Quick and easy, peppermint meringue kisses are an essential addition to any festive cookie plate. Only 40 calories and 1 Weight Watchers Point Plus a piece, you can nibble a few for the price of one gingerbread cookie.
Thanks to their crisp shell and marshmallowy center, peppermint meringue kisses are one of my essential treats for the Christmas season. Something about the combination of holiday bustle and clear frosty days
makes me crave the refreshing sweetness of candy canes. I must have have a bit of peppermint in my Christmas cookie selection.
Meringues may not be the first thing that come to mind when you are thinking about holiday cookies. For me, meringues are one of my year-round favorites. I will admit, the technique of making meringues took me a few tries to master. Through trial and error, I learned to be patient and, if possible, wait for a dry day to make a batch. Now that I have the hang of whipping the egg whites into alpine-esq peaks, I am constantly testing new ways to customize these little cookies.
The blank canvas of subtle sweetness is an opportunity to create a treat to suit just about any occasion. Imagine adding a bit of cocoa powder and cinnamon for a fantastic hot chocolate flavor while toasted coconut and a touch of rum extract will take you straight to the tropics (another of my favorites). As for these peppermint kisses, crushed bits of candy cane folded into a very basic peppermint meringue become delicate winter treats.
A delight (and light) to nibble, these little cookies also provide a lovely visual contrast to the rich dark browns of gingerbread and chocolate in most cookie jars this time of year. The peppermint meringue’s pearlescent pink sheen and gentle ripples always reminds me of a scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas – the one when Lucy sends Charlie Brown to get a, “big, shiny aluminum tree… maybe painted pink.” Lucy doesn’t get the tree but I think she would have approved these meringues.
December brings an array of, only-once-a-year, heavy baked goodies. I like to participate in the fun of sharing seasonal food but I try to lighten the menu whenever possible. Low calorie meringues are one of my favorite ways to bake festive treats that leave me grumbling at the scale come January. With these and a few other light treats on-hand I can enjoy a variety of holiday dessert options without losing my place on the nice list.
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 medium candy canes (56 grams), crushed
- pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place whites into a medium bowl with a pinch of salt. Then beat the egg whites swiftly by hand or with an electric mixer on medium speed. When they thicken, and become foamy, sprinkle in the cream of tarter. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue whipping the egg whites until the egg whites reach stiff peaks (aka you can invert the bowl and nothing moves). Once stiff peaks form sprinkle in sugar while mixing until all the sugar has been incorporated.
- Set aside 2 tablespoons of crushed candy cane for decorating. Fold the remaining candy into the meringue using a gentle under-over motion - be careful not to push the air out of the meringue.
- Scoop the meringue into a piping bag with a wide tip (may substitute two spoons) to make 1½ – 2 inch mounds on the prepared cookies sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 170 and bake for 15 – 30 additional minutes. Meringues are cooked when the tops are hard and sound hollow when tapped.