It is so easy to bake a batch of these Meringue Wreath Cookies using 3 simple ingredients that are beaten, piped, and baked until crispy, crunchy, light and airy. A deliciously fun and festive holiday treat.
Prep Time20 minutesmins
Cook Time30 minutesmins
Total Time50 minutesmins
Keyword: Christmas, Christmas Cookies, Cookie Exchange, cookies, meringue wreath cookies
Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Using a stand or hand mixer with a DRY, large mixing bowl, beat together the egg whites and lemon juice on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes.
Slowly add in the powdered sugar, ⅓ cup at a time, beating continually until stiff peaks hold and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should be glossy. This could take up to 10 or more minutes.
Separate ½ cup of the mixture into a small bowl and gently fold in the red food coloring.
Gently fold green food coloring into the large bowl until the desired color is obtained. Do not over mix.
Place the green mixture in a piping bag and use a Wilton tip #199 to pipe medium sized flowers in a circle onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Use a Wilton tip #4 tip and piping bag to pipe on little holly berries between each flower. Sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles, optional.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until dry to the touch. While the first batch is baking you can begin piping the rest on the second cookie sheet. It’s important to bake these in batches or the moisture from overloading the oven will make it impossible to bake. If you are short on time, try the overnight method of baking (see notes).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (about 5-10 minutes) before serving.
Storage:These Meringue Wreath Cookies need to be stored in a dry, airtight container. At room temperature they will usually last 3-5 days. They do not freeze well.Tips:
Make sure your sprinkles are added to the cookies BEFORE baking. If you try to add them after they have baked, they won’t stick onto the cookies. Don’t worry, they won’t burn in the oven!
Piping Tips for the wreath bases (the green sections): I like to use Wilton 1M, Wilton #199, or Ateco 846/848/849.
Piping Tips for the holly berries and bows (the red sections): I like to use Wilton tip #3,4, or 5.
If you don’t have time to bake the meringue in batches, use the overnight method. (See FAQs).
Meringues of any type are understandably intimidating however they are delicious and less tricky than you might assume! Here are a few tips to help you get an amazing meringue cookie:
Begin by separating your eggs right out of the refrigerator. They separate best when cold and you want to be sure not to get ANY yolk in your egg whites. If you do accidentally break a yolk into your whites, I recommend starting over. You can always separate the eggs individually into a small bowl and then combine them into a larger bowl to whip them up. Discard the yolks or use them in a different recipe.
Next, allow your egg whites to come to room temperature before beginning to whip them. This may take 30 minutes but it makes it much easier to get the eggs whipped up correctly.
When beating the egg whites, don’t use a low setting on your mixer. You want to use a medium to medium-high speed the whole time. This adds air quickly to the egg whites, which is what causes them to get thick and form peaks. If they are beaten too slowly they will never thicken up.
Be patient. Meringues refuse to be rushed so you will get the best results by taking your time. The eggs and lemon juice need to get foamy and begin to form soft peaks BEFORE you add the sugar. If you add the sugar too soon the eggs may not be able to incorporate the air they need to become a fluffy cream and you’ll just get a sweet, sticky liquid instead. Add the sugar gradually, when the whites are ready, and while you are still beating the egg whites. Continue beating the egg whites even after all the sugar is added.
The eggs have reached the appropriate consistency when you can pull the whisk out of the mixture and the meringue stays completely upright in that location. You are looking for STIFF peaks (not droopy ones). It is harder to overbeat egg whites than you may think.
Be gentle with the mixture while adding in the food coloring. It is hard to overbeat egg whites but it is not hard to overmix them. The difference is that when you are mixing them you are knocking air out instead of beating it in. Fold the mixture softly and just until the color is completely incorporated.
Cook your cookies until they are completely dry. They should have a dry, matte finish. If they look glossy in areas then they are likely not finished baking. You can also tell that they are finished if you gently tap the top and it seems dry to the touch and has a hollow sound.
Once meringue cookies finish baking they can burn very quickly. Keep an eye on your cookies once they start looking dry and take them out if they begin to change in color. Even a golden color indicates they are done and will burn if not removed.