dessert Food

Bird’s Nest Meringue Cookies

Easter really crept up on us, didn’t it!? Last time I checked it was winter and I was sliding down the sidewalks of Manhattan (not by choice, of course) and now it’s Spring? Woah. Needless to say, with not enough time before the holiday to do all the things, I’ve been forced to do projects that are relatively easy and don’t involve a lot of planning. So if you’re like me and you’re still trying to come up with last-minute ideas for Easter lunch, you’re absolutely going to love this.

Let me tell you this; these cookies are IMPRESSIVE. They don’t have to look perfect for your guests to be amazed by them – mine don’t. Apart from the steady hand you may need to pipe out the batter there really isn’t much culinary skill needed to make these. I initially saw them on Pinterest and immediately knew I would be doing a post about them. Read on for the how-to!

What you need:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Easter egg candy
  1. Separate your egg whites from the yolk and allow them to sit at room temperature for a while. You may preheat your oven to 250F at this time.IMG_3386
  2. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat at medium speed. Add the vanilla and salt while it is mixing. Sidenote: I used a hand mixer for this recipe and it was a bit harder than using a standing mixer.
  3. When the eggs start to appear foamy, begin to add the sugar (while still beating, but on HIGH) about a tablespoon at a time. Give it enough time between the sugar additions to mix well and dissolve all of it. This may take you anywhere from 7-20 minutes; I was at the higher end of the estimate.
  4. When your batter starts to look glossy and form stiff peaks, your meringue is ready. Don’t be scared to do a little more mixing if you aren’t sure it’s ready – the stiff peaks are essential to these particular cookies.

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    Perfect peak! This is what you should be looking for.

  5. Place a star tip (I think it’s #32) in an icing bag or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off, and fill with meringue batter.
  6. This is the tricky part: piping. On parchment paper, pipe out a small circle of about 2″ diameter, starting from the inside out. In other words, start piping and then move outward in a circular motion.

    Piping from the center out - doesn't have to be perfect!

    Piping from the center out – doesn’t have to be perfect!

  7. Once you’ve piped out all your smaller circles you’re going to complete them with bigger ones.
  8. On top of the circles, pipe out a larger circle that lies almost at the edge of the small circle, but above it. You basically want to make a nest with high sides so keep that in mind as you do this. Refer to the pictures if you are confused!

    Small circles vs. completed circled

    Small circles vs. completed circles

  9. Bake cookies in oven for 40mins, then turn the oven off and let them dry in there for an our. Don’t open the oven door!
  10. Once cookies are done, place the candy eggs in the center and you’re done!

It may sound complicated but I promise it is quite simple. A few tips that helped me along the way:

-Don’t do this in a humid kitchen or you most likely won’t see stiff peaks and your meringue will be liquidy. #science

-If it’s taking you longer to see stiff peaks, don’t lose hope! Especially if you’re using a hand mixer. Standing mixers somehow make the process fast but with a hand mixer it can take foreeeever.

-Draw circles on your parchment paper to guide you through piping.

-If you want to add special flavors to your cookies do this in step 2. I used rose flavoring for mine!

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