Lemon Mini-Meringues

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lemon treatI’ve never been to Peru, or Namibia, or Egypt, but I cannot imagine they are drier than Wyoming, no matter what Our Amazing Planet says.

Technically speaking, Wyoming is no drier than my home state of Utah, (they both have average humidity levels around 55%) but you would never know that, listening to Robb complain that it is “SO humid in Utah!”

Whatever.

It is not humid in Utah, and I can prove it.  My house is cooled not with the coveted central air conditioning, but with the much less expensive swamp cooler.  I fully expect that many of you will not have a clue what a swamp cooler is, so let me explain.

The swamp cooler is a big ugly thing that sits on your roof.  It has these pads inside.  They get all soaked with water, and then a fan blows air across them and into the house.  It’s a little like spraying water in your face and then sitting in front of a fan.

In other words, it’s artificial sweat.  Because the real stuff isn’t classy enough.

Lemon Meringue Cookie

What do meringues and swamp coolers have in common?  Neither of them are at their best in humidity.

Let’s say it rained, and the air outside gets really humid.  Adding more water to already wet air does not make one cooler.  Or happier.  Coincidentally, leaving meringues out in humid air does not make them stay crispy and delicious.

I made these adorable lemon mini-meringues when I had some friends over.  They were all cute and crispy and yummy at the beginning of the evening, but after a couple hours of sitting out in the swamp-cooled house, they got all weird and sticky and turned into a big glob.  Which is frustrating, and a little embarrassing.

miniature meringues

finger food

As long as I keep these in an air-tight container with the lid on, they stay fresh and lovely, with their perfect light and crispy deliciousness.  They also last longer.  I guess kids are too lazy to take the lid off, because they disappear plenty quickly when I pour them into a bowl.

If you live in some part of the world with actual humidity, like Florida or Hawaii, I really don’t know what to tell you to expect from these meringues.  They are certainly inexpensive and delicious enough to make them worth a try, though.

If you are ever traveling in Wyoming or Utah, bring meringues.

And a water bottle.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Mini-Meringues
 
Cook time
Total time
 
A small and simple meringue cookie with lemon.
Category: Cookies
Serves: 300 pieces
Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • dash salt
  • dash cream of tartar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2-4 drops yellow food coloring
Instructions
  1. In a heat-proof bowl, combine egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water to create a double-boiler. Heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove eggs from heat, and add salt and cream of tartar. Mix on high for about 10 minutes, until meringue is glossy and forms stiff peaks.
  3. Gently stir in lemon zest and food coloring.
  4. Place meringue in a pastry bag (or plastic sandwich baggie with a corner cut off) and pipe in very small dots onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 200 degrees for 60-75 minutes.
  6. Store in airtight container.
Notes
I piped these very small, and ended up with about 150 pieces on my 13x18 half sheet pan. They really do bake low & slow, with more than an hour of baking, so I put two pans in together.

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Peppermint Meringues from Jen’s Favorite Cookies

Lemon Meringue Milkshake from Sweetapolita

Lemon Meringue Cookies from Joy the Baker

This recipe linked up at: Alli-N-Son; Rattlebridge Farm; Tidy Mom;

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Comments

  1. I don’t live in Florida, but I used to – everyone has air conditioning on 24/7 during the summer, so the inside of the house isn’t humid at all. Perfect for baking these! Nice recipe – I really like the lemon. We made the other kind of meringues yesterday (where you whip the egg whites, add sugar, then bake at a low temperature just like these. Good stuff – thanks.

  2. Haha, a swamp cooler sounds cool We don’t have air conditioning in homes in the UK. Unless you’re rich! Those air conditioning window boxes they have in the states are banned here. The humity is awful in the UK but a friend of mine went to Egypt and wore a denim jacket outside in the scorching heat because the air was so dry. I can’t even imagine that!

    The meringues sound awesome and the fact they’re lemon makes me want to grab a giant hand ful and run off to the corner to eat them all in secret!

  3. Andrea butler says:

    jen, this is soo yummy!! I si ply LOVE lemom merengues and I will try this for sure!!!!
    Addictive!!

    Cheers
    Andreea

  4. And with other colours it’s perfect for a kids’ party! :) :) :)

  5. I absolutely love these! I made lemon meringues out of half of the mixture and peppermint meringues out of the other half (note to self:don’t forget to cut the peppermint extract in half next time!) I was wondering if you had a recipe on here for vanilla meringues? I’m going to start searching, but if I don’t find it, maybe you could do one or recommend a really good one? Thanks!

  6. Francesca says:

    Well, I do live in Hawaii, and I just had to throw out 3 batches of meringue cookies!!
    They just won’t bake!
    I have tested my oven for temperature – it is fine.
    I tried to preheat the oven to 375, and put them in overnight with the oven OFF – did not work.
    I tried to heat them at 200 for several hours – no luck.
    I am determined – any other ideas that I can try??
    thanks!

    • Francesca, I bet the humidity in Hawaii has a lot to do with it. I have never lived anywhere humid, so I’m not a great resource, but my friends tell me you have to work with the humidity. Try baking on a lower-humidity day, and try to reduce the humidity in your kitchen with fans. You may also want to start with a cold bowl. If all else fails, move to the desert! Good luck!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Lemon Mini-Meringues: A wonderful light snack. [...]

  2. [...]  Last August, I had my very first successful photo submission on FoodGawker.  It was for the Lemon Mini-Meringues.  I had no idea what I was doing, and basically took some decent photos by accident.  The post [...]

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