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Vanilla Meringue Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 40 min. + standing


about 5 dozen

Updated: Dec. 08, 2022
Want to learn how to make meringues? This meringue cookie recipe creates light, airy morsels. It's the perfect fat-free treat to really beat a sweets craving. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons clear or regular vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar


  1. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 250°. Add vanilla, cream of tartar and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition, until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes.
  3. Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag; insert a #32 star tip. Transfer meringue to bag. Pipe 1-1/4-in.-diameter cookies 2 in. apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  4. Bake until firm to the touch, 40-45 minutes. Turn off oven; leave meringues in oven 1 hour (leave oven door closed). Remove from oven; cool completely on baking sheets. Remove meringues from paper; store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Vanilla Meringue Cookie Tips

Why are my meringue cookies flat?

Flattened meringue cookies are typically the result of too much air collapsing out of your meringues. To prevent this collapse, make sure that you have your egg whites at room temperature before you begin. Start whisking the egg whites in your mixer slowly until they are foamy. Gradually increase your mixer speed and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, not all at once. When the sugar is completely added, continue beating to incorporate more air, bringing the mixture to stiff, glossy peaks.

What other flavors can I use in meringue cookies?

This recipe calls for classic vanilla, but feel free to use other flavors of extract instead, such as almond, lemon, orange, peppermint, coconut, cherry or raspberry.

How long do meringue cookies last?

Meringue cookies will last for up to two weeks when stored at room temperature in an airtight container, with parchment between the layers. They can also be frozen for up to three months in a parchment-lined airtight container. However, it’s important to mention that delicate cookies like meringues are best enjoyed soon after making them. While they can be frozen, they may not maintain the same freshness and quality in the freezer as sturdier cookies will. Avoid storing meringues in the refrigerator, too. This will add moisture, and they will lose their crispy, crunchy texture. Check out these clever tips and tricks for how to make your best meringues.

Why are my meringue cookies chewy?

Meringue cookie recipes can turn out chewy because they are not baked long enough. Check your bake time and make sure your meringues stay in the oven according to your recipe directions (commonly until the oven has cooled—no peeking). If you still don't have success, you may be storing them improperly. Meringue cookies can absorb moisture from their environment or other ingredients they are near. To crisp up chewy meringues, pop them back in the oven on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 200°F for 10 minutes. Get inspired with more enticing meringue recipes.

Rashanda Cobbins, Taste of Home Food Editor and Amy Glander, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 10 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 free food.