Mom It Down: Vanilla Meringues

I had a bunch of egg whites that needed to be used, so I googled “things to do with leftover egg whites” or some such nonsense and found a bunch of meringue cookie recipes. So I combined some of the things I read and gave it a go. Twice.

I’m quite pleased with the flavor and the consistency; they taste like marshmallows! And for those of us who try and avoid the consumption of gelatin, this is really quite awesome. But after two batches (three attempts at baking) and a few adjustments, I’m having a little trouble with them sinking as they cool.

I made two batches: the first batch I may not have beat the eggs as much as I should have, so I had a go at it again this morning. (Had the egg whites, figured, why not?) The second batch turned out much better, but still sunk a wee bit. Anyway, you can probably tell the difference between the two batches in the picture above. If not, let me know.

I still think this is a recipe worth sharing as they taste wonderful. And this is by far one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever done. I even used a pastry bag and a special piping attachment to make the dollops—it’s still easy.

What you will need

  • KitchenAid mixer (wire whip attachment)
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper (or a Silpat)
  • Pastry bag with piping attachment (optional)


  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mom It Down!

Preheat oven to 275.

Place some parchment paper on a cookie sheet (or a Silpat). Set aside.

In mixer bowl, add eggs, salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. (Of course, I didn’t get a shot of this stage.)

Slowly add sugar. Beat more until stiff peaks form.

You’re done!

Fill a pastry bag (or you can use a spoon or a freezer bag with the corner snipped). Add dollops onto your cookie sheet.

Bake for 35 minutes.

When you’re done, turn the oven off and crack the door of the oven. Let them cool while in the oven. This will lessen the sinking.

Overcoming obstacles

Like I said, in order to keep these from falling as they’re cooling, it’s best to keep the humidity as low as possible, so keeping them in the oven to cool is your best bet. My second batch still sunk a bit, but not nearly as much as the first.

Make sure your eggs are beat enough. I believe my first batch may have fallen more because I did not. The second batch held its form much better than the first because I beat the egg whites a bit longer.

I’ve also read, this morning, that you can bake at a much lower temperature (200) with the oven door cracked. I haven’t tried this, but figured it’s something I should mention.


I added vanilla to this instead of what the original recipe called for, which was lemon extract. So, feel free to substitute the vanilla with lime, lemon or orange zest—or all three! I might try this with almond as well. And I hear they make a great holiday treat by grinding up some peppermint.

Egg white experts! What are some other ways to avoid sinking? I am all ears. Learn me something, Internet.


  1. You are a fabulous cook. I am quite the opposite of you and love to cook dinner foods but rarely bake unless it’s from a box or package :( From reading your blog I know you like to eat healthy and somewhat organic so I was wondering what are some staple meals you guys eat at home? My son is 2 and quite picky so just thought I’d see if Em has any healthy favorites?


  2. Hey! No, I am by no means a fabulous cook, but you’re kind for saying it! Thank you, MommaA. Sweet gal.

    As far as meat? My son refuses to eat it. Just won’t eat any meat. We’ve tried almost everything with no luck. The most we can get him to eat is some scrambled eggs. :[ I don’t know why.

    Toby and I eat fish. (Son won’t touch that either). But we tend to avoid all other types of meat. We occasionally will have some chicken, but usually not. It’s basically fish, seitan, tempeh and tofu. (None of which my kid will eat. heh.)

    As far as what Em seems to eat:
    Pea chips (we call frozen peas pea chips.)
    Warm peas
    Bread (sometimes)
    All fruits
    Scram eggs
    Pizza (his new favorite)
    Mac and cheese

    And that’s about it!


  3. kids are so peculiar… I am not much of a meat eater but my son is a carnivore. However when it comes to veggies and other things I want him to eat I have to be very creative so I’m definatley going to try the pea chip idea thanks :) Pizza is a favorite in our house too. Must be a kid thing. His daycare calls brocolli dipped in ranch dressing “little trees with snow” so I think making things seem fun is key. Anyways hope you had a fabulous b-day!


  4. My mom used to make meringues all the time. I’ve seen others try and fail to emulate her ways.

    Here’s what I can tell you:

    1- There are two(!) types of meringues. One is the cookie ( which you tried to do ) the other is the pie/cake topping. They’re virtually the same in recipe, but have several key differences. Suffice to say, I think your cookie recipes may have shifted more towards the topping recipe. (hints are color, what they look like, and the ‘marshmallow’ reference). That’s fine. They look super good.

    2. The first thing is temperature. 275 is too hot. It should be 200-220, and with the door cracked. Meringues ‘dry’ more than anything else. They should look like puffy clouds, and they should crack open with a hard shell that permeates all the way through.

    3. The second thing is that your peaks don’t look like they’re firm enough. I think they could have been whipped a bit more. They still look soft , as do the cookies. A properly whipped egg white will create very angular peaks.

    In terms of whipping them… three rules: a) cream of tartar helps stabilize, but you don’t need it. my mom never used it, neither do I ; b) the egg whites need to be room temperature; c) add the sugar in slowly. like 1/3 at first, then a 1/3 when its foamy, and the last 3rd where its starting to get billowy. that can help suspend the sugar.

    As an unspoken rule, I think egg whites have reached their peak ( ha ha ! ) when you’re just past the point where you’ve whipped them so much that you think they’re going to collapse.


  5. Wow, I loved the shape of these little guys. Are they like cookies in taste? Or less hard to bite?


  6. Not sure whether you did this or not, but egg whites perform much better if you let them come to room temperature before beating. (True of eggs in general in baking, but particularly of whites.)

    Also, I love this chocolate pecan meringue recipe. (I toast the pecans before chopping.)


Leave a ReplyCancel reply