Peppermint meringue cookies are classic whipped egg white cookies combined with a refreshing burst of peppermint flavor. They’re perfect for your next holiday tray!
Hot tip: While these are the perfect Christmas meringue cookies, feel free to alter the recipe to fit any holiday or celebration. For a St. Patrick’s day theme, use green food coloring. Or, for an Easter theme, use a pastel color.
What Are Peppermint Meringue Cookies?
Peppermint meringue cookies are crispy, light, and airy cookies made out of whipped egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt — with the special addition of a white chocolate and crushed peppermint candy cane coating. These cookies are known for their melt-in-your mouth texture with a satisfying crisp outer shell. Plus, they’re naturally low-fat and gluten-free!
Peppermint Meringues Video
How To Make Peppermint Meringues
All it takes to make peppermint meringues is a little mixing, piping, and dipping. Before you get started, make sure your eggs are at room temperature and your remaining ingredients are prepped.
- Combine the eggs and sugar: Beat the egg whites and sugar together in a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment. A stand mixer is our top pick when making meringue cookies.
- Beat until stiff peaks form: Add in the salt and cream of tartar, then beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form — about 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbeat the meringue, as it may curdle.
- Place mixture into a pastry bag: Add a few drops of red food coloring or food gel into a pastry bag, then spoon in the meringue mixture.
- Pipe out the cookies: Pipe out small-to-medium sized cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Bake: Bake the cookies at 200°F for 1.5 hours. Allow them to slowly cool in the closed oven.
- Melt the chocolate: For the minty coating, place the chocolate and shortening in a small bowl and microwave in 20 second intervals. Stir each time until the mixture is fully melted.
- Crush the candy canes: Crush candies in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin.
- Dip the cookies: Dip the meringues into the chocolate, followed by a roll in the crushed candy canes.
Hot tip: To ensure each cookie gets equally colored, brush the food coloring or gel in vertical stripes along the inner sides of the pastry bag, starting from the bottom then going to the top.
Meringue Cookie Flavor & Color Variations
It’s crazy easy to customize the flavor and color of meringue cookies to your heart’s desire. Here are a few ideas to get you started, but the possibilities are truly endless.
- Chocolate chip meringue: Instead of peppermint and white chocolate, add a cup of chocolate chips and two tablespoons of cocoa powder to the meringue batter. Instead of using a piping bag, place a heaping tablespoon of the batter directly on the baking sheet. Bake at 300°F for 32-40 minutes or until the cookies are just dry.
- Black and white meringue: Substitute the peppermint with ½ cup of dark chocolate chips and ½ cup of white chocolate chips. Place a heaping tablespoon of batter on the baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 32-40 minutes or until the cookies are dry.
- More pepperminty: For more peppermint flavor (or for peppermint flavor without the candy cane coating), add a few drops of peppermint extract to the meringue mixture.
Hot tip: For a quick-hitter guide on different ways to pipe your cookies, check out this recipe.
Tips For the Best Meringue Cookies
Making meringue cookies is quite simple, but following these tips makes the process even more foolproof. Don’t worry — these tips are simple and easy, too!
- Bring the egg whites to room temperature: Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature, as this allows them to whip better and reach stiff peaks sooner.
- Beat just until stiff peaks form: The key to making the perfect meringues is beating the batter until it reaches stiff peaks. It is ready when you’re able able to lift the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out. Be careful not to over-whip, as then the meringue starts to “weep” and release liquid, which in turn produces clumps that don’t incorporate well.
- Use cream of tartar: Cream of tartar is an acidic salt that stabilizes delicate meringue. Don’t skip this ingredient — it makes all the difference!
- Separate the egg whites in a separate dish: Separate the egg yolks and whites in separate bowls to make sure no egg yolk gets into the meringue batter. Even the smallest amount affects the fluffiness and lightness of the meringue.
- Cool the cookies in the oven: Once the cookies are done baking, turn off the oven and leave to cool in the oven. This will help dry them out more (making them more likely to melt in your mouth) and decrease the chances of them cracking.
Troubleshooting Meringue Cookies
Sometimes, meringue cookies seem to have a mind of their own. Here are the top three ways the cookies may turn out less-than-perfect and a few pointers to ensure your next attempt is a success.
- Chewy/soft: Meringues become chewy and soft due to excess moisture. If your meringues are too chewy, bake them for an additional ten minutes and allow them to cool inside the oven again.
- Cracked: Meringues crack due to a sudden change in temperature. To prevent this, turn off your oven when done baking, but don’t remove the meringues until they are completely cooled. These cookies don’t overbake!
- Flat/shapeless: If the cookies are flat or shapeless, the culprit is likely overbeating the batter. The meringue should be mixed just until stiff peaks form, but not much longer.
Storing Meringue Cookies
Meringue cookies are best stored for up to two weeks at room temperature in an airtight container. Avoid refrigerating or freezing, as this introduces more moisture to the cookie and increases its chance of becoming soggy.
More Holiday Cookies
- Kolaczki Recipe (Polish Cookies) — Dainty cream cheese dough stuffed with a dollop of fruity filling
- Whipped Shortbread Cookies — Irresistibly buttery, light, and moist!
- Pecan Crescent Cookies — Half-moon shaped buttery cookies with pecan chunks and a powdered sugar coating
- Ferrero Rocher Christmas Cookies — Cream-cheese doughy cookies filled with chocolate hazelnut truffles
- Prepare the ingredients for the cookies. Choose a food color of your preference. Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites together with sugar on high speed.
- Add in salt and cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form; it will take about 10 minutes.
- In a pastry bag or a ziplock bag fitted with a piping tip, put in a few drops of food coloring. Spoon in the meringue mixture.
- Pipe out small-medium sized meringue cookies onto a lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies at 200°F for about 90 minutes. Then, turn off oven and allow them to cool completely in the closed oven to prevent them from cracking.
- For the decorative minty coating, place white chocolate and shortening into a microwave safe bowl. Melt it in the microwave, stopping to stir every 20 seconds. Crush the candy canes in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin, or use a food processor.
- Dip the meringue cookies into the melted chocolate, followed by dipping into the crushed candies. Enjoy!