Love is in the air, as Valentine’s day quickly approaches. If your loved one is following a Low FODMAP diet, these meringue cookies are bound to please them as meringues are naturally low FODMAP!
Meringues are a light, airy, cookie. They are quite different from any other cookie I have ever tasted! As you bite into a meringue you get a satisfying crunch of the crisp outer cookie, but soon after, the cookie melts away in your mouth!
I assumed meringues were a fancy dessert I would only enjoy at bakeries. I thought that they must have a complex recipe in order to create such a decadent cookie. However, I was happy to learn that they are quite the opposite! It is the main ingredients, whipped egg whites and sugar, that accounts for the satisfying melt-in-your-mouth experience.
This recipe relies on some chemical properties of egg whites. As you initially whip the eggs you start incorporating air into the mixture. The eggs quickly turn into a bubbly foam, as the proteins in the eggs unfold and capture air in new protein connections. Adding the sugar soon after helps to stabilize these interactions as the egg mixture transitions to an opaque and glossy colour, and most importantly helps keeps the desired airy texture of meringues.1 It really is a science experiment in the kitchen because adding the sugar too early or too late will impair the creation of a perfect meringue.
However, don’t fret. Even though making meringues does rely on some precision, you should have no problem if you follow the recipe instructions closely. The most important part is to watch for the indicators that your eggs are ready for the next ingredient. What helped me was to pre-measure all my ingredients so I could just add them at each step and not worry about maintaining the egg structure as I got ingredients ready. If you do that, I am confident you will create a satisfying meringue for you or your loved one!
Low FODMAP Meringue Cookies
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 3.5 oz super fine sugar (or grinding granulated white sugar in the food processor works great!)
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Red food coloring
- Parchment paper
- Plastic (Ziploc) bag
- Icing piping tip (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using an electric beater on medium speed, beat the 2 egg whites until they just start to form a foamy bubbly texture. This should only take approximately 30 seconds.
- Add in the cream of tartar and beat again until the egg mixture is opaque, and it starts to form soft peaks when you lift the egg beater out of the mixture.
- Continue to beat the egg mixture while adding the sugar a spoonful at a time. Going slow will make sure that it is evenly absorbed, and your meringues don’t taste grainy. Add sugar over 5-8 minutes of beating. The eggs should be opaque, glossy, thick, and hold stiff peaks when the beater is removed.
- Turn off the beater and add in the vanilla extract. Beat again until just mixed.
- Divide the egg mixture into 2 bowls, set aside one of them. Add red food coloring into the other bowl and beat egg mixture just until the color is evenly blended. (Note: This will produce a mixture of white and pink meringues, but feel free to change up the colors, as desired)
- If using piping tip, place tip inside the Ziploc bag and to one of the corners, use the piping tip to poke a hole so that the tip is just sticking out the of bag. Place the egg mixture in the bag and seal the top with a knot.
- On a lined baking sheet, create meringue cookies by squeezing out the egg mixture in a circular motion to form small meringues.
- Cook in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, turn off the oven heat, leave the oven door closed and let the meringues sit in the oven for another hour to cool to room temperature.
- After 1 hour, remove the meringues from the oven and enjoy.
Original Recipe Source: Sugar-Hero
Recipe Tips and Tricks:
- Check out this great website to learn about the different stages of egg peak formation. It is a great visual to understand the terms described in the recipe.
- Pre-measure all ingredients beforehand so that you can add them right away when the eggs show the right consistency and leaving the eggs to sit does not impair its structure.
- This makes small bite-sized meringues, but feel free to change up the size. You will just need to adjust the baking time.
Written by: Nancy Gammack
University of Alberta Dietetic Intern