Christmas Tree Meringues are fun and easy to make. With a light, crunchy texture and topped with sprinkles, they are a festive addition to a holiday cookie plate. (Naturally dairy-free and gluten-free.)
Christmas excitement is high over here! Molly and Clara wake up every morning asking if it’s Christmas. Frank went in to their room at 7am on Saturday and they were peering out the window. They told him they were looking for Santa.
So we’re bringing that excitement to the pages of the blog this week with Christmas cookies. A whole week of Christmas cookies!! All of which are easy crowd-pleasers that even the littlest of helpers (think eager 3-year-olds) can help with.
Let’s get this internet Christmas party started, shall we?
How to Make Meringues
Meringues are one of the first cookies I remember making entirely on my own. Because they require only three ingredients and bake low and slow, these are great for newbie bakers. Or for distracted bakers who are trying to do 14 other things.
Meringues are simply egg whites and sugar beaten into stiff peaks like so…
And then piped onto a baking sheet (in any shape you’d like) and baked at a low temperature for a couple hours until crisp. The oven is kept at 200 degrees F for these, so they’re hardly even baked – more like dried. It pulls out all the moisture and results in little “cookies” that are super crunchy and lightly sweet.
But for Christmas, we dye them green.
And pipe them into tree shapes.
Note: No advanced piping skills are needed for these. Once you start, you’ll easily get in a groove and find a Christmas tree shape that works. And don’t worry if you don’t have a piping bag / tip. It works just as well to use a zip-top plastic bag with one corner snipped off.
Just top with sprinkles and transfer to the oven.
Cool and store / hide them from your kids who will request them at every hour of the day.
Christmas Tree Meringue Cookies
- 4 Egg Whites, cold
- 1 cup (200 g) Granulated Sugar
- 1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar (opt)
- Green Food Coloring or Green Food Gel
- Before starting: Make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are very clean with no traces of oil / butter from previous recipes. If in doubt, rub the bowl and beaters with a bit of white vinegar and then rinse them to remove any trace of oil.
- Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or top with silicon baking mats.
- Prepare a pastry bag and fit it with a large plain / round tip. (If you don't have a pastry bag, just use a large zip-top bag with one corner cut off.)
- If not already separated, crack eggs and separate whites and yolks. (Note: Do this carefully. If there are any yolks mixed in with the whites, they will not whip correctly.)
- In the bowl of a standing mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high until light and foamy, ~2 minutes. Turn the mixer down and slowly add sugar while the mixer is running. Add cream of tarter.
- Increase mixer to high and continue mixing until egg whites are smooth and glossy, ~5 minutes more. (Note: You'll know this is done when the mixture forms "stiff peaks" and stays in those peaks if you turn the beater upside down.)
- Add food coloring / gel, mixing on medium, until the meringue reaches your desired color of green.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag and pipe into tree shapes on prepared baking sheet, making the base of each tree about the size of a quarter.
- Top the trees with sprinkles.
- Transfer trees to the oven and bake until very dry and crisp, rotating the pans halfway through, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Test for doneness by pulling one of the trees off the parchment paper. If it releases easily and is very crunchy, it's done. (If the trees show any signs of turning golden brown before they are crisp, reduce heat to 175 degrees F.)
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Will keep for 3 to 5 days.
Oh boy. So. Much. Excitement.
This post contains affiliate links. The price you pay as a consumer does not change, but we may make a small commission based on your purchase. That income keeps the wheels turning over here. Thank you for your support!