I love their swoops and swirls, and pure white exterior. While other meringues have a soft inside and firm outside, these are baked until they shatter upon first bite. I add a little salt to my meringues and dip them in bittersweet chocolate to help to balance the sweetness they are typically known for.
What are meringues?
Meringue is a type of dessert or candy, often associated with French baking, traditionally made from whipped egg whites and sugar. Acid helps keep the meringues keep their structure, so I like to add a combination of cream of tartar and lemon juice. Rather than browning in the oven like most baked goods, meringues slowly dry out in a low oven without gaining much or any color.
Tips for Making Meringues:
- When separating egg whites from yolks, it is generally easier to start with a cold egg because the yolk will be firmer.
- Before beginning, wipe down the mixer bowl, whisk attachment, spatula, instant-read thermometer tip, and anything else you are touching the egg whites with with a few drops of lemon juice. Any trace of fat on the equipment can deter the egg whites from whipping properly, so I like to wipe everything down with a few drops of lemon juice.
- Make sure the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar is combined well in the stand mixer bowl before heating. As you heat the mixture, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure no sugar crystals form, and to keep the egg whites from cooking.
You’ll have leftover egg yolks from making this recipe, so here are a few delicious ways to use them:
- Homemade Lemon Curd (with variations!)
- Black-bottom Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Vanilla Doughnuts with Pumpkin Pastry Cream
How to Store Meringues:
Pack meringues in an airtight container after they are fully cooled, and keep at room temperature for up to 1 week. Moisture is what causes them to lose their crispness.
More Cookie Recipes:
- Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Pistachios and Lemon Glaze
- Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies
- Brown Butter Brownie Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Meringue Cookies
- Lemon juice
- 2 cups [400 g] granulated sugar
- 1 cup [225 g] egg whites from 6 or 7 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate melted
- Ateco 869 Piping Tip
- Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions of the oven, and preheat the oven to 200F [95C]. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Wipe down the mixer bowl, whisk attachment, and spatula you are using with a few drops of lemon juice (see note).
- Pour 1 in [2.5 cm] of water into a medium saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, gently stir the sugar, egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar with a rubber spatula until completely combined. Place the bowl over the saucepan, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir with the spatula until the sugar is completely melted and reaches a temperature of 160F [70C], 4 to 5 minutes. As you stir the mixture, scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula (this will ensure no sugar crystals are lurking on the sides of the bowl and will help prevent the egg whites from cooking).
- Remove the bowl from the heat and place it in the stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk on low speed to combine, then increase the speed to medium-high. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat on medium-low until incorporated.
- Working quickly, place the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a ½ in [12 mm] tip (I used an Ateco #869 tip in the photos above). Pipe 1 ½ in [4 cm] mounds about 1 in [2.5 cm] apart on the prepared sheet pans, 5 rows of 5 meringues on each sheet. Bake the meringues for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the meringues sit in the oven for 1 more hour. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack and let the meringues cool completely. Dip the bottoms of the meringues in the melted chocolate, the return them to the sheet pans and let them set. Store meringues in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.