I love meringue cookies. I’m always looking for some kind of simple, sweet treat that I can serve my family, and these are about as easy as it gets. Meringues look really decadent and fancy, but with just two ingredients—egg whites and sugar—they’re actually easier to make than even the most basic chocolate chip cookies. (They’re also a great way for me to use some of the many eggs my chickens lay every day.)
Homemade meringues are much better than the dry meringue cookies you’ll find in the store. They have a crunchy shell on the outside, but they’re still slightly chewy inside, and they’re so light and fluffy that you can accidentally eat a few without really noticing (and I definitely do).
For Valentine’s Day this year, I’m going to use a little pomegranate juice to give my meringues a lovely, pale pink color and a subtle flavor. I’ll make them a couple days ahead of time, because they keep well, and then serve them to my kids with a cup of tea in the afternoon while we make some cards for their friends. I think it will be a really nice way to spend a chilly winter afternoon.
Pomegranate Meringue Cookies
(Makes 8 cookies)
Total time: 2 hours
Active time: 15 minutes
- 2 egg whites (room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 – 2 drops of food coloring (optional, if you want more color)
- Cold butter and flour or parchment paper for the baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 200° and butter and lightly flour a baking sheet (or line it with parchment paper).
Using a large bowl and a hand-held mixer* (or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment), beat/whisk the egg whites until they are white and frothy and are almost beginning to hold soft peaks, about 5 minutes.
Keep beating the mixture, and slowly add the pomegranate juice and then the sugar, little by little. (You can also add the food coloring if you like.) When everything has been combined, beat the mixture until the meringue holds stiff peaks, another 5 minutes or so.
Use a spoon to scoop out the meringue and make large dollops on the prepared baking sheet; you should end up with 8 individual meringues, evenly spaced. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the meringues cool in the oven. When the meringues have cooled, remove them from the pan with a spatula and transfer them to a serving plate.
These meringues will keep at room temperature, in an air-tight container, for a couple of days.
*I like to use a hand-held mixer for beating egg whites because it gives me a little more control over the process
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Photos by Elizabeth Poett