Nov 26, 2012

Peppermint Meringues



Light and airy peppermint swirls. 'Tis the season for all things peppermint, shopping and big wooly mittens, cookies and hot cocoa, and of course, cookie exchanges.

And what can be more symbolic this time of year than peppermint flavored cookies. 


The taste of these meringues is somewhere between a cookie and a candy cane. I found out by accident that dissolving one into my morning coffee with a little whipped cream instantly makes me feel like I'm drinking a Starbucks Peppermint Latte. I bet it would be yummy in hot cocoa too!

Meringues are made with egg whites and sugar, so they are naturally low-fat and gluten-free. They can be flavored with different extracts to get different results, and baking them in different temperatures will yield different textures. Some of my favorites varieties include the Chocolate Chip Clouds, Black and White Clouds, and To Die For Coconut Cookies.


These beautiful candy cane gems are colored with a paint brush and a little gel paste food coloring (available at Michaels) just before piping to give you the peppermint stripe. Completely optional of course, but it really makes the cookie. Always use metal bowls and beaters and be sure they are squeaky clean before making meringues to guarantee good results.

For more skinny cookie recipes to add to your cookie exchange this holiday season, click here.


Thank you GLAD for bringing us this post. Learn more about Glad's Mom Made Cookie Exchange program here.




Peppermint Meringues
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 30 • Size: 3 cookies • Old Points: 0 pts • Points+: 1
Calories: 21 • Fat: 0 g • Carb: 5 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 0.5 g • Sugar: 5 g
Sodium: 6 mg

Ingredients:

    • 3 large egg whites
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 drop peppermint concentrate or 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
    • Red gel-paste food coloring


Directions:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a small open-star tip (such as Wilton M1). Set aside.

Place egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir gently until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Mix in peppermint concentrate.

Using a new small paintbrush, paint 2 or 3 stripes of red food coloring inside the pastry bag. Fill bag with 1 to 2 cups meringue. Pipe small (3/4-inch-high) star shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Refill bag as necessary, adding food coloring each time.

Bake cookies until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Shut the oven off and leave in the oven for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks then place in a sealed container.

Makes 90 - 100 small cookies.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

104 comments :

  1. Wow, I am definitely making these for Christmas! I had been searching for a good low-fat option. Can't beat 3 cookies for 0 points! And I was just saying yesteray that I have a peppermint obsession lately! You must've read my mind. Thank you!

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  2. Is it possible to work in chocolate somewhere? For instance, could one side be dipped in melted chocolate? Or would this melt the meringue?

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    Replies
    1. Actually yes, if you click the Martha stewart link below the recipe, she did just that!

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  3. They are soo pretty! Is there a vegan way to make meringues? Ack, I don't care. :D

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    1. Actually - I just bought VersaWhip to use in place of egg whites (my daughter has an egg allergy) I am planning to make a marshmallow creme with it but since it is an egg white replacer, I was also thinking about trying these using the Versawhip. If I do, I'll report our results :)

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    2. I'll put this link in a separate comment so it an be deleted if the blogger doesn't like the idea of another post being linked but here is the post where I found the most helpful info (and recipe) about the VersaWhip (also vegan)
      http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-homemade-marshie-fluff-vegan.html

      (this is not a link to my own blog and as I said, I haven't actually tried the recipe yet but it looks very promising for those of us who can't eat or choose not to eat egg - Good luck, Diandra!) :)

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    3. Oh!! (sorry for the triple post) but I just realized there is a link in that post for a meringue! Yay!

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  4. Yummy! Thank you!!

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  5. Is the bowl of a Kitchen Aid mixer heatproof (the metal one, not glass)? I've never used it in a double-boiler type situation, and just wondered if that is what you use. I'd love to give these a try...but did they REALLY turn out that picture perfect on the first try? :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you can use the stainless steel bowl from your mixer. I use the bowl from my Kenmore mixer to melt chocolate all the time.

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  6. These would be such a perfect christmas treat for parties. I love the red swirl, too. Thank you for sharing, this recipe will definitely be on the to-make list for the holidays. Happy blogging!

    XX Hilary
    http://thehippinista.blogspot.com/

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  7. I'm glad you posted this! I made these last week but used cocoa powder and truvia blend instead of real sugar and they didn't turn out. They were just flat and gross lol Do you know what I could have done wrong? Someone mentioned not beating the egg whites long enough...do you think using truvia instead of real sugar makes a difference?

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    Replies
    1. Doesn't work, with truvia! Sugar not only provides sweetness in this recepie, but also creates a chemical reaction.

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    2. The crystals in the sugar are what "attach" to the egg whites along with air, creating the fluffy texture needed for these, so no replacing the wonderful sugar!!

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  8. These look so perfect! Love the shape and color. Peppermint is my favorite seasonal flavor, I'm drooling at the thought of dropping one in my coffee!

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  9. So fun!!!! These will be great this Christmas =)

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  10. Did you use the Wilton gel food coloring from the craft store or the kind that comes in a tube from the grocery store? Does peppermint essential oil work? These look awesome!

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  11. Do you think there's any way to use splenda or truvia for this? I'm diabetic, so it's not the calories, it's the sugar that's my nemesis.

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    Replies
    1. No, sugar provides a chemical reaction!

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    2. http://notchangingmyname.com/2012/07/17/sugar-free-meringue-cookies/ has a recipe for sugar free using Truvia and cream of tarter.

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    3. I want to hear about this too. I'm on the South Beach Diet, and can't have sugar, but these look adorable and delicious.

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  12. Hi - double checking on the cooking time...is it 1 hour and 40 minutes and leave in oven for another 30 minutes? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. yes.... 1 hr 40 minutes then turn off the oven and leave them in for another 30 minutes

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  13. I love them, so pretty!I am going to try to make them sugar free!

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    Replies
    1. Not going to work!

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  14. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

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  15. These are beautiful! Love 'em!!

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  16. What is the benefit of letting the sugar dissolve in warm water over using powdered sugar/corn starch and just dumping it a little bit at a time in the beating egg whites? I've seen meringue recipes both ways, and I was wondering why you chose your method. Thanks!!

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  17. Little sugary beauties! Great addition to hot cocoa. Love em but no food coloring for me :)

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  18. I think you can make them sugar free, but you have to add cream of tartar to the mix. Though I don't know how much.

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    Replies
    1. http://notchangingmyname.com/2012/07/17/sugar-free-meringue-cookies/ has a recipe for sugar free using Truvia and cream of tarter.

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  19. I love the cookie! Meringues is one of my favorite cookies ever!!!

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  20. Has anyone tried freezing these? What was the result?

    -Steph

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  21. Oh, these are so cute! I am nervous about painting in the bag though. I'm so darned messy! ;) But I can't wait to give this a try. As always, Gina, thanks!!

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  22. I have also made these with crushed candy canes of different varieties. :)

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  23. I can't get the Pin it button to work :(

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    Replies
    1. Did you try using the installed button your browser instead of the button on the blog?

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  24. These are absolutely gorgeous! Almost too pretty to eat. This recipe is going on my list of things to make for my holiday party. :)

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  25. I don't have a Kitchen Aid type standing mixer - just the handheld kind. Will I have trouble with this recipe? Thanks - I love your site!!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it should work, you should judge mixing time by whether or not you can turn your bowl over and the contents stay put.

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  26. I have the same question as Elaine. I only have a handheld mixer. Does anyone know if that will work?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it should work, you should judge mixing time by whether or not you can turn your bowl over and the contents stay put.

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  27. I have made these cookies with Cinnamon Red Hots too. Also very pretty and tasty. My family love them, especially when I put mini chocolate chips in them instead of peppermint.

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  28. Oh my goodness, they are so gorgeous. They look rather tasty but I am also seeing them to decorate the table, or fill a beautiful vase on the table. Your little star shapes turned out so perfect.

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  29. Sound delicious! Does anyone know how long they last in a sealed container?

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    Replies
    1. weeks! I made them last year and they lasted a long time, maybe even a month.

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  30. In my black friday adventures I bought myself a kitchen Aid mixer...the firs thing I'm going to tackle is meringues! These peppermint meringues look so yummy and adorable!! I gotta make them!! =)

    Ergo - Blog

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  31. I have been wanting to try meringues but am worried about the 30 minute hold time in the oven after baking. Will this work if my oven has a fan that makes it cool off faster? Or do I need to lengthen the baking time?

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    Replies
    1. I think it would be fine to leave it in the oven, I wouldn't bake them longer.

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  32. I JUST made these and they turned out great! I didn't get nearly 90 cookies out of the recipe, much closer to 50, however, I think I used a tip that was a little too large. I also am not sure I beat the egg mixture quite long enough (I have never worked with meringue), but they still taste great. Advice to those of you that are newer to pastry bags like me...try to get as much as the meringue in the first time or use a clean pastry bag with your second batch or else the cookies at the end will turn out pink because all gel and meringue will just start to mix instead of stripe.

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    Replies
    1. Or you can buy the disposable bags and use 2.

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  33. Where did you find the cinnamon red hits. I have not been able to find them

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  34. Would I be able to substitute the sugar with splenda?

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    Replies
    1. I don't think it would work, but I've never tried.

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  35. Um these look so beautiful! Love it!!

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  36. OH MY GOSH! I'm am drooling! Going to make these tomorrow to make sure I can do it right, then again in a few weeks for a cookie exchange!

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  37. Question....if you oven isn't terribly big, what do you do if you have to bake in batches?

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    Replies
    1. Could you put a pans on separate racks?

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  38. I love this recipe! I've been trying to Pin It on Pinterest but I can't get it to pin.

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    Replies
    1. Strange! You can repin my pin... go to the Skinnytaste Pinterest page, it's there.

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    2. I couldn't pin it either. You can just copy the link and create a pin directly in Pinterest.

      Delete
  39. These are just lovely. I don't have a lot of experience working with meringue, but have bookmarked for when I'm feeling both brave and adventurous!

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  40. Would peppermint OIL kill the poof?

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  41. Love them! Perfect for Christmas!!

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  42. I was so excited about these and still am --- but my first batch is going to be a total bust I'm afraid. I have a handheld mixer and suspect I didn't beat long enough, probably 16-20 minutes but the mis was still a little loose. I piped them and they fell and look more button like. I put them in the oven anyway hoping they will taste yummy despite the problems. Oh, and I didn't have a metal bowl so I used Pyrex. Any tips or hints experienced meringuers?

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  43. Would love to see you tackle a lighter version of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars!

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  44. Instead of using a paint brush, I use the Pampered Chef Easy Accent decorator with the medium size star tip. I dribbled the food coloring down the side of the tube, shoved the meringue on top, and squeezed out the drops. So easy!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip. I think I still have one of these somewhere!

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  45. Ok, I'm confused as to what I did wrong here. I don't have a Kitchen Aid but I used my electric mixer. I got the sugar melted, put in the peppermint extract and started to mix it with the electric mixer but after 35 minutes it was still slightly runny and I gave up and went on to piping them and obviously they fell into buttons instead of cute stars. Really? Does it take THAT long to get it stiff enough? Or should I have mixed it and gotten it set up and then mixed in the peppermint?

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  46. I figured out where I went wrong so this will serve as a warning for anyone else I guess. Liquid egg whites in the carton do not work. I picked up real eggs while I was at the store and tried that and that made all the difference. 5-7 min of whipping and I was ready to go. I also held off on putting the peppermint in until the sugar and egg whites were whipped and mixed that in, but I think it was more the real egg whites vs the carton egg whites. Which...to be honest that makes me really wonder what they do to those egg whites in the carton to make them that vastly different o_O. Anyway, mystery solved.

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    Replies
    1. Having any fat/oil in the mix will cause the meringue to "break" (not get stiff). Egg whites in the carton have likely not been separated with enough care to ensure that there are no trace amounts of yolk in them.

      This is also why metal bowls and beaters are highly recommended, because plastic will hold oils. Glad you got them to work!

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  47. At first I thought these tasted like dried-up toothpaste but they quickly grew on me. I've taken them to a birthday party and a Christmas party at work, and there are certain people who are wild about them! I am wondering how you got 90-100 meringues out of the recipe, though. I scaled it up to use 4 egg whites, and probably got only half as many of the same size (if that).

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  48. Just made these - holy cow are they good! Easily the lightest, prettiest cookie I've ever made.

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  49. What an adorable little meringue!

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  50. Seriously one of the most frusterating baking experiences ever! And I have made the black and white chocolate clouds so many times. Gina's are so beautiful but mine also turned into messy buttons instead of beautiful fluffy mountains. But they tasted good at least....

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  51. The same thing happened to me as a couple of other posters...had beautiful stiff peaks until I added the peppermint. Then all the egg whites fell :( What went wrong?!
    Going to try agin and put the extract in at the liquid stage OR maybe flavor the food coloring. Will let you know.

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  52. How do you make these less sticky??

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  53. I made these, they look great, but are so sticky I can't touch them without sticking to me. How can I fix this to give out to people? Thanks!!

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  54. Ok, so I am having a very hard time with these. I like to think myself a pretty experienced baker, this is my first try at meringues though...I have a Kitchenaid mixer and everything is great until I add the sugar and the peppermint extract...any tips?

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    1. Make sure you're adding the sugar very slowly; two tablespoons at a time is the speed I've seen elsewhere. And I'm not sure about this, but make sure you've got peppermint extract and not oil, because oil will cause the meringue to break.

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  55. I'm having the same problem as several of the precious posters. On my second batch and am about to give up. Real eggs and real sugar and the peaks never formed :( Any idea of what could be going wrong?

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  56. I made this last night and they are just so cute!! I can't wait to do a post about it! Thanks for the inspiration!! My office loves them! I used a kitchenAid stand mixer and it made the peaks fine! =)

    Ergo - Blog

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  57. I followed directions, used exactly the right ingredients & still didn't get the stiff peaks. I mixed for a very long time, but nothing, still runny. What a mess!

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  58. My first attempt met with abject failure. I just could NOT get stiff peaks to form with the lightly heated whites. The second time I treated it like a pavlova.. no heating. Beat the whites on low till foamy, added 1/4tsp cream of tarter for stability, then added super-fine sugar at medium speed 1 tblsp at a time. Then switched to high speed until the stiff peaks formed. If a pinch between your fingers is gritty, beat a little longer until that pinch is smooth. At that point I switched back to this recipe as written.. a WONDERFUL HOLIDAY RECIPE! Thank you so much for posting this! I've made these three times now (including that first failure), and these peppermint stars just make a wonderful presentation and are perfect for holiday gift giving. They've been a huge hit this year, and I'm sure they're about to become a holiday tradition for us.

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  59. Does anyone think these are too strong? I only used 3/4 of the 1/2 tsp and when I taste the mixture they are Altoid like. I am hoping they mellow out after baking. They were super easy and look so pretty! I may make another batch and just use a drop of the extra. Quick and easy recipe. I guess I could dip these in chocolate ganache after they cool- that might help mellow.

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  60. I can't get over how cute they look!

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  61. Can these be frozen???

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  62. I never tasted them before so can't compare but they were really hevenly. I probaby didn't have heat proof mixer so at first try it didn't work. then I wipped eggwhites before adding sugar without heating. didn't have pipermint so vanilla extract. It came out so perfect. Can't believe it. My 21 month old gobal them out. Definitely a keeper.
    thanks.

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  63. I am making these now!! Didn´t have a pastry bag or gel but was bound and determined to do it and they are in the oven now! I swear I was MacGyver in another life! Thanks for your site Gina - I love it and as a vegan love that I can adapt so many of your recipes to fit my needs (not theses of course but they aren´t for me!) I am also starting running this year and have my first 5k in March here in Madrid, Spain!! Good luck to you, thanks for everything and Feliz Año Nuevo!!!!!

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  64. These turned out good! Mine are a little more pink than red but they're still so cute! And I only got thirty cookies. When I melt them in my coffee they don't really melt, but they're still good.

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  65. I made them this weekend and although they definitely weren't as pretty, they were pretty good! I added a little chocolate and it was awesome. I'm actually going to try different flavors of these. Apple is in my oven right now.

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  66. I would love to know how long these last for, I have a lot of baking to do around Christmas and I am trying to organise the oven schedule, could I make these a few days before Christmas?? would they last or start going soft and chewy?
    Thanks

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  67. I pinned this recipe forever ago, but finally got around to making them yesterday. I skipped the food coloring + swapped the peppermint extract for raspberry extract. Also, since I don't have a pastry bag, I just used a zipper baggie with a corner snipped off.
    These came out beautifully!
    So light and fluffy, and the flavor is lovely...subtly sweet.
    I think these may become a go-to dessert for me!

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  68. I made these yesterday - easy & delicious! I was planning on giving them out for Christmas presents, BUT i think I may have to make another batch!

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