Meringue Cookies Recipe {Peppermint & Chocolate Chip}

Meringue cookies are a treat straight from my childhood. Candy canes & chocolate chips tucked inside make these a fantastic holiday cookie.
Several meringue cookies on parchment paper, surrounded by some mini candy canes and chocolate chips

Several meringue cookies on parchment paper, surrounded by some mini candy canes and chocolate chips

Meringue cookies are a long-time favorite in my family. My grandmother used to make big batches, with pieces of crystallized ginger or chocolate chips tucked inside of each mini meringue. The perfect surprise when you bit into the light, crispy cookie.

While my grandmother is no longer with us, I have a feeling she would heartily approve of these peppermint chocolate chip meringue cookies. They’re filled with the flavors of the holidays and are surprisingly light. At about 23 calories per cookie, you can certainly indulge in more than one at a time!

If you’ve read my post on How to Make Meringue Shells, you already know that meringues freeze well and are a great option for last-minute desserts. Serve these cookies “as is” or make a batch of larger meringue shells and fill them with whipped cream and berries.

Collage of 2 photos. Frothy egg whites in mixer bowl. Whipped egg whites with stiff peaks in mixer bowl.

Collage of 2 photos. Frothy egg whites in mixer bowl. Whipped egg whites with stiff peaks in mixer bowl.

What you need for these meringue cookies:

These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):

  • Egg whites: Use large eggs at room temperature and separate the whites from the yolks. More on that in a moment. Reserve the yolks for another use.
  • Sugar: Good ol’ granulated sugar is what you need for this recipe.
  • Candy canes: Either mini or regular sized candy canes can be crushed for this recipe. I find it’s easier to remove the wrappers from the mini ones. I like to use candy canes with green, red and white because I like the color combo, but the plain red and white ones work, too.
  • Chocolate chips: Ghirardelli dark (60%) chocolate chips are my favorites because they’re a little bigger than most chocolate chips.
  • Vanilla extract: I recommend using pure vanilla extract rather than the imitation stuff. There’s definitely a taste difference.
  • Cornstarch: According to the King Arthur baking blog, cornstarch helps to soak up extra liquid in the meringue. Read more here.
  • Cream of tartar: Cream of tartar helps to stabilize the egg whites, enabling those gorgeous stiff peaks to form.

Collage of 3 photos. Crushing candy canes on cutting board. Crushed candy canes being folded into whipped egg whites. Uncooked meringue cookies on baking sheet.

Collage of 3 photos. Crushing candy canes on cutting board. Crushed candy canes being folded into whipped egg whites. Uncooked meringue cookies on baking sheet.

How to make meringue cookies:

The candy canes:

  • Before working on the meringue, prep the fillings. Specifically the candy canes. Unwrap the candy canes, place them in a resealable plastic bag and use a meat mallet (the smooth side) or a heavy pan to crush the candy canes.
  • If you’ll be using a piping bag to form the cookies later rather than a spoon, make sure that the candy canes are crushed finely enough so that they don’t get caught in the piping tip.

Whipping the meringue:

  • When separating the eggs, be certain that no egg yolk sneaks its way into the egg whites. Any yolk or fat will stop the egg whites from foaming…which ruins the meringue!
  • In a very clean, DRY mixer bowl, whip the egg whites, vanilla extract and cream of tartar until the eggs are good and foamy. If using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment.
  • With the mixer running, slowly pour in the sugar/salt/cornstarch mixture. This needs to be done gradually!
  • Once all of the sugar is added, turn the mixer to medium and whisk until the egg white form stiff peaks, which takes several minutes. To test the peaks, dip the whisk attachment into the egg whites and lift up. The resulting peak should stay upright, not droop over at the top. If it’s drooping, whisk a little longer.
  • Gently fold in the three-quarters of the crushed candy canes. The rest will be used to decorate the tops of the cookies.

Forming the meringues:

  • I typically use a regular kitchen teaspoon (not a measuring teaspoon) to spoon the cookies onto the lined baking sheets. You should be able to fit 24 cookies onto a large baking sheet. The cookies don’t spread, so you don’t need to leave extra room for that.
  • With your index finger, poke a chocolate chip into the center of each meringue. Seal the resulting opening with a little more meringue. I find it’s easiest to use my finger to form the “Hershey’s kiss” peak of the cookies.

Baking the meringues:

  • Baking meringue cookies is a two-part affair. First baking, then drying. The meringues are baked at a low temperature for about 1 1/4 hours. Switch the position of the baking sheets halfway through. To dry them, turn off the oven (resist the temptation to open the oven, releasing the heat) and let the meringues dry in the oven for another 1 1/4 hours or so.
  • If still tacky to the touch at the end of the drying period, leave them in the oven for longer. If you live in a humid environment and your cookies are really tacky, turn the oven back on for another 15 minutes or so.

Meringue cookies on parchment paper. Baking sheet with cookies in background. Candy canes and chocolate chips scattered around.

Meringue cookies on parchment paper. Baking sheet with cookies in background. Candy canes and chocolate chips scattered around.

How do you store meringue cookies?

First and foremost, be sure that the cookies are completely cool. Store the meringue cookies in an airtight container. I put parchment paper between the layers. Store them at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Should meringue be refrigerated?

No. Humidity is the curse of meringue cookies because moisture will turn that glorious crispiness to stick-in-your-teeth chewiness.

Can meringues be frozen?:

Yes, but be sure they’re stored properly to stop any moisture from seeping in. A well-sealed, airtight freezer container should do the trick. Divide the layers of cookies with parchment paper.

To defrost, remove the desired number of meringues from the container. Immediately seal the container and pop the remaining meringues back into the freezer so that they don’t start to defrost.

Place the meringues that you’re defrosting on a wire rack. For cookies this small, it should take no more than 30 to 45 minutes for them to defrost.

I don’t have a stand mixer. What do I do?

No problem. I didn’t have a stand mixer for the longest time and I can assure you that my grandmother didn’t have one when she made them years ago.

A hand mixer does the trick perfectly well. I have a hand mixer like this one (affiliate link).

Several meringue cookies on parchment paper, surrounded by some mini candy canes and chocolate chipsSeveral meringue cookies on parchment paper, surrounded by some mini candy canes and chocolate chips

Meringue Cookies {Peppermint & Chocolate Chip}

Meringue cookies are a treat straight from my childhood. Candy canes & chocolate chips tucked inside make these a fantastic holiday cookie.

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Course: Desserts

Cuisine: American, Swiss

Keyword: Christmas Cookies, Meringue Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Resting Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 48 small cookies

Calories: 22.6kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy canes (16 mini)
  • 48 large dark (60%) chocolate chips such as Ghirardelli (about 1 oz. – 1/4 cup)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Place one rack in the upper-middle and one in the lower-middle position of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using hand mixer), combine egg whites, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar. Use the whisk attachment for the stand mixer.

  • With the mixture set on medium-low setting, whip the mixture until foamy, about 1 minute. While continuing to whip, gradually add the sugar mixture.

  • Turn the mixer to medium speed. Continue to whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, 4 to 5 minutes. This may take less or more time depending on the humidity. Make sure that stiff peaks do form, but do not overwhip or they will become dry.

  • Gently fold in three-quarters of the crushed candy canes.

  • Using a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, form meringues on the prepared baking sheets. They should have a little peak, resembling the shape of Hershey’s kisses, and should each be about 1 1/4-inches wide.

  • Using your finger, gently poke 1 chocolate chip into the middle of each meringue. Gently patch the hole with meringue. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes on top of the meringues.

  • Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 1 ¼ hours, switching the placement of the baking sheets and from front to back halfway through baking.

  • Turn off the oven and let the meringues rest in the oven until dry, about 1 ¼ hours (more time may be necessary in humid weather).

  • Remove the meringues from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Serve.

  • Make sure the meringues are completely cooled before storing in an airtight container.

Notes

*If using a piping bag to form the cookies, make sure there aren’t any larger candy cane chunks that could be caught in the piping tip.

If still tacky to the touch at the end of the drying period, leave them in the oven for longer. If you live in a humid environment and your cookies are really tacky, turn the oven back on for another 15 minutes or so.

Weight Watchers Points: 1 (Blue – Freestyle SP) / 1 (Green) / 1 (Purple)

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 22.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.8g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 10.7mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 4.4g


Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I’ll be sure to find it.

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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