These Peppermint Meringue Kisses are cloud-like treats that melt in your mouth with a slightly crisp outer shell, a slightly chewy center, and chocolate candy cane dipped bottom.
I am addicted to meringue cookies. They are crunchy, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth bites of cloud deliciousness.
Plus they are so versatile with regards to adding flavors and decorations (i.e., dipping them in chocolate and crushed candy canes!).
They are really easy to make but they do take patience. You just need to take your time when whisking the egg whites and go slow in adding the ingredients but trust me, it’s worth it!
Last week I shared with you my other meringue cookie recipe that folks went CRAZY over. Those French Vanilla Meringue Sandwich Cookies with Ganache filling were a huge hit on social media and I had hundreds of you tagging me in your recreations. Keep ’em coming!
When you want a show-stopping cookie, make these!
So last Friday night we had some late night company stop by for pizza and drinks. As we were standing in my kitchen gathered around the island (as that’s where I tend to serve folks from) Annie spied the container of these on the back counter.
She put her pizza down, said “what are thooooooooseeeee???” pointing to the container of these cookies. I smiled, brought them over to her and unveiled.
Both she and her boyfriends’ eyes got huge to which he said, “OMG Lori did you make these too??? They are gorgeous!”
Annie just reached right in, grabbed one and popped it in her mouth.
She closed her eyes and, as she ate the cookie, you could see the actual joy on her face as a smile formed.
These are THAT GOOD!
These cookies are a true show stopper. So light and billowy you can’t stop with eating just one. Trust me, we tried and ended up eating like 6 because they are just so light and airy!
These have such a unique texture that, when made right (and my recipe) just melt into the most amazing mouth-feel of the cookie.
Ingredients needed to make this Peppermint Meringue Kisses
The steps are pretty much identical to my other meringue cookies (this is where the versatility part of the recipe is truly awesome). Instead of vanilla, I went with peppermint as ‘Tis the Season after all!
This recipe and list of ingredients are truly pretty simple. You only need a handful of ingredients:
- room temperature egg whites (this is critical)
- granulated sugar
- Peppermint Extract
- Meringue Powder (or you can use cream of tartar if your powder does not have a stabilizer in it)
- Crushed Peppermint Candy Cane pieces
- Melted chocolate (or chocolate ganache)
Meringue powder is simply powdered egg whites (that may or may not have a stabilizer added to it). If your meringue powder does not have a stabilizer in it then use Cream of tartar.
Cream of tartar acts makes for a sturdier meringue that is less prone to weeping. It will keep it stiffer, longer. Kind of like when you make stabilized whipped cream. When you add gelatin to it, you’re stabilizing it so it doesn’t get all soggy or start to weep. The acid in the cream of tartar does the same thing here.
Let’s talk egg whites and what’s critical
So I can’t implore just how important our egg whites must be yolk-free and at room temperature. If egg whites are cold they will almost “seize” and now whip up to high heights.
My best advice is once you let the eggs sit at room temperature and then separate them from the yolks, let them sit in a clean bowl at room temp for 30 minutes.
What to do if you get yolk in your egg whites?
It depends – if you broke the egg and the whole yolk went in, it’s best to use that egg for something else. It’s near impossible to get it all out.
If it’s just a little bit of yolk, still fish it out. A teensy drip shouldn’t keep your whites from whipping but I wouldn’t chance it.
Egg White Stages
Soft Plop Egg White Stage
So the Soft Plop stage is right before the Soft Peak stage. Essentially this is where the meringue starts to turn opaque and thicker BUT if you were to take it out of the mixer, no soft peak would hold. As you can see below it’s all slumped over and will start to melt back into the rest of the meringue.
Stiff Peaks Stage – why it’s important!
As you’re mixing the egg whites, you must whip these until stiff, glossy peaks form. It’s a simple test. Lift the whisk out of the meringue (I removed mine). Stand it up and set the whisk down (if you can). You want to be sure that the tip stays stiff and doesn’t flop over.
When you move the bowl, the egg whites should not slide nor should you see any watery egg. What I do is will use a spatula, scrape down the side and bottom and whisk for another minute to ensure that it’s all stiff.
Also, pinch some of the meringue mixture between your fingers. It should feel silky and smooth.
Piping Meringue Cookies
Now, this is the part when you need to act fast. This is why it’s important to have your baking pans and piping bag/tip ready. The longer you let the meringue sit, the more it will sink and sag – even with a stabilizer, it can happen.
So don’t make the meringue and then go for a walk!
Once they are baked you can see they keep their shape and barely spread.
Bags and Tips I use
I like using the 18″ Ateco 4718 Disposable Decorating Bags, Pack of 100
A great entry-level set of tips are these by Ateco 783 783-55 Cake Decorating Set, Includes 52 Tubes, 1 Standard Coupler, 2 Flower Nails in Hinged Storage Box,
Now if you wanted to go even fancier check out these Russian Piping tips! They are PHENOMENAL!
Patience is a virtue when making meringue cookies
Important Tips and What To Avoid When Making Meringue
These items are critical for success.
- Egg whites MUST BE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- There must be no yolk present at all.
- Your mixing bowl and whisk must be completely clean with zero residual greases or fat. This is can prohibit the meringue from forming and becoming stiff.
- Make sure your oven accurately reads at 215F. If it runs hot it will bake too fast and cause the meringues to crack or brown. These meringue cookies should be very light, almost white in hue.
- TAKE YOUR TIME. Don’t rush adding in the sugar or going from zero to turbo on whipping it. Add the sugar in a tablespoon at a time. *This is where patience comes into play.
- And lastly, the weather. If it’s humid or rainy out, you will have a tough time with these as they will absorb moisture and becomes sticky/limp. They are still delicious but won’t get that same crunchy shell with the chewy interior.
First, try not to eat them all before you dip them in the melted chocolate and crushed candy canes. I’ll share a little secret with you about what I do when I make these cookies. I will pipe a few little ones on a separate pan for snacking while I make the rest for clients, family, friends.
- When it comes to assembling them you want the ganache thick but still spreadable. You do not want it runny at all. It should smear like peanut butter. If you can’t smear it, heat it in 5-second increments.
- While the ganache is reheating find a match for each cookie – you want the same size.
- One one side of the cookie smear about 2 tablespoon (or more if you love ganache) over the bottom of the meringue cookie. Place the 2nd cookie on top of the ganache and form a sandwich. Repeat until all of your sandwiches are made.
- It’s that easy!
Storing Peppermint Meringue Kisses
They must be kept in a dry, air-tight container. They will last about 3 days. If air or cold hits them they will turn chewy and lose that crispiness. They are still delicious and will still melt in your mouth.
If you want to give these out, package them in cellophane packages and seal tightly. Due to how delicate they are, I wouldn’t advise putting them in packages to ship. While I would love nothing more than to ship these to family, friends, and clients, they are so delicate that they could crack and break.
Prepare the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 215F. Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- In a very clean bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and turn on medium low. After a minute, stop the mixer and whisk in the meringue powder, peppermint extract and salt just to break up any meringue clumps. Turn the mixer back on and increase the speed to medium.
- When the mixture starts to foam (~5-6 minutes) very slowing add in the sugar a little bit at a time. Reserve about a third of the sugar back until you reach the “soft plop” stage. Essentially, it’ll be very soft (no peaks even) but the mixture will start to tighten up more and the whites will start to turn opaque. At this point, turn the mixer on and up to medium high slowing adding in the rest of the sugar until soft peaks form.
- At this point, turn the mixer off, give it a scrape down and turn it back on slowly. Take the mixer back to medium-high/high until they form stiff peaks. This can take anywhere from 5-12 minutes depending on the power of your mixer.
- While the cookies are mixing, prep your piping bag with a star tip. Fill it only 1/2-3/4 way full as it’ll be easier to handle. Spoon some of the mixture into the piping bag being careful not to deflate the egg whites.
- Pipe out small 1 ½” round circles onto the parchment paper. They can be about a 1/2” apart as they shouldn’t spread much or at all (they would only spread IF they were not at a stiff peak). You may need to use 2 trays.
- Bake for 90 minutes (though check after 80 minutes). You want the outside to be crisp and the inside dry. They will fill hollow and very light. A quick test is to slide a thin blade spatula underneath. If it pops off the tray with ease they are done. Shut off the oven, leave the pans in the oven with the door cracked until they have cooled completely (~1-2 hours).
Dip the cookies
- Stir the melted chocolate. It should be smooth but thick. You do not want it to be runny. You should be able to spread it on. If it’s too firm, microwave in 5 second increments. Dip the base of the Peppermint Meringue kiss into it, let the chocolate drip off and then gently dredge/dip the kiss into the crushed candy canes.
- Place on a parchment lined pan until dried.
Storing Meringue Cookies
- These must remain stored in an air tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
If you do not have meringue powder you can use 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
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