This Christmas season enjoy these delicate peppermint meringue cookies with candy cane flavor and looks! These gorgeous red striped cookies melt in your mouth and are the perfect treat for your holiday party.
And don’t worry, meringues are much easier to make than they seem! They are my favorite kind of dessert – one that looks elegant and fancy but is really quite simple.
These cookies are made by whipping egg whites. That is all, the rest is all food coloring and a pastry tip. Even if you’ve never made meringues before just follow my directions and you will be amazed at how easy it really is to create these Christmas treats.
Why You Will Love Peppermint Meringues
- These pretty striped treats will brighten any cookie tray this holiday season.
- Peppermint meringue cookies have a light and crisp texture and then melt in your mouth with a burst of peppermint.
- This simple recipe has only 5 ingredients and is naturally gluten free and low in calories.
Egg Whites – Egg whites form the base of this recipe. It is easiest to separate egg whites and yolks when the eggs are cold.
Cream of tartar – This helps stabilize the egg whites so that they can form stiff, high peaks. You can make these without it, but you won’t get a peppermint kiss shape you see in these pictures.
Peppermint extract – The extract gives these their peppermint flavor.
Sugar and salt – These ingredients add flavor to the meringues.
Food Coloring – Food coloring is optional. I used gel paste food coloring. Sometimes red gel food coloring can have an aftertaste, so use one that is specifically labeled as “no taste red”. If your red food coloring isn’t labeled as “no taste” then make your peppermint meringues green instead!
Key Tips for Meringues
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
Make sure there are no egg yolks in the egg whites and the whites are at room temperature.
Make sure the mixer and beater are completely grease free.
Don’t overmix the egg whites, stop when they reach the stiff peak stage.
Only use a red gel food coloring that is labeled as “no taste”.
Let the cookies cool in the oven for at least 1 hour.
How to Make Meringue Cookies
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks, making sure there is no egg yolk in them. Then let the egg whites sit for about 30 minutes before starting. Room temperature egg whites will whip better.
It is very important that everything you use to whip the egg whites is clean and free from grease. So make sure the mixing bowl and beater are completely clean and dry. Egg whites whip best with a mixer’s whisk attachment.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Get out your baking sheets and line them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. I have a baking mat that has circles on it which is perfect for piping meringues!
Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, peppermint extract and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start beating on medium speed until soft peaks form. Don’t start out on high speed!
Once you have soft peaks start adding the sugar to bowl, one tablespoon at a time. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks are ones that stay when you stop the mixer and take out the beater.
You can overbeat egg whites, which will make these not quite as tasty. So stop as soon as the egg white reaches the stiff peak stage and starts holding its shape.
I used a pastry bag with a closed star pastry tip to give these Christmas meringue cookies their classic “kiss” shape. Any star shaped pastry tip will work for piping, just make sure it has a large opening.
You can also use a round tip with a large opening, which will give you very nice meringues without ridges. If you don’t have an appropriate pastry tip check out my suggestions here.
Fill the bag with the batter and pipe rounds onto the prepared baking sheet. To make the cookies gently squeeze the bag then release the pressure and pull the tip up to create the kiss shape. It won’t take more than a few trys to get the hang of it!
4. Bake & Cool
Bake for 90 minutes in the preheated oven. This will give you crisp cookies that melt in your mouth. If you prefer chewier meringues then decrease the cooking time to 60 minutes.
Once the cooking time is up turn the oven off. Open the oven door slightly and let them cool inside the oven for at least an hour. This will help prevent cracking.
These are a great cookie to make one evening after dinner, and then you can just let them cool overnight in the oven.
How to Store Meringue Cookies
These keep very well and will stay fresh for over a week, as long as they are in an airtight container. If you are stacking them inside the container separate the layers with parchment paper. They will keep the at room temperature for about 2 weeks.
Can You Freeze Meringue Cookies?
Yes, these freeze very well. The biggest issue with freezing them is that they are delicate, so they are easy to break. For this reason I wouldn’t store them in freezer bags, instead put them in a hard sided plastic or glass freezer container.
Put the cookies in layers in your chosen container. Use a layer of parchment paper to separate the cookie layers. They will keep in the freezer for about 4 months. To thaw them just put the container on the counter and let it thaw overnight.
Meringue Cookie Variations
You can add even more peppermint flavor by sprinkling some crushed candy canes on top of the cookies before baking. Or melt some white chocolate and dip the tip of the cooled cookies in it for a chocolate peppermint taste.
You can also change up this recipe by using a different flavor extract. Use vanilla extract or rum extract or almond extract or another flavor you like. Peppermint meringue cookies are perfect for the Christmas season, but meringues are good all year long.
If you don’t have a pastry bag you can use a ziploc bag instead. Put the meringue mixture in the bag, seal it and cut off one of the ends. You can even paint the inside of the bag with food coloring to get the pink striped effect.
A second option is to just shape them with a spoon. Swirl some food coloring into the batter and then drop meringue onto the parchment paper. The Christmas meringues cookies won’t be quite as dramatic, but they will still taste delicious.
Meringues can be tricky because the cooking time depends on outside factors like humidity. I cook mine for 90 minutes and then allow it to cool in the oven. And I don’t make them on a hot and humid day!
Find More Peppermint Desserts
- Peppermint Patties
- Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Peppermint
- White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Peppermint Ball Cookies
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Peppermint Meringue Cookies Recipe
- 3 eggs whites room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Red gel food coloring *make sure it is labeled “no taste”
- Separate the egg whites and egg yolks, making sure there is no yolk in the egg white. Then let the egg whites sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.3 eggs whites
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer or large bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, peppermint extract and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form. Do not use high speed yet.¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Then beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Don't over mix, stop as soon as the egg whites reach the stiff peaks stage.¾ cup granulated sugar
- Using a food safe brush, add red stripes of food coloring to the inside of a plastic pastry bag fitted with a large star or round tip. I used a closed star tip, but anything with a large opening will work. Use a disposable pastry bag so you don't have to wash out the food coloring.Red gel food coloring
- Fill bag with the meringue mixture and pipe cookies onto prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 90 minutes or until they are set. If you want a softer, chewier meringue then bake them for only 60 minutes.
- Turn oven off and leave oven door slightly open for 60 minutes and let them cool. This will help prevent cracking.
- Take the cooled cookies out of the oven and store in an airtight container. They will keep for 2 weeks at room temperature.
- Make sure there is no egg yolks in the egg whites and the whites are at room temperature.
- Make sure the mixer and beater are completely grease free.
- Don't overmix the egg whites, stop when they reach the stiff peak stage.
- Only use a red gel food coloring that is labeled as "no taste". If you don't have this make the meringues a different color, like green.
- Let the cookies cool in the oven for at least 1 hour.
No Pastry Bag
- Put the meringue mixture in a zippered bag, seal it and cut off one of the ends. Use the bag to pipe out the mixture.
- Or just shape them with a spoon. Swirl some food coloring into the batter and then drop batter onto the parchment paper. They won't have a peppermint kiss shape, but they will look and taste delicious.
Freezing InstructionsThese freeze well. But they are delicate and break easily, so freeze them in a hard sided plastic or glass container. They will keep for up to 4 months in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.