Grandma’s Christmas Meringue Cookies – Bite Size Dessert

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Grandma’s Christmas meringue cookies are a tradition in our house for the holiday season. Old fashioned Christmas cookies Grandma used to make old school – but old school no more! Enter the electric mixer and these bite size desserts are a breeze to make and bake.

Star shaped white meringue cookies on a green plate in front of mini green trees and a reindeer ornament.

Look no further if a meringue cookie recipe without cream of tartar is your preference as these cookies will be in your lane. Grandma always called these cookies her Christmas puff cookies!

How to Make Christmas Meringue Cookies

Makes 48 meringue puff cookies.

1/4 cup meringue powder (Meringue powder with eggs or Meringue powder with NO eggs)

1/2 cup water

1 1/3 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon of your favorite Flavored Extracts  lemon extract, almond extract, peppermint extract (optional)

food coloring optional

Decorating Materials

Christmas sprinkles

Christmas trees, ornaments, stars

Candy Canes crushed or candy cane crunch

Baking Materials

Pastry bag with medium to large star tip

Stand mixer or hand mixer

Parchment paper and baking sheet

Directions

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

  1. Add meringue powder and water to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whip on high until soft fluffy peaks are formed. Plan on at least 2 minutes at high speed. (For a stand mixer I use speed 6-7)
  3. Now begin to gradually add the sugar to the meringue mixture while whipping on high. (For those who need more precise measurements I gradually added the sugar fifteen times until the sugar was gone.) It’s quick!
  4. Plan 4-5 minutes of high speed whipping until stiff peaks form in the bowl. (for a stand mixer I use speed 6-7)
  5. Add the vanilla extract and food coloring if desired.
  6. I suggest using a stand mixer if you have one due to the length of time for whipping the meringue. But! meringue can definitely be made with a hand mixer which is how I made it for years! Similar to making homemade pudding just be prepared to be standing awhile (or leaning on the counter and standing with the hand mixer!)
  7. The batch can be separated to make multiple colored meringue puffs per batch of meringue. 
  8. If you are using flavored extracts then separate the meringue into the quantity desired per extract flavor. My favorite extracts to use are almond and lemon extract. Remember a little as in a dash of extract goes a long way. How strong the cookie will be flavored is personal preference.
  9. Prepare the pastry bag by inserting the star decorating tip. Place the meringue in a pastry bag. A quart or gallon size plastic bag can always substitute for the pastry bag if needed.
  10. Put a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet.
  11. If using sprinkles, decorate the meringue cookies before baking.
  12. Now make meringue stars on the baking sheet. The cookies do not expand when baking so each cookie can be spaced fairly close together.
  13. Bake at 225 degrees for 45 minutes to start. If additional baking time is needed add baking time in increments of 5 minutes and closely watch the meringue.
  14. After the baking is complete. Turn off the oven and walk away. Yes walk away for an hour! It is crucial the puffs set. 
  15. After the hour is up and the cookies have set remove from oven and gently peel the puffs off the parchment paper.
  16. The puffs can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week. Do not refrigerate the puffs to store.

Adding Food Coloring To The Meringue

There are so many fun variations for this recipe! The puffs can be made any color or multiple colors. Do remember that since the meringue to start with is white it will take alot! of food coloring to make a deep color batter.

Painting the pastry bag is the trick to making two or more color cookies. What? Painting the bag. Yes!

Prepare the pastry bag as you would for one color. This is my meringue hack for coloring the meringue – use plastic silverware and paper plates. There is no need to add more bowls to wash. 

Put a dollop of meringue on a paper plate and add the food coloring for the desired color. To make the candy cane red and white stripes you paint the inside of the pastry bag with  stripes of red meringue. Use an old paint brush (or even a plastic knife) and draw three red stripes from the tip to the top of the bag with the red meringue.

Remember you are painting the INSIDE of the bag. Then add the white meringue and make the cookies. The first few cookies may be mostly white and the red color will start to arrive in varying shades of red, pink and white. So festive!

Meringue Puff Weather Tip! If you live in a hot and humid environment remember hot and humid are not a puffs’ friend so I would suggest leaving the puffs in the oven to set and then once cooled and set place in an airtight container

The key is to bake the puff long enough to set and maintain its’ shape without cracking. Overcooked meringue puffs will crack and then crumble! As usual the baking time does vary per oven.  If the cookies are overbaked the point of no return has been reached.

The point of no return is when are puffs that are visibly brown on the edges or have cracked.

This recipe looks like alot of steps, but it really is easy! The first time making this recipe will be the longest. After you are practiced at making the stars it will take  no time to make an entire batch of meringue puffs.

Low and slow is the motto for cooking meringue puffs! Low oven temp and a long baking/setting time. The good news is all the time you will have to whip up your favorite Christmas recipe while the puffs are setting. I make the meringue puffs as a twofer and plan on making my favorite Christmas icing and cookies while the puffs are setting.

More Grandma’s Old Fashioned Recipes

Grandma’s Mac N Cheese

Grandma’s Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Grandma’s Goulash

Grandma’s Mini Stuffing Balls

Grandma's Christmas Meringue Cookies

Grandma's Christmas meringue cookies are a tradition in our house for the holiday season. Old fashioned Christmas cookies Grandma used to make old school - but old school no more! Enter the electric mixer and these bite size desserts are a breeze to make and bake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword meringue cookies
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Author The Savvy Age

Equipment

  • Pastry bag with medium to large star tip
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Parchment paper and baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup meringue powder Meringue powder with eggs or Meringue powder with NO eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of your favorite Flavored Extracts lemon extract almond extract, peppermint extract (optional)
  • food coloring optional
  • Christmas sprinkles
  • Christmas trees ornaments, stars
  • Candy Canes crushed or candy cane crunch

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  • Add meringue powder and water to a large mixing bowl.
  • Whip on high until soft fluffy peaks are formed. Plan on at least 2 minutes at high speed. (For a stand mixer I use speed 6-7)
  • Now begin to gradually add the sugar to the meringue mixture while whipping on high. (For those who need more precise measurements I gradually added the sugar fifteen times until the sugar was gone.) It's quick!
  • Plan 4-5 minutes of high speed whipping until stiff peaks form in the bowl. (for a stand mixer I use speed 6-7)
  • Add the vanilla extract and food coloring if desired.
  • I suggest using a stand mixer if you have one due to the length of time for whipping the meringue. But! meringue can definitely be made with a hand mixer which is how I made it for years! Similar to making homemade pudding just be prepared to be standing awhile (or leaning on the counter and standing with the hand mixer!)
  • The batch can be separated to make multiple colored meringue puffs per batch of meringue.
  • If you are using flavored extracts then separate the meringue into the quantity desired per extract flavor. My favorite extracts to use are almond and lemon extract. Remember a little as in a dash of extract goes a long way. How strong the cookie will be flavored is personal preference.
  • Prepare the pastry bag by inserting the star decorating tip. Place the meringue in a pastry bag. A quart or gallon size plastic bag can always substitute for the pastry bag if needed.
  • Put a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet.
  • Now make meringue stars on the baking sheet. The cookies do not expand when baking so each cookie can be spaced fairly close together.
  • Bake at 225 degrees for 45 minutes to start. If additional baking time is needed add baking time in increments of 5 minutes and closely watch the meringue.
  • After the baking is complete. Turn off the oven and walk away. Yes walk away for an hour! It is crucial the puffs set.
  • After the hour is up and the cookies have set remove from oven and gently peel the puffs off the parchment paper.
  • The puffs can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week. Do not refrigerate the puffs to store.
  • Adding Food Coloring To The Meringue
  • There are so many fun variations for this recipe! The puffs can be made any color or multiple colors. Do remember that since the meringue to start with is white it will take alot! of food coloring to make a deep color batter.
  • Painting the pastry bag is the trick to making two or more color cookies. What? Painting the bag. Yes!
  • Prepare the pastry bag as you would for one color. This is my meringue hack for coloring the meringue - use plastic silverware and paper plates. There is no need to add more bowls to wash.
  • Put a dollop of meringue on a paper plate and add the food coloring for the desired color. To make the candy cane red and white stripes you paint the inside of the pastry bag with  stripes of red meringue. Use an old paint brush (or even a plastic knife) and draw three red stripes from the tip to the top of the bag with the red meringue.
  • Remember you are painting the INSIDE of the bag. Then add the white meringue and make the cookies. The first few cookies may be mostly white and the red color will start to arrive in varying shades of red, pink and white. So festive!
  • Meringue Puff Weather Tip! If you live in a hot and humid environment remember hot and humid are not a puffs' friend so I would suggest leaving the puffs in the oven to set and then once cooled and set place in an airtight container
  • The key is to bake the puff long enough to set and maintain its' shape without cracking. Overcooked meringue puffs will crack and then crumble! As usual the baking time does vary per oven.  If the cookies are overbaked the point of no return has been reached.
  • The point of no return is when are puffs that are visibly brown on the edges or have cracked.

Notes

This recipe looks like alot of steps, but it really is easy! The first time making this recipe will be the longest. After you are practiced at making the stars it will take  no time to make an entire batch of meringue puffs.
Low and slow is the motto for cooking meringue puffs! Low oven temp and a long baking/setting time. The good news is all the time you will have to whip up your favorite Christmas recipe while the puffs are setting. I make the meringue puffs as a twofer and plan on making my favorite Christmas icing and cookies while the puffs are setting.

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