Patriotic meringue cookies are festive, whimsical and fun! For an added touch, these red, white, and blue cookies are sprinkled with edible glitter. Elevate your celebration with these special 4th of July desserts!
- 4 large egg whites
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or peppermint extract
- Gel food colors – red and blue
- Edible gold stars
- Add 3 inches of water to a medium/small pot. Bring to a simmer. Transfer egg whites into a heat-safe bowl (preferably metal bowl of stand mixer). Add powdered sugar. Briefly whisk or stir to combine. Place mixing bowl on the rim of the pot of simmering water, well above the water line. Constantly whisk or stir the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved. Check the temperature with a candy thermometer. Once batter reaches 113°F, remove bowl from heat.
- Attach mixing bowl to stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk the hot batter for 5 minutes at high speed. As it whips, the mixture will thicken, cool, become shiny, and double in volume. The meringue should grip onto the metal whip in a medium-soft peak. The consistency should be like fluffy, clingy shaving foam. If the mixture is too thin, whip it some more. At the very end, add the flavoring (extract). Whip to incorporate.
- Prepare the baking tray with a silicone baking mat. If using parchment paper, add a dot of meringue to the four corners of the tray. Place the parchment paper on top and press into place. Meringue cookies are extremely light. This technique will keep the parchment paper secure in the oven. We don’t want the convection fan to lift it up and toss it around.
HOW TO PIPE MERINGUE
- Adjust #804 tip inside decorating bag. Push it down firmly so it’s tightly in place and very secure. Place the blades of kitchen shears on the plastic bag about 1/8-inch up from the bottom of the metal tip. Twist/spin the scissors and metal tip to cut off the very end of the plastic sleeve. Fold back the top of the piping bag by 1/3. With a small paint brush, brush a line of red coloring inside the bag from the end of the piping tip upward. Brush a line of red on the opposite side of the bag. Rotate the bag, and repeat this process with blue coloring. The 4 painted stripes should alternate: red, blue, red, blue. Place your non-dominant hand beneath the folded-back top of the piping bag. Hold the bag like a cup with your hand in a “C” shape to keep the bag wide open. With a clean spatula, fill the bag with meringue until 1/3 full.
- Run your fingers along the side of the piping bag to gently press the meringue forward. This will help minimize small pockets of air. Twist the top of the bag and fold it down. With the metal tip facing up, slowly press the contents until a small amount of meringue emerges from the tip. The meringue is ready to be piped onto a prepared baking tray.
- For kiss-shaped cookies, hold the decorating tip 1/8 inch from the parchment paper. For meringue swirls, hold the tip 1/4 inch from the surface of. To begin piping, use one hand on the bag to apply pressure. Use the other hand to direct the metal tip. As you lift the bag up, release some of the pressure at the same time. This will result in a lovely thin peak on top of the meringue cookie. Slightly stagger cookies on the tray so they can bake evenly in the oven.
- When making patriotic meringue cookies, try piping them in a spiral fashion. This results in magical-looking cookies with red/white/blue swirls. The first cookies piped will be dark and vibrant. For more evenly-colored cookies, work with half the meringue at time. Make sure the metal tip is well cleaned, and completely dry, before transferring it to the second piping bag.
HOW TO BAKE MERINGUE COOKIES
- Preheat conventional oven to 200°F, or 175°F for convection.
- Bake the cookies dry over 80 minutes, rotating the tray 180 degrees every 20 minutes. The cookies are done when the meringue is crisp all the way through. If the cookies start to show some surface cracks, immediately remove them from the oven.
- With the cookies still on the parchment paper, transfer them to a cool countertop surface or cooling rack. When cookies are cool but slightly sticky, lightly sprinkle them with edible stars. Allow the cookies to continue to air dry for a few hours in a cool non-humid spot.
- TECHNIQUE FOR MIXING WET AND DRY INGREDIENTS: Always begin by adding liquid ingredients to the bowl first. In this case, it’s the egg whites. Then add the dry ingredients on top. By using this easy technique, you’ll find that mixing ingredients will be much easier!
- NO CANDY THERMOMETER? NO PROBLEM. Touch the sides of the bowl to gauge the temperature. It should be hotter than body temperature, but not too hot. The eggs are not being cooked, just gently warmed. After whisking/stirring, the sugar should be fully dissolved and incorporated into the egg whites. If the bowl gets too hot, pull it off the stove.
- INDIVIDUALLY CRACK EGGS INTO A RAMEKIN: Do not crack and separate the egg whites directly above the mixing bowl. Instead, work with one egg at a time. As the egg whites are separated, immediately transfer them into the mixing bowl before working with the next egg. This simple technique will make it easier to remove any pieces of egg shell from the whites. If a drop of yolk mixes with the egg whites, only one egg will be affected with those egg whites discarded.
- USE CLEAN DRY KITCHEN TOOLS: If a tiny drip of water, oil, egg yolk or shell gets into the bowl, the meringue will not whip properly. The end product will be affected.
- CAN OVER-WHIPPING AFFECT THE MERINGUE? After 5 minutes of whipping, detach the metal whisk from the mixing bowl. Examine the meringue. It should be firmly holding onto the whisk. If the meringue is not thick enough, it needs to be whipped a bit longer. Don’t worry about over-whipping the meringue. It’s better to have it over-whipped than under-whipped. At this stage, it can actually be whipped for a long time.
- WHEN TO ADD FLAVORING: To maintain the structure and lightness of the meringue, it’s important to wait until the very end to add any liquid to the bowl. Only after the meringue has fully formed, should any extract of choice (vanilla, peppermint) or oil (lemon oil, orange oil) be added. Whip briefly to incorporate the flavoring, or gently fold it in with a clean rubber spatula. At this stage, be gentle with the meringue. It can lose its structure if over-worked. If this happens, the patriotic meringue cookies will be flat and dense.
- MERINGUE PIPES EASIER WHEN WARM: It’s best to add the meringue to the piping bag before it’s fully cooled. Immediately pipe meringue cookies onto the prepared baking tray.
- HOW TO STORE MERINGUE: Place the cookies in an airtight container. Store at room temperature, away from humidity, for up to 7 days.
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American, Swiss
Keywords: Patriotic Meringue Cookies, Meringue Cookies, 4th of July Cookies, 4th of July Desserts