The holidays always remind me of meringue– I love seeing festive meringue kisses pop up all over my Instagram feed, and with the recent rise of Meringue Art, thought I’d share how I make my base meringue. This is a recipe that is stable enough to pipe into various shapes (as long as you beat the meringue to the correct stiffness and not deflate it during piping), and is quick/easy to put together (but takes forever to bake.. we can’t have everything… ) . You can choose to bake them all the way through for a crisp texture throughout, or take it out a bit sooner for a soft, mallow-y inside. You can be endlessly creative with Meringue (of course it will take some time to be good, like anything else!).
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I’ve been making meringues for over a decade, but it never called to me like decorated cookies. But I still enjoy them and I LOVE a good pavlova — we did these last year and there were fabulous:
RECIPE – Easy French Meringues
Yields 2 standard half sheet of meringue kisses the size of chocolate kisses.
- A stand mixer is going to be best for this recipe (so you don’t have to hold a mixer… you’re beating the meringue for a while!) but a hand mixer will also work… but it can take longer!
- Oven Thermometer — this is a MUST HAVE piece of equipment for me. Most home ovens run hot or cold and you don’t even know until you use a thermometer. My home oven runs cold from 280-385, and when I turn it to 390, it jumps to 425. I can’t explain it. I own THIS thermometer and it has served me well for over 6 years so far. Please spend the money it’s well worth it.
- Baking Pans: I’m a 100% nordic ware girl. Their pans are great value (price vs quality and durability). They conduct heat well and don’t warp as quickly as other brands (all pans warp with use over time)
- 4 freshly separated egg whites (approx. 120-130 grams) straight from the fridge
- 225 grams granulated sugar
- Optional but SUPER FUN – I used patterned meringue transfer sheets from Sugar Art Canada — they were kind enough to send me some for free to play with, and that’s what I utilized today!! Use my code borderlandsbakery20 for a very generous 20% off!! They offer an incredible range of designs for all occasions, so please check them out!!
- Optional / to taste: flavorings with NO OIL (which will deflat/ruin your meringue), or in my case, vanilla bean paste (insert drooling emoji here)
- Preheat oven to 180-190degrees F — I use a conventional oven — convection will behave differently, so please do your research!
- Put your egg whites and all granulated sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer OR metal mixing bowl if using a hand mixer. Make sure that mixture is as clean as possible with no trace of oils– this will ruin the meringue and you’ll never get it to whip properly.
- Beat to stiff peaks. This can take about 10 minutes on high, especially if whited are cold freshly separately from the fridge. When done, imagine texture of shaving cream, and it should be shiny. Not whipped heavy whipping cream. If you want to add color or flavor, do it now. I added a tad of vanilla bean paste!
- Transfer to piping bags fitted with tips of choice, and pipe onto your trays OR transfer paper. Make sure you read the instructions on the transfer paper (if using) to ensure success! For a batch of this size, I had to use 2 of my Medium Piping Bags to fit all the batter.
- Bake for approx. 2 hours, turn off the oven and let them cool the rest of the way in the oven for a crisp finish throughout, or take them out and let cool out of the oven for a slightly chewier interior (you might also want to bake for less than 2 hrs for chewy interior, gotta play with it!)
- Enjoy your freaking meringue!
^ And yes, there are made in the dehydrator (see below)
- Meringue size greatly affects how they bake. Use common sense and increase baking time for larger meringues (do not increase temp to avoid browning). And keep all the ones on a sheet the same size so you don’t have to worry about this.
- I made the mistake of piping my little meringues to close together and they stuck….don’t be like me
- Some people struggle with getting enough stability using the french meringue method. I highly recommend you research using a Swiss Meringue (double broiler) or Italian Meringue (heating sugar/egg whites) if you are one of these people. I’m all about easiest way possible, so french is the least amount of work for me… least clean up and steps.
- You can make meringue in the dehydrator. Have it set to the highest setting (brand dependent, but it’s usually around 160degrees. I made these adorable meringue pops in the dehydrator… but it took 1.5 hours for a soft inside and you’ll want to do it for 2-2.5 hrs … maybe even 3-4 hrs size dependent (play with it) for crisp all the way through! Set a timer and walk away, when it turns off, let them cool completely in the dehydrator for another half hour or do. I own THIS ONE and absolutely love it especially for decorated cookies (read more in my Resources)
- Meringues take time, there is no way around it. They are easy to put together but take forever to bake. Please have patience and resist the urge to bump up the temp to decrease baking time– you risk browning your meringue. I have done it many many times before because I was impatient.
- Storage: Due to the natural moisture in the air– if you leave them out, they soften and get chewy. Put them in an airtight container for up to 3 days and I find anything beyond that, they get chewy anyway.
- You can use meringue powder to make your meringues instead of fresh egg whites if you don’t know what to do with the yolk or want waste– lots of free recipes online will guide you through this!
Thanks so much for reading. Be sure to check out our RESOURCES post for my ultimate cookie decorating tool list.
If you end up making meringues or have any questions– hit me up below!! Wishing everyone a very merry christmas eve 🙂