I like to make meringue cookies as larger, flatter rounds rather than piping into delicate shapes. To me, this provides the ideal combination of crisp on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside. You can leave them plain, or swirl them with jam for a sweet, fruity addition that’s both beautiful and delicious. Here's the recipe for the French Meringue. —Erin McDowell
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Meringue Cookies Swirled With Jam
about 2 dozen cookies
recipe French Meringue (linked in the Author Notes)
Heat the oven to 325°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Prepare your French meringue as directed by the recipe. Use a large cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop (about ¼ cup) to scoop heaping mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 1 1/2 inches of space between each, because you’ll be spreading the mounds flatter.
Use a small offset spatula (or the back of a spoon) to flatten the mounds and make them into circles. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of jam onto the meringue, then use the tip of a paring knife (or a skewer) to lightly swirl it into the meringue.
Transfer the trays to the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 250°F, and bake until the meringue are dry to the touch (the jam will melt slightly into the cookie). It should take about 1 hour, but may take slightly longer in moist or humid weather to appropriately dry out (up to 1 ½ hours). When the meringues are dry, turn off the oven and allow them to cool completely inside the oven (this helps to keep them dry by not subjecting them to a drastic temperature change).
I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.