cookie then you are going to love these Peppermint Meringues. These Peppermint meringue cookies are light and airy and perfect for holiday baking.
My family calls these peppermint Meringues and calls them candy cane meringues. Whichever you choose to call them, know they will be loved by all.
I've made this recipe in the past and it's great as written! I dip them in dark chocolate and love that addition. This time I doubled the recipe, and the peppermint extract was WAY too overpowering. Next time I try doubling it, I'll probably just add a tiny touch more than 1/8 tsp instead of doubling the extract.
200 degrees centigrade or Fahrenheit . My ten year old daughter has just wasted a ton of ingredients and time and now the whole sorry, burnt mess is in the bin!
This is a good start to a meringue cookie recipe. I reduced the powdered sugar and also had to reduce the baking time to 2 hours. I did green and red swirls and they came out so pretty!
Looked and tasted great! Loved the swirly pink color effect.
I had the same experience as others, using an oil-based extract on the first batch. Second time, I switched to an alcohol-based extract and they came out beautifully. Now I just have to learn not to make such a mess!
These were great, and ready sooner than the "sleeping" version that wants to go overnight in the oven. I skipped the food coloring, and instead sprinkled candy cane bits over them (I folded some in before piping, too). Pretty, delicious, refreshing! Don't overdo the peppermint extract. A little goes a long way!
Good-- the first batch turned out really goopy-- turns out my peppermint extract was oil based. Round 2 was much better. Crispy & light and nice addition to a cookie plate.
I have made these meringues for a cookie social and sale after a church Chirstmas concert for the last two years. Easy to make and taste light and good. I mix the food coloring in instead of trying to get swirls and I make a batch in red and one in green. Great recipe.
I think I may have figured out the mystery of why some people had gloppy gooey meringues and others didn't. I made a batch with peppermint flavor from Whole Foods and they were a gloppy mess. Still cooked them and they were OK, but weren't nice light meringues. Then I noticed the peppermint flavor was made with peppermint oil and safflower oil instead of an alcohol base. When I got some peppermint extract with an alcohol base, they were light and lovely and perfect.
These are very addictive! My nieces and nephews could not stop eating them over the Christmas holiday. Make sure they have plenty of time to dry out and cool, after coming out of the oven. they'll peel off the parchment paper easier. Worked great using ziploc bag and piping in a circular pattern as you work from bottom up.
When I made these yesterday everything went right . color, texture, taste, but after cooling they got sticky . I do live in FL is that why? It was sort of funny when people took one they got all of the ones it touched too!
Didn't really work out for me but I'm willing to try the recipe again! They look really festive.
These were easy and scrumptious! The whole family loved them. They easily dried out for me, but for those who live in a more humid climate, it will take a bit longer to cook. I use to live in Florida and meringues were not impossible, just required being spot on when whipping the egg whites and incorporating the sugar. Also, making the meringues smaller helps (and easier to eat in one bite).
I loved these and made them twice. They are so easy and turn out so adorable - they look really fancy. The first time I made them I just followed the directions in the recipe and wasn't crazy about the streaks of red from the food coloring. The second time I used the tip elsewhere in the magazine about tinting half the mixture light pink and the other half a darker pink - that gave them the look of the meringues on the cover - more subtle streaks and much more elegant-looking. My husband and I pretty much devoured them. I will make them again next year as gifts!
I thought these were great--easy to make and look much fancier! I used a ziploc bag that wouldn't produce the tidy rounds, so I piped the meringue into swirls, which added to the striping. Best of all: they're less than 10 calories apiece!
This was the first time I had ever made meringues. They were wonderful. Everyone loved them. The only thing I will add is that I would drag a spoon through after adding the food coloring maybe once or twice. My first dozen or so were half white and half red.
Meh. These weren't bad, but they weren't great, either. I've made meringue cookies dozens and dozens of times and have used a half dozen different recipes. These there the least appealing, hands down. The peppermint flavor is pleasant, but nothing to write home about. The swirl effect, which could have been pretty, was not the white took on a burnt sugar color in baking. The piping was a messy process and did nothing to improve the appearance over dropping by the teaspoon. The texture was inoffensive enough. Next time I want meringues, I'll go back to the oven-off-overnight method and the recipe I've used with hazelnuts, not from this site.
These are wonderful little mouthfuls. I used green and red drops of food colouring on the top of the meringue before loading my piping bag. I used a star tip in my piping bag and made single rosettes. The meringues are reminiscent of striped candy canes. I had to make a second batch. The first got eaten within two days!
Made these as an extra treat on Christmas Day. So easy and they turned out really pretty. I would keep in mind that the the weather does affect candies like these and don't try to make them on a rainy/humid day.
My teenage daughter followed the recipe exactly as written, twice, and they turned out perfectly. They will definitely be a part of our family collection of favorite Holiday cookie recipes.
I was concerned based on other reviews. I didn't have kosher salt and I live on a tropical, humid climate. These came out gorgeous! The colour was beautiful, they had nice flavour and crunch and were a beautiful addition to my Christmas cookie platters. Next time I won't mix the colour is so much to hope for even more of a swirl effect.
I made these two times. Both times were good but I definitely learned some things the first time. What I learned: read every detail of the instructions, even if you are experienced with meringue, it is really important not to cheat with the eggs being room temperature. I tried to warm them in my hands the first time, but I think that made the consistency a little runny. I also found the pastry bag much easier to use the second time when I turned down the pastry bag before spooning in the meringue(as instructed in the Prep School section of the magazine). The food coloring effect worked great for me. I never got 60 cookies out of the recipe, but got at least 48. Both batches (even the practice trial) were very popular and people loved how unique they were! Important to store separately from other cookies as they absorbed moisture from other cookies that I stored together and softened.
Zero forks because I never got to taste them, and one of my very rare disappointments with BA. I live in the Caribbean, so as others said, maybe it's the humidity, but I tried two batches and they both turned to runny muck when I added the powdered sugar, having attained some peaks (but not a ton) prior to that. I bake a lot and have made meringue before, but have never had something like this happen. Big disappointment because they were supposed to be a feature of my cookie plates this year.
Like heathersil from chicago said humidity could be your problem even in Boston a rainy day is not a good day to make meringues either! Be sure your egg whites are at room temp and bowl is clean of any oils or residue. mine are in the oven we will see how they turn out so far so good! It is a mess getting them in the pastry bag may try the ziplock methold next time so I can just throw out!
Something went wrong. I used a carton of egg whites (from Trader Joe's) and followed the recipe exactly. My egg white/salt/sugar mixture never materialized into firm peaks. I tried this process twice, with the same disappointing results.
Peppermint meringue cookie ingredients
Assemble your ingredients- you only need 5 ingredients to make these easy meringue cookies
- Egg whites – Make sure to use room temperature egg whites they whip up easier
- Cream of tarter – Needed to stabilize the egg whites
- Sugar– Granulated white sugar works best for meringues
- Peppermint extract – Added for flavor
- Red food coloring – Though optional, this provides the color.
- Most bakers use red food coloring gel. However, you might also try more natural options.
Peppermint Meringue Cookies Recipe
This yummy Peppermint Meringue Cookies Recipe is not only easy to make but it also has a surprise inside! When you see the outside you would never think that a cute peppermint chocolate kiss is hiding inside. Perfect to serve during Holiday parties and get togethers.
During this time of year, my baking urges go in overdrive and I turn my house into a bakery! Giving out desserts to friends and family make cute and thoughtful gifts. This Peppermint Meringue Cookies Recipe is definitely something that I make as a gift. Gather them in a cute little box with a ribbon and you got yourself a great gift.
This Peppermint Meringue Cookies Recipe is crunchy, tasty with a nice peppermint flavor that finishes off with creamy chocolate. I sprinkle a few crushed candy canes on top for color and crunch.
If you’ve never made meringue before, you will be surprised how easy it is to make. Egg whites go in the mixer and become creamy and puffy.
See how beautiful and shiny the egg whites and sugar become when mixed for a few minutes? That is when I get my spoon and steal a few mouthfuls.
After making the meringue, simply pour the mixture in a zip top bag and cut down the bottom edge. It is easier to use a mug when filling your bag. Less mess in the kitchen gives you more time for munching!
After you fill out your bag with the meringue, it is time to pipe them in a cute shape and “hide” the peppermint kiss inside. Check out this cool trick:
Just place the kisses on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pipe in a circular motion over the top. It takes a little practice to get the shape just right but you’ll get it after the second or third one. Plus it’s super fun doing all those meringues. My daughters tried to help me but they kept spilling the meringue on themselves and licking their fingers.
Hope you can enjoy this cute Peppermint Meringue Cookies and try them at home.
Create vibrant color contrasts with the decorating bag striping technique.
If you love decorating roll-out cookies or piping flowers, chances are you’ve used meringue powder to make your icing. Meringue powder is a must for making royal icing, meringue cookies and stabilizing marshmallow or whipped cream frosting.
Whether you’re new to cake decorating or just want to brush up on your piping skills, these 9 beginner piping techniques are all you need to get started. From classic cupcake swirls to piping buttercream flowers and borders, these simple cake piping techniques are sure to have you enticed to ice!
Crisp on the outside, marshmallow soft on the inside
So, these easy Peppermint Meringues are like candy canes in meringue form. Swirled white and pink crispy shells hide a soft marshamallow centre. They are so delicate and to my eyes, quite ethereal and would look so beautiful sitting in the middle of a dessert table.
The other great thing about these easy Peppermint Meringues is that they are truly easy to make. Meringues are the work of minutes, providing you have an electric beater or a stand mixer. If you have neither of those things then you will just need some very strong arm muscles and patience.
I made two batches at the same time (they really are that quick) and the first batch I made about 1/2 cup of the meringue red (instead of the 2 tablespoons I’ve noted in the recipe). The outsides of those ones had way too much red, hence the second batch where I changed it up, but the inside of those first batch ones was this gorgeous, shocking red. The colour dulls a little on the outside where it’s crispy and dry but on the inside of the meringues, where it’s soft the colour stayed so vibrant. Note: I have NOT increased the colour saturation on this photo below. This is the colour that about 8 drops of gel colouring in 1/2 cup of meringue created.
Peppermint Meringue Cookies
Tis the season for all things peppermint! If you have never had meringues, the flavor falls somewhere between a cookie and candy. Made with egg whites and sugar, these cookies are naturally low-fat and gluten-free. The key to making the perfect meringues is beating your batter until it reaches STIFF PEAKS. I will talk more about how to achieve these peaks below.
Like I said above, meringues are extremely versatile and you don’t need to limit yourself to them during any particular holiday or season. Switch things up by using the following variations:
- Take out the peppermint and white chocolate and add in a cup of chocolate chips and two tablespoons of cocoa powder to your meringue batter. Instead of using a piping bag, place heaping tablespoons of batter on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 °F for 32-40 minutes or until just dry.
- Make “Black and White Meringues” by taking out peppermint and substituting ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup white chocolate chips. Instead of using a piping bag, place heaping tablespoons of batter on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 °F for 32-40 minutes or until just dry.
These are just a few options for different meringues, but the possibilities are truly endless. You can add whatever flavors your heart desires and still get a great result.
Chocolate Peppermint Meringue Cookies
It wouldn’t be Christmas without these chocolaty, peppermint filled gems. Our Christmas tradition is to put a batch in the oven as we start to decorate the tree, and by the time we are halfway through, I’m pulling them out of the oven much to my boy’s delight. They like them best when the outside is dried and crackly, but the inside is still a bit soft – with the chocolate oh-so-melty and the peppermint chewy….
If you cook them a bit longer or leave them in the oven to dry, they will be drier on the inside (like a traditional crunchy meringue). Either way, they are delicious. They are also made with real sugar. I have successfully used partial replacements for the sugar in meringues in the past, but meringues really do best with regular sugar.
While these are made with regular granulated sugar (which is needed to make the meringue highly stable), with no flour (yep, these are also gluten-free!) or fat required, and plenty of whipped egg white – meringues are higher in protein and lower in calories, fat, and yes, even carbs when compared to other cookies.
I hope you enjoy these in your home as much as we do in ours.
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons crushed sugar-free or regular hard peppermint candies (about 6 candies)*
1. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. Heat a large pot of water on the stove over high heat until it comes to a simmer. Turn down the heat to keep water simmering, but not boiling. In a bowl that will nestle onto the top of the pot, place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar. Whisk until cream of tartar is mixed in and place the bowl on top of the pot. Heat the mixture for 3 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly warm. Remove the bowl and beat the whites with an electric mixer until and stiff peaks form.
3. Check to make sure your meringue mixture has cooled to room temperature and gently fold in the chocolate chips and crushed peppermint.
4. Using a tablespoon, spoon the batter onto cookie sheets, mounding meringue high in the center and forming a peaked “kiss” top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until meringues feel firm to the touch and can gently be lifted from parchment.
5. Remove from oven and set on a baking rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
* Place candies in a baggie and pound with a rolling pin or meat mallet to finely crush into bits.
Marlene Says: When beating egg whites always make sure the mixing bowl and beaters are clean and free of grease. It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold.
Nutrition Information Per Serving (2 cookies):
Calories 50 | Protein 1 g | Sodium 20mg | Carbohydrate 11g (Sugars 5g) Total Fat 0g (Sat Fat 0g) | Fiber 0g | Cholesterol 0mg | Food Exchanges: 1/2 Starch Carbohydrate Choices: 1/2 | Weight Watcher Smart Point Comparison:
Green 2, Blue 2, Purple 2
Dubbed a “magician in the kitchen” for her extraordinary ability of slashing sugar, fat and calories from everyone’s favorite foods, Marlene Koch is a registered dietitian, popular TV personality and best-selling author who delivers good health with great taste with her incredible-tasting healthy recipes and realistic, easty-to-follow nutrition advice.
- Heat the oven to 175°F. Line 1 large cookie sheet with parchment (not a nonstick liner). Sift the confectioner’s sugar twice to remove all lumps and divide into two fairly equal portions.
- Put the egg whites in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the whites hold soft peaks. Continue beating while gradually adding one portion of confectioner’s sugar. Beat until firm, glossy peaks form. Add the peppermint extract and mix briefly. Sift the remaining confectioner’s sugar over the meringue and gently fold in until blended.
- Scoop the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a large (#8) star tip. Pipe swirled kisses (about 1-1/2 inches wide and 2 inches high) about 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle the finely chopped peppermint candies over the kisses.
- Bake until dry and crisp, about 3 hours. Turn the oven off and let the meringues cool in the oven for 1 hour. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
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Preheat oven to 200°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until white and foamy, about 1 minute. With mixer running, gradually add suger in 3 additions beating for 2 minutes between each addition. Beat until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes longer. Add powdered sugar and peppermint extract beat to blend, about 1 minute.
Dot coloring over surface of meringue do not stir (the coloring will form swirls when piped). Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2" tip. (See Prep School alternatively, spoon into a plastic freezer bag, then cut 1/2" off 1 corner.) Twist top pipe 1" rounds onto prepared sheet, spacing 1" apart.
Bake meringues until dry, about 2 1/2 hours. Let cool completely, about 1 hour (meringues will crisp as they cool). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature between sheets of parchment or waxed paper.
- Most bakers use red food coloring gel. However, you might also try more natural options.