One of my favourite desserts to make for parties are meringue cookies. Not only are they sweet, light, and fluffy, but they also look adorable when stacked on a plate or tray. The best part is that the preparation is fairly quick, as soon as they come out of the oven, they can be served as is (no need to spend hours decorating them!)
The only downside is the amount of time these cookies need to spend in the oven – they need to bake at a low heat for a long time (approximately 1 hour and 30-45 minutes). That time might even be increased if it is a rainy or humid day. In addition, the meringues need to dry out to become crispy throughout, so they should be left overnight before serving.
Nonetheless, the actual work required to make these meringues is minimal. As you can see from my YouTube video, the prep work is quite a quick process:
Before you make your own meringue cookies, be sure to download and print the recipe: Meringue Cookies
The key to a successful meringue is stiffly beaten egg whites. To achieve this, you need to start with eggs that have been left out for awhile so that they are at room temperature. You also need to ensure that your tools (your electric mixer and mixing bowl) are clean and free from any oil or grease. Even the smallest amount of oily residue can prevent your eggs from beating to a proper consistency. Below, you can see how the egg whites have reacted with the sugar and formed a thick, stiff mixture. Don’t be concerned about over-beating the eggs either, because if the eggs are not beaten well enough, your meringues will collapse in the oven.
When your egg mixture is complete you can use it as-is, or you can brighten it up using food coloring. Because of this, meringues are such a versatile dessert; they can be coloured accordingly for just about any holiday. You can even add a bit of cocoa powder to the mixture to give them a chocolatey flavour and appearance. However, they are still just as adorable (and equally tasty) if they are left pure white.
Baking the meringues on a tray lined with parchment paper will allow them to slide off easily when they are done. You’ll be left with a tray full of beautiful and delicious cookies. If you serve them at a party, your guests will love them, I can guarantee it!