To be totally honest, I really don’t know what these are called. My Cuban family calls them “Merenguitos”, I’ve heard them called simply “Meringues”, and my favorite cooking duo, The Meringue Girls, call them “Meringue Kisses”.
Regardless, they are an absolute dream of sugary goodness. Crunchy outside, mallowy middle, they’re like a marshmallows cousin with a cute little twist. Are they healthy? Absolutely not. Are they worth it? YES.
Meringue can be a tricky thing to make. The basic concept is to beat egg whites to a point where the proteins have stretched apart, and adding sugar. They are very temperamental and can easily become affected by any kind of added moisture or oil. Try making these merenguitos on a very humid day and you’ll see them lose their shape and soften completely.
I’ve tried tons of different recipes and techniques over the years. This right here is my final go-to recipe from the Meringue Girls cookbook. It’s my only guarantee to perfect merenguitos every time! It’s a simple 2-1 ration: 2 parts sugar, 1 part egg whites.
Before we get into the recipe, let me share some tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years to help you make the perfect merenguitos:
- Try to use either caster sugar or super fine powdered sugar. I find that caster sugar gets your mixture to the perfect level of stiffness. I buy mine on amazon here
- Wipe down your mixing bowl and whisk with lemon juice or vinegar to completely clean it of any grease. Grease will prevent your whites from reaching their peak stiffness
- If you’re using a whole egg rather than liquid egg whites, separate the yolk from the white in a separate mini dish therefore if you have any accidents you won’t have to start completely over
- Vinegar isn’t necessary, but adding a teaspoon to your mixture can help create that chewy mallowy middle
- heating your sugar before adding it to your egg whites will give you merengue a glossier finish
200g fine sugar
100g egg whites
1 tsp vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Line a deep baking dish with parchment paper, and pour in your sugar, evenly spreading it
- Put the sugar into the over for 5-7 minutes, until the edges start to brown ever so lightly
- In the meantime, place you egg whites into your hand held bowl or bowl of your stand mixture and begin to beat on low. After about a minute, when the whites start to bubble, increase the speed of your whisk to medium. When large bubbles tart to appear, shoot your whisk up to high and beat for about another 5 minutes until stiff peaks form
- You know it’s ready when you can hold the bowl upside down and nothing spills out!
- By now your sugar should be ready. After you remove it from the oven, lower the temperature down to 200 degrees. I like to keep the door slightly open for a few minutes to help it cool faster.
- Using a large spoon, slowly pour the sugar into the mixing bowl while the whisk is on high. Let each spoonful of sugar mix completely before adding the next. Once all of your sugar is added, beat on high for another 5-7 minutes until your mixture reaches a stiff peak.
- Gently and carefully, spoon the meringue mixture into a large piping bag, shaking it frequently to push the meringue as far down as possible. Twist at the top to give you a firm grip.
- I like to use any extra meringue under my parchment paper to help hold it down. Snip the top of the piping bag about 1 inch from the tip and begin piping your meringues. Hold your piping bag straight up above the parchment paper about 1-2 inches high. Squeeze evenly on the bag so the meringue starts to come out while holding the bag still. Once a 2 inch in diameter circle of meringue appears, release the pressure and pull the bag straight up. This will give you the peak at the top of the merenguito
- Once all your merenguitos are piped, bake them for 40-45 minutes. They’re done when they can be picked up off the parchment paper without sticking