I Wanna Bake’s “Christmas Cookies in July” series continues this week with some delightful root beer float meringue cookies. I adapted the recipe from Joy of Cooking’s meringue kisses recipe to better fit my summer theme, and these did not disappoint. The cookies dissolve slowly on your tongue, leaving you with the fizzy, yet creamy, feeling of a root beer float before all the ice cream has melted.
It seems I have succeeded where Willy Wonka failed (dessert). Granted, these are cookies, not gum, and root beer floats, not blueberry pie, but I’m going to declare myself the winner here anyway. Hopefully when you try them you’ll agree with me.
You will need the following ingredients:
For the cookies:
- 3 large egg whites (see here for a tutorial on separating eggs)
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar*
- 1/8 tsp. root beer flavoring (this made fairly strong cookies, so you might want to decrease the amount of flavoring you use)
*The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of sugar, but I found I needed to add more to make mine come together. My egg whites might have been larger than usual, so be sure to add the sugar gradually in case you don’t need the full 1 1/4 cup.
For baking ambiance:
- In sticking with the Willy Wonka theme, I suggest listening to the soundtrack to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It’ll inspire your confectionery adventure and have you dancing in the kitchen (at least that’s what it does for me). You can find the whole thing fairly easily on Youtube.
Pop an everlasting gobstopper in your mouth and preheat your oven to 225°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat them on low speed until the egg whites are frothy.
Increase the mixer’s speed to high and beat until the egg whites hold soft peaks. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture of this stage. The egg whites will barely hold their shape while being mixed and will look like a very fine, thick foam (if that makes any sense).
While still beating, add in the sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Reduce the speed of your mixer to low and stir in the root beer flavoring until it is fully-incorporated. It’s brown, so it’s easy to see when it’s mixed in. You may need to scrape your beater and the sides of the bowl to make sure it’s all fully mixed in. Now increase the speed to high and beat the meringue until it is glossy and holds very stiff peaks (it needs to be able to hold the shapes you pipe). The consistency is similar to marshmallow fluff.
Load the meringue into a piping bag or large resealable plastic bag fitted with a large, open star piping tip (or just snip a 1/2″ opening in the corner of the bag). Pipe the meringue into 1 1/4″ stars onto the cookie sheets. They can be fairly close together because they won’t grow much.
Bake the meringue cookies for 45 minutes. The original recipe said to rotate the cookie sheets halfway through the baking time, but mine cracked and this may be why. If you are worried about cracked cookies, just leave them to bake for 45 minutes undisturbed. When the time is up, DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN! Turn off the heat and let the cookies cool completely, at least half an hour. If they cool too quickly, they will crack.
Once the cookies have cooled, peel them off the parchment paper or remove them from the cookie sheets with a thin spatula and enjoy their fizzy, melty sensation!
You can download the printable PDF recipe here: Root Beer Float Meringue Cookies