While I always see clear tubs of them in stores, I’ve never attempted to whip up a batch of Meringue Cookies. Recently I decided to give making them a whirl. Whip it. Whip it good.
Good, Basic Meringue Cookies
Makes approximately 9 – 2 ½” cookies
3 large egg whites at room temperature (Not a speck of yolk please! *)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
¾ cup superfine sugar**
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, or the extract of your choice
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the squeaky clean, dry bowl, of a stand mixer fitted with a grease free, whisk attachment, whip egg whites on medium-high speed for about a minute, until foamy.
Add cream of tartar and salt.
Continue to beat, on medium speed, until you get soft peaks, that don’t stand up on their own.
A small amount at a time, add superfine sugar, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Whip mixture until you have stiff, shiny peaks, and when a bit is rubbed between your fingers, you don’t feel any graininess. If you do, continue beating until all of the sugar has dissolved and it’s silky smooth.
Add vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
Using two spoons, place 2 ½” dollops of meringue onto parchment lined cookie sheet. (If you dot the underside of the parchment paper with a bit of the meringue, it will keep the paper from shifting while you work.)
Bake for about 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time.
When checking for doneness, meringues should be pale, fairly crisp, and will lift off the parchment without sticking.
Turn off the oven.
Return the pan of meringues to the oven and leave the door open a little. Allow to cool and dry for a couple of hours or overnight.
*Fat/oil and water are the enemy when making meringues. Your whites will not beat properly.
**If you don’t have superfine sugar, you can make your own by taking granulated sugar and whirring it around in your food processor until it is fine.