Happy holidays everyone! As promised here is another super easy dessert that you can literally whip up and impress your dinner guests with. These meringue cookie trees not only look very festive, but they also taste like it, since they are flavoured with peppermint, and covered in candy canes. They are crisp when you bite into them, chewy and sticky on the inside, and they melt away in your mouth with every bite.
I made these cookies for a Christmas farmer’s market that I was lucky to be a part of, and these cookies were a hit. Most people asked me what they were since they didn’t know if it was edible to begin with. Also with the way they were packaged, some people might have thought they were Christmas ornaments. I gladly received nothing but compliments on these super cute cookie trees so I thought it’d be a good idea to share the recipe and tutorial so you can easily recreate these meringue trees at home.
If you ever ever attempted to make meringue cookies and failed before, don’t worry — I’ve been there done that. The reason I use a hot sugar syrup instead of granulated sugar in my meringue is because the hot sugar syrup actually cooks the egg whites, and also makes the most stable type of meringue. This is called Italian meringue, and starting the base of your cookies with a strong one really makes the whole process easier. Most meringue cookies use French meringue, which is made my drizzling sugar into the whipping egg whites and beating until the sugar is dissolved. If not done correctly, the meringue could deflate or collapse, or create little beads of sugar sweat if the sugar isn’t completely dissolved. So by starting off with an Italian meringue, you basically ensure your success with these cookies.
The only downfall of these cookies might be that they require a lot of time in the oven, so if you’ve got a lot of items lined up for baking, I would suggest leaving these for last. Although these Italian meringue trees can definitely sit out for quite a while before getting baked since they are already “cooked” from the hot sugar, so don’t feel too worried if these can’t get into the oven right away.
Also feel free to check out my video tutorial below, and happy holidays baking!
Note: for this recipe you will need a candy thermometer, a piping bag, and a large french piping tip.
Meringue Tree-ts Recipe
This recipe makes about 12 tree-ts
2 large egg whites
100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
30g (2 tbsp) water
Less than 1 drop of concentrated peppermint oil
3 drops green food colouring
For decorating (all optional):
Edible silver ball sprinkles
Crushed candy canes
- In a clean mixing bowl with a clean whisk attachment, place the egg whites into the bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, place the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Once the sugar reaches 110C/230F, turn on the mixer to medium/high speed to start whipping the egg whites.
- Once the sugar reaches 115C/239F, take the saucepan off the heat, and lower the speed of the mixer to low. Slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup as the mixer is going to avoid burns.
- Once all the sugar is in the bowl, turn the speed back up to medium/high until the meringue reaches stiff peaks. You can test this by lifting the whisk attachment and seeing if the meringue holds it’s shape.
- At this point you can add in your peppermint oil either with a toothpick or by carefully adding in a drop, and then you can add in the food colouring.
- Transfer to a piping bag with a french tip (I used the Wilton 6B), and pipe onto a pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Decorate and place into the oven at 107C/225F for 1-1/2 hours to 2. You know it’s done when you can easily lift the meringue off the mat or parchment.
- Turn off the oven and let the meringues cool in the oven until the oven is completely cool — I left mine overnight.
- Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container and leave in a cool and dry area.