Meringues: The World’s Most Perfect Food

At only 8 calories a pop, how can you not love them? They’re crunchy on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth creamy on the inside. You can flavor them any way you like. They only take ten minutes to make. I’m convinced, they’re pretty darn perfect.

I made an angel food cake last weekend for a client and it inspired me to make more egg-white concoctions.  The cake was delicious and light, the perfect choice for fresh berries, but I still prefer meringues…

Angel food cake gets its light airy texture from whipping air into egg whites. While I was making the cake, I kept thinking about those perfect crunchy little cookies. Meringue cookies are simply egg whites and sugar, whipped into oblivion, with any flavorings of your choice added. You can add lemon zest (my personal favorite), coco powder, a few drops of coffee, strawberry puree, almond extract, or vanilla extract (but that’s just so…vanilla 😉 sorry, had to). I love to crumble the cookies on top of raspberries…or enjoy them just as they are.

This is what the whites look like just before adding flavoring, lemon zest in this case.

The perfect texture, light as air on the inside, crunchy on the outside.

The perfect texture, light as air on the inside, crunchy on the outside.

Because these cookies don't rise in the oven, you can place them close together.

Because these cookies don’t rise in the oven, you can place them close together. I used a cookie scoop, you could use a spoon though. You can make them as large or small as you like.

IMG_0856

Yep, I’m ending this post with a bang!

Here’s the recipe, adapted from eatingwell.com, enjoy!

About 80 (1 1/2-inch) cookies 

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl and discarding the yolk. If there’s any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white and start over. If it’s yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
  2. Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more.
  3. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 250F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop cookies, one at a time, on the baking sheet, spacing them about 1″ apart.
  4. Bake the cookies until dry and crisp throughout, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition

Per cookie : 8 Calories; 0 g Fat; 0 g Sat; 0 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 2 g Carbohydrates; 0 g Protein; 0 g Fiber; 2 mg Sodium; 4 mg Potassium

  • Tip: To get the most volume from beaten egg whites, it’s best to start with whites at room temperature. Submerge them in their shells in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes before using.
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4 thoughts on “Meringues: The World’s Most Perfect Food

  1. Wonder how they would turn out using Splenda or another artificial sweetner? Then I’d eat the whole batch!!
    Nancy

    • Hmm, good though, I know they wouldn’t work with Splenda. Just because the chemical reaction of the sugar molecules with the protein in the whites is what makes them work. They might work with half sugar, half stevia ( like Truvia baking blend). As it’s written, with real sugar, there is only 2g. total carb per cookie, 1g. sugar. Can’t really beat that, right?? 🙂

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