March 10, 2021
I love when meringue cookies are crunchy on the outside and like marshmallows on the inside. For me that is the perfect combination. Before today I had never been able to attain that meringue nirvana. Every recipe I made left me with a mouth full of meringue sawdust, a dry cookie that could make you cough. But . . . today I DID IT!
And now I will pass the recipe for the perfect meringue onto you. They are very easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for them to come out of the oven! You see, to get the chewy centers I baked them at 300ºF for 30 minutes and then turned the oven off and let them sit in the still warm oven for 45 more minutes. Baking . . . but not baking. That is my secret to the perfect meringue.
So, I might have fibbed. The hardest part about making these cookies isn’t waiting for them to come out of the oven. It is probably piping them onto the parchment paper. Do not fear! You don’t need anything but a 1 gallon plastic bag and a scissor! Please do not let the this stop you from making them! I promise I will explain in the directions how to pipe the cookies. They are THAT good that it’s worth learning a new skill, if you don’t already know how.
The Perfect Meringues
6 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (345 grams) granulated sugar
1 heaped teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites with the salt for 7 minutes. They will get fluffy like clouds.
Add half the sugar to the egg whites and whisk for a further 7 minutes. Add the remaining sugar in a slow, steady stream while continuing to whisk. Next add the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla, continuing to whisk for an additional 7 minutes. The mixture will be very thick and very glossy.
Next you will pipe the meringue mixture onto the prepared pan. Take out a tall glass or tall plastic tupperware. Line with a 1 gallon plastic ziplock bag so the opening is folded over the glass or tupperware (see photo). With a rubber spatula, fill the bag with half the meringue mixture. It will be very sticky, so just do your best. Lift the opening of the bag, securing the mixture inside. With pressure, push the mixture into one of the bottom corners of the bag (see photo). With a scissor, cut across one of the corners of the bag. It’s better to start by cutting too small an opening and increasing it in size if necessary. To pipe the meringue, put pressure on the contents of the bag. It might take you a few tries to get the pressure right, to get the size you want. This first bag should be enough to fill the first tray. Take a new bag, and repeat the process with the rest of the mixture. These cookies do not spread so they can be close together.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, turn the oven off, but leave the meringues inside. Do not open the oven. Leave the cookies in the warm oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes you can take them out and enjoy.