These baked meringue cookies shaped in pretty, pink hearts are light as air and melt in your mouth. Often made for the holidays, these cookies are too versatile (and delicious) not to bake year-round. You can make them in any shape, in any color, and in any flavor. I don’t describe cookies as “healthy,” but, as far as cookies go – meringues aren’t bad. They are relatively low in calories, gluten-free, fat-free, nut-free and, each cookie contains a gram of protein. Yay meringues!!
Not only do baked meringues taste like a bite of bliss, they’re also easy to make. There are only five essential ingredients (optional ingredients are food coloring and sprinkles for decorating). The mixer does all the work. However, if you go online, you can find all sorts of fussy techniques for making meringues. If you’re into that stuff, that’s fine. I’m not! I’m blissfully unaffected by the claims that meringues are tricky. I’ve always found them to be easy, stressless, and consistent in results. The only problem I’ve ever encountered is due to living in a very humid climate (Tampa, FL). Humidity is not a friend of meringue. Moisture will cause meringues to become chewy. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Should the meringues become sticky or chewy, place them in a warm oven for a few minutes to dry out. My only other tip is to gradually add the sugar. If you add the sugar all at once or too fast, the meringue will not form the stiff peaks necessary to give the cookie structure.
If you’ve ever wondered what the measuring equivalent of 2 egg whites, it is ¼ cup. I know this because recently, I had a recipe that required 3 egg yolks, leaving with 3 whites in my bowl. This recipe only needs 2 egg whites. What to do? In search of an answer, I googled it. I measured out a quarter cup of my three egg whites, and it worked perfectly.
I’ve used both a handheld mixer and a stand mixer for meringue cookies, and there is no difference in the finished product. If you have a choice, I recommend using your stand mixer to save time. While a hand mixer works great, it takes about twice as long to get stiff peak consistency. It’s not that big of a deal either way. A whisk attachment is recommended by the “experts”, but no worries. I’ve been making meringues for years with my standard beaters, and they work just fine!
I chose to tint my cookies pink with a few drops of red food coloring – use any color you wish. My go-to flavor for meringues is vanilla extract. I’ve also used almond, peppermint, lemon, and orange extract, depending on the occasion. I like matching the flavor with the color. Meringues don’t bake quickly (this could be considered their only downside). They bake low and slow. Real low, like 225°. And real slow, as in 2 hours baking, and another hour cooling in the warm oven. I’ve baked meringues at temps ranging from 200° – 300°, and they have all turned out. However, at 300°, you risk them turning brown. I also didn’t notice any benefit of baking them longer at 200°. The best temp is 225°.
Impress not stress in making treats for your peeps with these delicious puffs of sweetness, and you are certain to capture their hearts on Valentine’s Day!
Meringue Valentine CookiesCourse: Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day RecipesCuisine: Dessert, SnackDifficulty: Easy
Baked meringue cookies shaped in pretty, pink hearts are light as air and melt in your mouth.
- Pre-heat oven to 225° Trace heart shapes on parchment paper sized to fit baking sheet pan. Flip parchment paper over so ink side is facing down.
- In a mixing bowl, beat or whisk egg whites until foamy, at med high speed. Add salt and cream of tartar; continue whipping until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing sugar to fully incorporate between spoonfuls. Mix in vanilla (or other flavor) extract and red food coloring. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon meringue into a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag. If using a plastic bag, cut a small hole in the corner.
- Pipe meringue onto parchment paper using the tracings as guide. Outline heart and then fill shape. Sprinkle with decorative sprinkles
- Bake at 225F for 2 hours or until dry but not brown. Turn off oven leaving meringues inside to cool and further dry. Remove from parchment. Store in an airtight container.
- This recipe calls for 2 egg whites, save the yolks for another recipe. There are two ways to separate eggs. Both start with a sharp crack on the rim of a bowl to the middle of the egg. The goal is a clean break, not a shattered shell. Hold the egg over your “working” bowl. If you like getting your hands messy, this first method is for you. Crack the egg open into your upturned palm, letting the egg whites slide through your fingers. With just the yolk remaining in your hand, flip it over into another bowl. If there is no yolk in your whites, you have a winner! Transfer the yolk and white into your holding bowls. The other (clean hands) method is to gently move the yolk back and forth between the eggshell halves, letting the white drip into the bowl below. Be careful so as not to break the egg yolk. Place the yolk in a separate bowl. Cold eggs are easier to separate than room temperature eggs. The yolks are less likely to break if you separate them immediately after removing them from the fridge.
- I chose to tint my cookies pink with a few drops of red food coloring – use any color you wish. My go-to flavor for meringues is vanilla extract. I’ve also used almond, peppermint, lemon, and orange extract, depending on the occasion.
- Humidity is not a friend of meringue. Moisture will cause meringues to become chewy. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Should the meringues become sticky or chewy, place them in a warm oven for a few minutes to dry out.
- It’s critical to gradually add the sugar. If you add the sugar all at once or too fast, the meringue will not form the stiff peaks necessary to give the cookie structure.
Pretty in Pink Sprinkles are a must-have for Valentine’s baking projects.
Decorating set contains 6 stainless steel icing tips, 1 reusable silicone pastry bag, and 1 reusable plastic coupler. Everything you need
These stainless steel, dishwasher safe heart cookie cutters include every size you will need. I love mine!