These festive peppermint meringues are super simple and naturally fat-free!
Now that I have kids of my own, Christmas has taken on a whole new layer of fun. Sure there’s the stress of shopping and coordinating all the holiday activities, but I also get to relive my childhood all over again. My children hang my old ornaments on our tree, they’re watching the same Christmas movies I grew up watching, and they’re learning the words to the songs on my favorite Christmas album.
I get to pass on my traditions to an eager new generation and I’m just giddy about it!
As I’m sure you could have guessed, holiday treats are among my favorite traditions. We have our old standbys, the ones we make every year (like my grandma’s gingersnaps and my mom’s fudge), but we’re discovering new fun treats to make together too. These peppermint meringues were an absolute delight to make with my boys. My 4 year-old thought they were the coolest! But maybe that’s just because we painted the inside of a piping bag?
These festive meringues require just 4 ingredients and less than 30 minutes of active work; your oven does the rest. It transforms egg whites, sugar, and peppermint extract into delightfully light and airy treats, with a crisp outer layer and a chewy center. They’re plenty sweet, but since they’re so small you needn’t feel so guilty. Plus, did I mention they’re fat-free? You can’t say that about most Christmas cookies.
You will need some sort of piping bag (though, there are plenty of online tutorials for how to use a ziplock bag instead) and a star tip to create the prettiest meringues. If you don’t have either, do your best to swirl the food coloring into the whipped whites and use a cookie scoop. What your meringues lack in presentation, they’ll more than make up with flavor.
You’ll also need gel/paste food coloring, as liquid food coloring will just make a big mess. The good news is that I’ve noticed many grocery stores now stock gel food coloring, so hopefully you won’t need to make a special trip.
So really, no excuses! You need to make these peppermint meringues happen this holiday season.
baking tip:How to separate eggs
While there are a few ways to separate eggs, this is the one that works best for me. Even a little bit of egg yolk can ruin a batch of egg whites meant for whipping as it prevents them from thickening properly. Use this simple method and you’ll never have a problem!
- Gather 3 small bowls— one to use as you separate, one for the yolks, and one for the whites.
- Crack an egg over bowl #1. Gently slide the yolk into your cupped fingers and let the egg whites fall through into the bowl.
- Place the yolk in bowl #2 and the white in bowl #3. However, If any of the egg yolk fell through into the egg white in bowl #1, discard and try again.
For more tips and a video tutorial, see my full post on how to separate eggs.
- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- red and/or green gel-paste food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Put the egg whites and sugar in the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Place over a pot of simmering water and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Return the bowl to the stand mixer and beat on high until the meringue reaches stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Add the peppermint extract.
- Meanwhile, use a small paint brush to paint the inside of a pastry bag fit with a medium star tip with 3 stripes each of the red and green food coloring. When the meringue is ready, fill the pastry bag and pipe into 2 inch sized stars on the prepared sheet pans (Note, the first little bit of meringue to come out of the pastry bag will not have the red stripes because it was inside the tip and not the bag. Pipe it out into a bowl until you see the stripes, then begin piping the stars).
- Bake for about 2 hours until meringues are crisp but not browned. They should peel off the parchment easily. Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Your mixer bowl and whisk attachment need to be clean and completely free of any grease or fat or your egg whites will not whip up properly.
- To properly separate your eggs, making sure no yolk (i.e. fat) contaminates your whites, see my tutorial here.
Have you tried this recipe?
This recipe was first published in 2010. Photos have been updated.
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