I first started making Meringue Cookies a few years ago. I liked to give a little surprise bag of treats to friends and family during the holidays. Meringues are the perfect treat to share because they can be made ahead, mixed in large quantities and the colour and flavour options are endless!
These cookies are light as air, surprisingly sweet and so crisp. I still enjoy making them for family occasions. I love to pipe beautiful swirls and fill them with a flavoured swiss meringue icing or rich chocolate ganache. It’s a sweet crispy bite, followed by a decadent, smooth Irish Cream chocolate filling. Really simple piping and baking decorations can turn them into an elegant looking cookie that will disappear from your dessert table in no time!
Last weekend I was feeling inspired to make some fall themed meringues for a family dinner. I’m always in awe of the stunning colours of fall, especially when the leaves start changing. I wanted to add some of that beauty inside the house, and bring it to our table.
I found some of these adorable Wilton Icing Leaf Decorations at my local baking supply store and knew that they would look so pretty on top of a cookie. Just a simple embellishment of some reds, yellows and oranges with the chocolate ganache was exactly the presentation I was hoping for. I did add a smidgeon of brown gel colour to the cookies to keep with my fall colours theme.
And guys, here’s the best part about this recipe. These Meringue Cookies are really, really easy to prepare. The ingredients are pretty simple too, and odds are you already have them in your kitchen. If piping swirls is not your game, a simple dollop of meringue on some parchment will be just as spectacular. It’s a matter of whipping up some egg whites, baking them until they are dry and crisp, and filling them with a dollop of a decadent filling. In order for the Irish Cream Ganache to be ready to pipe into the cookies, it’s best that it’s made the night before. That’s it!
Leftover unfilled cookies can be stored in a container for weeks, even months with no compromise to taste. But since I seem to have a never-ending supply of baked goods around here, I promptly packed up the extras and dropped them off for a friend to enjoy. You can imagine her pleasure when I popped by with a tray of these along with a little note that said I wanted her to appreciate the sweet joys of fall too!
Happy fall baking!
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- For the Ganache:
- 4 oz, bittersweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp Irish Cream Flavouring (I use Lor Ann Oils)
- For the Meringue Cookies:
- 5 egg whites (approx. 160 grams if using liquid egg whites), room temperature is best
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- small drop of brown gel colour (optional)
- Wilton Icing Decorations (optional)
- Make the ganache first. Place the chocolate in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a small pan, scald the cream (heat just until small bubbles appear at the side).
- Poor the hot cream over the chocolate and leave it sit for 3 minutes. Gently stir the chocolate with a spatula until smooth. Add the Irish Cream Flavour and mix well. Set aside to cool completely (I make my ganache the night before and cover it with saran and leave it on the counter to cool).
- Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites. Whip until the whites become foamy and sprinkle the cream of tartar on top.
- Continue whipping the whites until soft peaks form. In a very slow and steady stream, add the sugar. The goal is to add the sugar very slowly so the whites have time to absorb it, and they don't deflate.
- Once all of the sugar has been added, whip the whites until stiff peaks form and the meringue is thick and glossy.
- Add the vanilla and gel colour and mix well.
- Fit a pastry bag with a large tip (I use a Wilton 1M), and pipe a circle that is approximately 3 inches in diameter. In a continuous motion, swirl another layer on top, around the perimeter of the cookie. Fill the trays with piped cookies, each 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies at 250 degrees for 90 minutes, until completely dry and crisp (this can take longer depending on oven and humidity). Leave the cookies in the oven to cool completely. They should be dry and lift right off the parchment paper when done.
- Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip, for the ganache.
- Pipe a dollop of ganache into the center of each cookie and top with a sugar decoration if desired. Serve immediately.
- Store unfilled meringues in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks. They freeze beautifully too. Filled meringues will last 1-2 days at room temperature.