Meringue Christmas Trees are popular Christmas cookies with a light and airy texture that melts in your mouth. They have a whimsical tree-like shape with colorful sprinkles as ornaments.
Christmas Meringue Cookies
Get into the holiday spirit with our Christmas Tree Meringue Recipe! Add some holiday magic to your Christmas cookie tray this season with these delightful meringue treats. Made with love and a sprinkle of yuletide joy, these meringue trees are the perfect way to sweeten your celebrations.
What You’ll Need
- Egg whites– When separating the egg whites make sure there are no yolks in the whites.
- Cream of tartar – This is a stabilizer that helps give the meringue its signature shape.
- Sugar– Granulated sugar is used to sweeten and stabilize the meringue.
- Vanilla extract- A touch of vanilla adds a lovely flavor to the cookies.
- Gel green food coloring– To give the meringue trees their iconic green color.
- Sprinkles– Use a gold star sprinkle for the top of the tree. Rainbow non-pareils act as Christmas tree balls.
How to Make Meringue Christmas Trees
- Make the meringue: Using a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Once the mixture is bubbly and frothy looking, add half of the sugar and continue whipping. Add the remaining sugar and vanilla. Whip on high until it forms stiff peaks. Do not overwhip.
- Pipe the trees: Add the meringue to the piping bag with a large star tip. Pipe a small mound of meringue in a spiral upwards, creating a Christmas tree shape. Repeat with all the meringue.
- Decorate and Bake: Sprinkle with the rainbow non-pareils and carefully add the gold star on top. Bake for 2 hours in a preheated oven. Do not open the door during the baking. Turn the heat off and crack the door slightly. Allow to set for an additional hour to overnight.
Baking Tips for Christmas Tree Meringues
The meringue Christmas trees are done when they are dry and crisp on the outside, but still soft and chewy on the inside. This usually takes around 2-3 hours in the oven at a low temperature of 200°F (93°C). You can also lightly tap the bottom of one of the cookies – if it feels hollow, then they are ready. If they are still soft and sticky, then they need more time in the oven. It’s important not to overbake them, as they can easily become burnt and lose their light and airy texture. So keep an eye on them towards the end of the baking time.
Once they are done, turn off the oven but leave the cookies inside with the door slightly ajar. This will allow them to slowly cool down and prevent them from cracking due to the sudden temperature change.
If stored properly in an airtight container, meringue cookies can last for up to two weeks. However, their texture may start to change after a few days and they may become softer and chewier. For best results, it is recommended to consume them within the first week. If you want to make them ahead of time, you can freeze them for up to two months. Just make sure to thaw them at room temperature before serving.
Why Are My Meringue Cookies Chewy?
There could be several reasons why your meringue cookies turned out chewy instead of light and crisp. Here are some possible causes:
- Underbaking: If the cookies are not baked long enough, they will still have moisture trapped inside and will become chewy when stored.
- Humidity: Meringue is very sensitive to humidity, so if you live in a humid climate or your kitchen is humid, it can affect the texture of the cookies.
- Overbeating: If you overbeat the egg whites, they can become too dense and will not be able to hold their shape, resulting in chewy cookies.
Tips for Decorating Meringue Christmas Trees
Meringue cookies can be a bit challenging to make, but with the right technique and some helpful tips, you’ll have perfect meringue trees every time. Here are some tips to consider when making and decorating your Christmas tree meringue cookies:
- Start with clean equipment: Before starting, make sure all your utensils and mixing bowls are clean and free of any grease. Any residue can interfere with the meringue’s ability to hold its shape.
- Use room temperature egg whites: Cold egg whites do not whip up as well as those at room temperature. Let them sit out for about 30 minutes before using them.
- Add cream of tartar: This ingredient helps stabilize the egg whites and helps them hold their shape.
- Gradually add sugar: Adding the sugar in small increments while beating the egg whites will help to create a glossy and stable meringue mixture.
- Pipe the trees onto parchment paper: Parchment paper is essential when making meringues as it prevents them from sticking to your baking sheet.
- Be creative with decorating: Have fun with your meringue trees and use different colors of food coloring, sprinkles, and other decorations to make them unique.
- Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper: This will prevent them from breaking or crumbling while handling.
- Store in an airtight container: Meringue cookies can quickly become soft and chewy if left out in the open. Keep them fresh by storing them in an airtight container.
More Meringue Recipes
- Chocolate Meringue Cookies
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Pumpkin Meringues
- Lemon Meringue Pie Bites
- Meringue Ghosts
Meringue Christmas Trees
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Mix on medium speed until bubbly and frothy looking.
- Add in about half of the sugar and continue to whip on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
- Add in the remaining sugar and vanilla and mix on medium speed for another 2 minutes. 5. Bump up the speed to high and whip to stiff peaks – about another 2 minutes. Do not overwhip as the mixture can deflate if over-worked.
- Transfer the meringue mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Pipe a small mound of meringue on the parchment, working in a spiral upwards. Repeat until all the meringue is piped.
- Carefully place a gold star at the tip of each meringue tree.
- Sprinkle with a light dusting of rainbow non-pareils.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours. Do not open the door or cause drastic temperature fluctuations.
- After the 2 hours of bake time, turn off the heat to the oven. Crack the door to the oven open slightly and place a wooden spoon handle in the door to keep it open. Allow to set for an additional 1 hour or overnight.