As a holiday or any day treat, meringues are so simple to make if you follow one simple rule: beat the crap outta the egg whites. Oh, and don’t let ANY fats touch the mix. Easy right?
And with less than 5 ingredients, and only 20 calories per meringue, these are an awesome holiday treat to have out at your party or give as homemade gifts.
I’ve made meringues before, with vanilla and a peppermint candy crushed and sprinkled on top. These take mint to a whole new level. I made a big batch, to give out to coworkers and neighbors. The swirl of color makes them cheery, and the peppermint flavor is very strong, so feel free to cut it down if you don’t want that.
Recipe makes about 4 dozen.
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp peppermint oil
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- Optional: few drops food coloring
Step 1: Separate the eggs into whites and yolks. If you want to be super cautious, break each egg into one bowl, then combine them all in a separate bowl. This ensures absolutely no yolk gets in. The fats in the yolk will ruin the meringue and cause it to not rise.
Step 2: Beat the crap out of the egg whites. Seriously, let it go for about 20 minutes. The eggs should bubble, then begin to “fluff” up. Continue until soft peaks form. That means if you dip a spoon in, it can pull up a peak, but it flops over when you remove the spoon.
Step 3: Add in the sugar and the peppermint flavoring. You could also try anise, vanilla, lemon, almond… let your imagination run wild. Sprinkle in about 1/4 tsp of salt, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. If you stick in a spoon, you can pull up peaks that then hold their shape.
Step 4:You can either put it into ziplock bags with a hole snipped in the corner and pipe it onto cookie sheets, or just use a tablespoon to plop dollops on.
Bake in the oven at 250 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until fully hardened. You can also prop the door open and leave them overnight. I use a foil sheet so they are easier to remove. Also, you can add in a drop of food coloring at step 3 for fun holiday swirls!
Bonus tip: If you put the yolks in a container with 1/4 tsp of salt or sugar per 4 yolks, you can freeze them for later use. The salt or sugar will keep them from becoming “gummy” for longer. Just mark if you added salt or sugar so you know which recipe to use them in.