Yankee Doodle Colored Meringue Cookies
Meringues! I just love them. Meringues are one of my favorite sweet treats to make, teach and eat. These light,crisp, melt in your mouth meringues are easy to make. Meringues are versatile in flavor, color and design. Here are Red White and Blue Meringues that I made this weekend. How perfect would these be for Summer and all the Patriotic Holidays coming up.
First, let’s explore some basic meringue concepts. Meringues are egg whites and sugar, whipped to stiff peaks, portioned out and then slowly, slowly baked.
Sometime meringue cookies get a little reputation of being a little finicky, but they really aren’t. Live in a humid climate? No problem, I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so I know a little about humidity. I make them all the time and even in the Summer. The tricks? Cream of Tartar, not opening the oven door and a great air tight container.
Let’s Look at the Recipe
The recipe that I use for the Red White and Blue Meringues is a family recipe. But apparently, Jell-O Meringues are a lot of family’s recipes, given the number of recipes for Jell-O Meringues on Pinterest. With that, this is not a sponsored post. I’ve used Jell-O most my life but you can use whatever flavored gelatin you like. You can also flavor and color your own using freeze dried fruit or flavoring oils.
The basic recipe that I use (see below for detailed recipe) contains egg whites at room temperature, sugar, Jell-O and cream of tartar.
I’ve included in the instructions the dissolving of the ingredients in a double boiler to ensure that the sugar and Jell-O dissolve. But, I’ll be honest with you, I’m about 50/50 on doing this when I make them. So, you can optionally dissolve the mixture or just put all the ingredients in the bowl and go to town whipping.
Jell-O, Did You Sing the Jingle Too?
Now, you don’t have to use Jell-O if you don’t want to. If you choose to do your own flavoring, just bump up the sugar by the 3 tablespoons. The white meringues were made with no Jell-O, I just added Almond Flavoring to the mixture. However, I love the flavors that I can make with Jell-O. The blue meringues are blueberry and the red meringues are strawberry. I’ve heard you can also use Kool-Aid, but I haven’t tried that.
Oh, What Patriotic Colors!
I did bump up the colors in these meringue cookies just a bit by adding additional food coloring. I add my food coloring in the beginning. Once the mixture reaches medium peaks, if needed, you can add additional color. I stopped waiting until the mixture was at stiff peaks to add the color. I was finding that this caused me to over mix the meringue mixture.
Cream of Tartar, What is this for?
I love cream of tartar and use it in all kinds of recipes. You will find this ingredient in my sugar cookie icing, whipped cream, snickerdoodles and in these meringue cookies. Cream of Tartar is an acidic ingredient and helps stabilize the egg whites ( i.e. no weeping). Just remember, don’t use a copper bowl if you use Cream of Tartar or you will have yellow egg whites from the reaction between the copper and cream of tartar. Not a fan of cream of tartar, no problem. You can substitute lemon juice as the acid portion of this recipe.
Stiff Peaks, The Goal
The goal of the mixture is to get to stiff peaks but not over beat. The time to get the mixture to stiff peaks will vary depending on the kitchen weather. If it’s humid, getting to stiff peaks may take a little longer. You want to watch the mixture and check as soon as you start seeing the mixture come together. To check, just pull the beater out of the mixture and if you have “peaks” that do not fall over, you are all set.
Watch out for oil and/or grease in the bowl. Any amount of oil/grease from a previous use is bad news. Also, bad news for beautiful whipped eggs, egg yolk. The yolk of the egg is basically “fat” which put’s it into the oil/grease category.
When I’m making meringues, I either freshly wash the mixing bowl or have had it in the dish washer drying. Unlike when I’m making whipped cream, I do not chill the bowl. A cold bowl for meringues does not let the ingredients dissolve. The bowl should be either warm (from the double boiler) or room temperature.
Let Me Count the Ways To Meringue
Now the fun part! There are so many techniques to make the actual meringue cookies. You can pipe, scoop, rosette or paint the meringue cookies. For the Red White and Blue Meringues, I used three (3) techniques.
Cookie Scoop – My Favorite Disher
My most favorite way to do meringue cookies is to scoop out of the bowl with a disher. Just like portioning out cookies. I love this look, big puffy pillows of meringues! The solid color red white and blue meringue were dished using the Wilton Cookie Scoop.
Tie-Dye and Scoop
To make tie-dye colors, all you do is put the colors into a bowl and gently stir. Gently. Remember, you are working with fluffed up egg whites, so the last thing you want is to deflate all your whipping. Just gently move a butter knife thru the mixture to get an initial swirl. Dish out the meringues using the cookie scoop. I love how these Red White and Blue Tie-Dyed Meringues look.
The layered Red White And Blue Meringues are my favorite of this batch! I think they also look like Captain America’s Shield! How much fun would these be for a Superman or Captain America Party!
How did I do these? I loaded up 3 piping bags with the red white and blue meringue mixture and cut the bottom off. I did not use a tip for this, just snipped off the bottom of the bag.
With the cookie scoop, I started with the red and piped a “dot” into the bottom, then a layer of white and then blue. From here, just release the mixture onto the parchment paper. Make sure that you wipe out the scoop after each meringue cookie, this will give you the best color and layers.
A Good Slow Bake and Let them Rest Till Cool
Meringues are slow baked. I bake mine at 200 degrees for about 2 hours. Once the 2 hours are up, turn off the oven and let rest until cool. You need to let them cool for at least 4 hours, but overnight is preferable. Here is the hardest part, don’t open the oven. Remember, humidity is not our friend. Every time you open the oven, cool air rushes in. This will be the hardest thing about this recipe! If you need to “test”, open the over during the cooking time. Once your meringues are resting, don’t open until you are ready to store.
Air Tight is Just Right
The trick to storing meringues is to make sure they are completely cool and an air tight container. The batch of meringues made for this post have been in a container for 4 days and are still so fresh. I have experimented with putting the meringues in the refrigerator in the same air tight container with success. Humidity will make the meringues sticky, but it does take a little bit. If you are going to serve on a dessert table, just store until serving.
Taste and Texture of Meringue Cookies
I like my meringues to be light as air, crisp to the bite and melt in the mouth. Check out the inside of the layered meringues. How cute are these? How perfect would these be for your Summer events!
Red White and Blue meringues
I hope you have enjoyed the Red White and Blue Meringues. Please let me know if you have any questions about making meringues. I’d love to hear some of your ideas about different color combinations that would make fun combinations for Meringue Cookies. I do have Unicorn Drops and Kisses in the works.
Let’s go Make Meringues!
Red White and Blue MeringuesPrint Recipe
- 2 eggs whites at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons of Jell-O
- Food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Separate egg white, being careful to not get any yolk into the whites.
Place egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, Jell-O and food coloring in to a stainless-steel mixing bowl.
Heat a pan of water and place the stainless-steel bowl over the steam from the water. Hand mix until the sugar and Jell-O dissolves. Do not over heat, you just want to dissolve the sugar/Jell-O, not cook the egg whites.
Whip mixture to soft peaks and check the color, add additional color now if needed.
Continue until mixture has reached stiff peaks
To make drop meringues, use a cookie scoop and drop onto the parchment paper.
To make rosette meringues, load a piping bag with a 1 M Wilton tip and pipe rosettes directly on to the parchment.
To make layered meringues, load piping bags and cut off the tip. Use a cookie scoop and pip the top color first followed by the other colors. Drop on to parchment paper.
To make tie-died meringues, drop colors into bowl and gently swirl. Either load piping bag (for rosettes) or scoop with cookie scoop.
Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours. Turn off oven and let rest for up to 4 hours or longer. Overnight is best.
Store in sealed container until ready to serve.
To make plain meringues, just leave out the Jell-o and substitute your favorite flavoring. The Jell-o measure can be increased or decreased depending on how sweet you like your Meringues. Be sure to keep in a sealed container until serving. Humidity will make meringues sticky.
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