Light and airy peppermint swirls in delicious meringues cookies. ‘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.
How To Make Peppermint Meringues
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.
- 3 large large egg whites
- 3/4 cu sugar
- 1 drop peppermint concentrate , or 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
- Red gel-paste food coloring
- 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.