Meringue cookie batter won't stay whipped long enough and turns runny. Help! I planned on making the cookies this weekend

While making meringue cookies, my mix started to get soupy half way through while forming the cookies and it wouldn't hold it's shape. How do I keep this from happening? Did I do something wrong

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ATG117
ATG117 February 8, 2013

DId you whip your egg whites to the correct consistency. If you got the correct peaks to begin with, you should have been okay. When whipping egg whites, make sure you start with room temp eggs and a very clean bowl and beaters (you may want to wipe both with white vinegar to be extra safe)

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Athena103181
Athena103181 February 8, 2013

I got them to the right consistency. Half of the cookies came out fine. The other half looked like lumpy sponges. The eggs were room temp.

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drbabs
drbabs February 9, 2013

Is it possible that you introduced water or fat into the meringue while you were making the first batch? Could you have over beaten the egg whites? This has happened to me when I used egg whites that were previously frozen. It is upsetting. I think the best thing to do is to start over. If you add a pinch of kosher salt to your egg whites before beating them, they'll whip up quickly and hold their shape well, minimizing the risk of over beating.

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Athena103181
Athena103181 February 9, 2013

There's no fat in meringues. So that can't be it, and I don't think its possible to over beat egg whites when making meringue. Overbearing them is the whole point when making the batter.

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drbabs
drbabs February 9, 2013

Athena, you actually can over beat egg whites. Here's an article from the King Arthur Flour company about mistakes and whether they can be fixed. Scroll towards the end; there's a section on beating egg whites. http://www.kingarthurflour...

sdebrango
sdebrango February 9, 2013

Once a tiny bit of the yolk made it's way into the whites and even that small amount of yolk impacted how the whites came out. I don't know if that happened here just a thought.

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Athena103181
Athena103181 February 9, 2013

I used egg whites from a carton. The meringue recipe was on the side of the carton. No yolks were present. *sigh* looks like I'm doomed to runny meringues. :,(

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drbabs
drbabs February 9, 2013

Ah, that's it! Packaged egg whites are pasteurized. Using them in meringues and angel food cakes is not recommended by the manufacturer. Here's one reference. If you Google packaged egg whites and meringue, you'll find more. Some people have no trouble with them, but I bet if you start over with fresh eggs, you'll be fine.
http://www.ochef.com/1329.htm

sdebrango
sdebrango February 9, 2013

I agree with Barbara, I once used those packaged egg whites for an angel food cake and it wound up in the garbage. The whites never whipped up properly,

Athena103181
Athena103181 February 9, 2013

Then why is the recipe on the box? I think since they gave me the recipe they assume it should work well with their product

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drbabs
drbabs February 9, 2013

Good question,

boulangere
boulangere February 9, 2013

I can get a satisfactory enough whip on frozen whites to use in making Swiss meringue buttercream icing, but for true meringue cookies, I always use fresh whites. I've even contacted the manufacturer to see if they can explain why that is the case. I've been waiting about 3 months for an answer ;0)

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