Can I Make These Without Cream of Tartar? These cookies are baked, albeit at a low temperature, so the risk isn’t the same as the salmonella risk of consuming the raw egg whites in something like royal icing. But you can make meringues with meringue powder as an alternative. This also means you can make them without adding additional cream of tartar.
In order to ensure that the meringue whips properly, you want to use a very clean bowl with no traces of residual fats.
Line your baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper to prevent sticking and preheat your oven to 250°F.
Beat the meringue powder and water for about 4-5 minutes. While continuing to beat, gradually add the sugar. Then add the extracts and beat until it forms stiff peaks.
If you want to add swirls to the cookies, use red gel food coloring to make two lines on the inside of your piping bag and a small brush to spread it out a bit. Repeat on the opposite side.
Then fill the bag and pipe small rounds or rosettes onto the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart. As you pipe more, the swirls of color will begin to get brighter.
Bake at 250°F for 35-40 minutes or until firm and crisp on the outside. Turn off the oven, close it, and allow the meringues to cool inside the oven.
While the peppermint meringue cookies cool, chop the candy canes and melt the chocolate as per the package instructions. Dip the bottom of each cookie in the melted chocolate and crushed candy canes.
Once they are completely cooled and hardened, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. After that they will still be safe to eat, but they will lose some of their crisp exterior and get chewier.
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