Chewiest 3-Ingredient Oreo Meringues for Cookies & Cream Lovers

September 17, 2018

Summer's officially over in five days, and already I'm feeling nostalgic. What a fling! What a ruse! Autumn, you came so soon.

When I think back on the good ol' days, those hot summers in Fulton County, Georgia, what I remember most are the cookies 'n' cream cones my mom and I would get after her jazzercise classes. Sometimes we'd even go to the grocery store and get those huge half-gallon tubs of Breyer's Oreo ice cream, which was always the fluffiest, like sucking on air. To this day it's still my favorite ice cream flavor.

South Dakota State University claims to have invented "cookies 'n' cream." In 1979 a dairy plant manager named Shirley Seas, in an attempt to create a new flavor for the university's commercial ice cream brand, asked his dairy science students Joe Leedom and Joe Van Treeck to crush Oreo cookies into vanilla ice cream.

Shop the Story

It's unclear who did this first—or even who owns the "cookies 'n' cream" trademark. A preliminary search in the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) shows that Blue Bell filed a trademark request for both "COOKIES 'N CREAM" and "COOKIES N' CREAM" on June 22, 1981, but claims to have first used it in December 1978. The request is now dead, as are some of its other variations including "COOKIES -N- CREAM."

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“It would be more of a pill, but what if you pried the cookies apart, pulled out the cream (cook's treat!) and piped the meringue in the middle before reassembly? You might need to cook it longer to keep it from squishing out the sides when you take a bite, but what a presentation!”
— tia

Whoever owns it, I'm glad someone did it. It is, for me, the greatest thing to have ever happened to chocolate, cream, and the commercial dairy industry since milk chocolate.

Cookies 'n' cream grows up, becomes a cookie. Photo by Ty Mecham

Flash forward to years later, one late ice cream–less night, when I would recreate the classic combo in meringue cookie form. I had just finished binging all four seasons of Kenan & Kel when I had a hankering for something sweet. I stepped into my kitchen and, alas, only had Oreos in my cupboard and eggs in my fridge. I had seen Nigella Lawson make pavlova on TV once or thrice, so decided to start there.

I whipped up a standard meringue base of egg whites and sugar, a pinch of salt, then folded in about half a packet of crushed Oreos. Using an ice cream scoop (what could be more appropriate for a cookie inspired by ice cream?), I scooped out 12 or so rounds of the fluffy, black dust–flecked meringue onto a sheet pan and baked my little babies for 45 minutes or so.

Originally I had formed them like this, with craters in the middle to be filled later with piped cream and turned into mini Lawsonian pavlovas:

I would've call them pavloveos, which Tasty's Alexander Roberts helped me come up with. Other names from the peanut gallery (aka my Instagram's comments section) were:

  • Oreo-lovas
  • Meringueos
  • Inside-out Oreos
  • Dirt 'n' snow
  • Cookies 'n' cream pillows
  • Cookies 'n' cream clouds
  • Cookies 'n' cream-puffs (my personal favorite)

Unfortunately, these never made it to the pavlova stage—as I ate all 12 of them in one sitting before I could whip the cream. No bother, though. Their distinguishing trait is their simplicity: With just three ingredients (egg whites, sugar, and Oreos), the easiest, chewiest pantry dessert is yours at the flick of a whisk.

Oh, and my Oreo-lovas (or cookies 'n' cream puffs) aren't dry and brittle like some store-bought meringues can be. They're unutterably chewy—just crisp on the outsides but pillow-soft and marshmallowy on the insides. Not unlike the best pavlova bases.

If you wanted, you could pipe out mini cookies from a pastry bag, raindrop-shaped meringues like these. Just make sure to bake them for a shorter amount of time, as they'll be smaller and more prone to brittleness.

More often than not, however, I like to go the ice cream scoop route, not least because I'm lazy (and because their chewy texture is nonpareil).

Do you love cookies 'n' cream, too? Let us know in the comments below.

Here, Have Another

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Tonny Mac killop
    Tonny Mac killop
  • FS
  • tia
  • CameronM5
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.


Tonny M. September 20, 2018
Made them tonight. Smaller to pop in your mouth. Delicious!!
Eric K. September 20, 2018
That makes me very happy.
FS September 20, 2018
Re: Breyer's half gallon ice cream packs are a thing of the past.
I remember them fondly, but now Breyer's packs weigh in at a good bit less than one half gall. Plus they discontinued their brown sugar cinnamon swirl flavor, and I shall never forgive them.
Eric K. September 20, 2018
tia September 18, 2018
It would be more of a pill, but what if you pried the cookies apart, pulled out the cream (cook's treat!) and piped the meringue in the middle before reassembly? You might need to cook it longer to keep it from squishing out the sides when you take a bite, but what a presentation!
Eric K. September 18, 2018
Ha! That's a great idea. Whimsical. :)
CameronM5 September 17, 2018
Cookies n cream is my favorite too! I usually melt peanut butter on it and it is over the top decadent. I HAVE to try these. Or, my birthday is coming up ... i can just give you my address 😛
Eric K. September 17, 2018
Mm, PB on cookies 'n' cream does sound decadent—and exactly what the doctor ordered!