How could you not love meringues? Let's look at the facts.
They are quick and easy to make. You can get two trays of these cookies in the oven in about 10 minutes. The only special equipment needed is a hand held mixer. I like to pipe the cookies onto the baking sheets with a pastry bag, but a regular plastic bag with a corner clipped off works just as well. When I am feeling really lazy, I just use a teaspoon and dollop the meringue onto the sheet.
An entire batch costs about $1.50 to make. Look at the ingredients. Four eggs, less than a cup of sugar.... These cookies definitely do not break the bank.
They only have 10-15 calories per cookie. I won't go as far as to say they are healthy, because they have a decent amount of sugar. But when you are just craving cookies, and nothing else will satisfy you, these aren't too bad.
There are an endless variety of ways to flavor them. I love this version made with coconut, but these are your cookies, so flavor them like you want. Replace the coconut with any flavoring, or just make them plain. Some ideas to individualize the meringues:
- add in any flavor extract....peppermint, almond, lemon, banana...
- sprinkle the top with toasted nuts....almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, even pine nuts
- add in mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, crushed peppermint candies, sprinkles, cocoa powder, a few teaspoons of Jello powder
- add in a few drops of food coloring to make beautiful, pastel colored cookies
Coconut Meringue Cookies
4 Egg Whites
2/3 cup of Superfine Sugar *
½ tsp of Cream of Tartar
¼ tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Shredded Coconut (1/2 cup - ⅔ cup)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they become a little frothy, add the cream of tartar and salt and mix it in until combined.
Slowly add the sugar and beat the mixture until the egg whites become thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved.
Spoon mixture into a plastic bag and squeeze out most of the air. Cut off one small corner of the bag and pipe cookie-sized dollops of meringue on to cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. (If done correctly, the cookies will stay in those exact shapes when finished.)
Sprinkle the top with some coconut and bake them for 1 hour and 15 minutes making sure to rotate the baking sheets half way through baking. Turn the oven off and let them cool and dry out with the oven door shut for 3 hours.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple weeks!
*To make Superfine Sugar, run regular white sugar in a food processor for two minutes.