These treats are a well-known invention from the world of European treats! Growing up, these were the cookies that my mother would make to accent a Coupe Denmark (vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream) or Coupe Romanov (vanilla ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream). We would also enjoy them by themselves as a treat, accompanied by espresso or tea. French Meringue Cookies make a superb gift to share over the holidays! One very unique quality about this dessert is its ability to be molded into a variety of shapes – it’s not uncommon for culinary artists to make intricate designs and miniature sculptures! These little treats are pretty, delicate and easy to make.
Just 3 basic ingredients to make a beautiful meringue cookie or nests!
Once the egg whites are stiff, add the sugar, salt and vanilla and beat for 8-10 minutes until thick and gloriously glossy.
Using a piping bag form the cookies or nests. Alternatively, place tablespoon dollops on prepared baking sheet.
Once the meringues are light and firm and break in half easily, they are ready to be enjoyed!
- 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 grams or ½ cup granulated or caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 175 - 200 degrees F / 70 - 80 degrees C .
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a medium bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg whites and pinch of salt until stiff, really stiff. To test the stiffness of the egg whites, hold the bowl upside down - if the egg whites don't slide down, you've attained the goal (photo on left, below). Slowly, add the sugar and vanilla, a little bit at a time and beat until glossy and thick (photo on right, below), which takes about 10 minutes. I've read about over-beating the egg whites, but I've never experienced this before. So I set a timer the last time I made meringue, just to be sure!
- Fill a piping bag with the glossy looking loveliness and design your cookies. I used Wilton star tip #1M. You can use whatever medium-large tip you'd like. You can even just put spoonfuls of the egg-white mixture on the cookie sheet.
- Let the cookies dry out in the oven for 3-4 hours (more or less depending how humid your area is). Place a wooden spoon between oven door and let the meringues dry. You will know when the cookies are dry when the center is no longer moist.
- When the meringue cookies are dry, remove from sheet and transfer to a wire rack to let cool, about 20 minutes. Transfer the cookies into an airtight container or use right away. Meringue cookies will keep for up to 4 weeks when stored in an airtight container. Enjoy!