These beautiful peppermint candy cane meringues are perfect for the holidays and sure to impress your guests! Plus, they are naturally gluten and fat-free!
So meringues are totally my thing right now. I had no clue what they were pre-GBBO (that’s Great British Bake Off to those of you not in the know) and now that I do know what they are I’ve gone from interested to obsessed. During the fall months, I came up with apple cinnamon meringue cookies that I absolutely love. They kind of remind me of Apple Jacks cereal but I don’t know if that is accurate because I haven’t been able to eat them for, like, almost a decade or so, now.
Ever since discovering them, I’ve been playing around with their basic recipe adding flavors that I adore to them in the process. Not all are winners. In fact, the first peppermint meringue cookies smelled and tasted like toothpaste. Like, I straight up told Rob, “don’t try those because it’s like eating toothpaste”. He then proceeded to eat 2 and then complain how they tasted too much like toothpaste. And this is where I shrug.
What are you gonna do, right? I figure that some things you just have to learn for yourself. Someday he’ll trust when I say that food is so bad as to not be eaten just like I now know that without a doubt you should never store feminine hygiene products and mint gum in the same pocket of your purse. If somebody told me not to I’d probably say “okay” and forget about it, but having had a situation develop in public I now am very, very careful of which products go into which pouches inside of my purse. Never again. And someday Rob will learn that when I say a food is bad, he will understand that it’s bad because it tastes terrible or has gone off or whatever, and not that it is actually so good that I’m secretly trying to save it all for myself. :)
Ah, but after a lot of practice, I realized that I did NOT need to add any peppermint flavorings or oils to the meringues. Even in tiny amounts, it was way too strong and always resulted in a very toothpaste eating type of experience. Having lots and lots and, I do mean LOTS, of candy canes lying around after making some reindeer felt candy cane cozies a few weeks ago, it dawned on me that I could pulverize candy canes for their mint flavor just like I pulverized the apples for my cinnamon apple meringues. Seriously, a surprisingly lovely pink and perfectly minty cookie can be had with this recipe. (I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t such a pretty pink). Want to make some melt in your mouth puffs of candy cane awesomeness for the holidays?
Peppermint Candy Cane Meringue Cookie Recipe
First a few quick tips about baking meringue cookies: Wash everything right before using it to ensure that there is absolutely no oil on anything. Even the smallest amount can weigh down your egg whites keeping them from forming the stiff peaks you need the mixture to achieve. Allowing the eggs to come to room temperature will also help you achieve the right texture in your meringue mixture. You’ll need to add the sugar to the eggs very slowly. Do not try and save time and cut corners as adding too much sugar at a time will make your eggs fall flat ruining all of your efforts, not to mention, ingredients.
- 2 large egg whites
- heaping 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1.5 ounces of candy canes, pulverized (3 Brach’s peppermint candy canes are 1.5 ounces, FYI)
- chunky broken candy canes for garnish (optional but pretty)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- large piping bag and add a larger nozzle (for these I specifically used the Wilton 1 M (star) tip)
- food processor (this is the exact one I have and really like)
- parchment paper
- stand mixer (can also use a hand mixer but that sounds exhausting)
- Preheat oven to 200°. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with a parchment paper. Take a large piping bag and add a larger nozzle (I like used the Wilton 1 M for these). Place your piping bag in a large cup with the nozzle facing down and the edges of the piping bag pulled around the lip of the cup for easy filling.
- In a food processor, blitz 1/5 ounces of candy canes until it’s mostly powder, with just a few tiny chunks left. I use the puree setting to “blitz” :)
- Add your white sugar to the candy cane powder and blitz again for about 1 minute, or until the sugar becomes super-fine.
- Place a fine sieve over a bowl and pour the sugar mixture through, removing all of the chunky bits. Discard anything that doesn’t easily pass through the sieve.
- In a stand mixer add room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip on low until foamy. *If using a hand mixer, only use a metal or glass bowl.
- Turn the mixer up to high (I set mine on 8) and set a timer for 5 minutes. Slowly, one tablespoon at a time, add your sugar mixture to the eggs, giving enough time between spoonfuls for the egg mixture to dissolve the sugar. Adding the sugar mixture slowly should take you the full 5 minutes.
- Beat your egg whites until you get a good, stiff peak. This might take up to an additional 2 minutes, but don’t overbeat as the mixture can split and fall flat. A medium-stiff peak will work better than deflated meringue.
- Transfer meringue to the prepared piping bag and pipe 15- 1.5″ circles working from outside in to form meringue cookies directly onto silicone or parchment.
- Bake at 200° for 2 hours. Turn oven off completely and allow the cookies to rest in the closed oven overnight. Finished cookies should be light, airy and crisp.
- Store meringue cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.