Who doesn’t love a little whimsy this time of year?! These meringue “Elf Hats” are so cute and super easy to make. Not only are meringues light, crisp and delicious, but we are certain that they will jazz up any cookie platter this holiday season. The candy-cane striping is a perfect way to add some color and festive flair to ordinary meringue kisses. Dipped in melted white chocolate then in an assortment of shredded coconut and sprinkles, these little treats are instantly transformed into the cutest elf hats.
Made from mostly egg whites and sugar, meringues are easy to whip up. Feel free to add in your own flavorings like vanilla bean or peppermint extract! Also, don’t forget to exercise your creativity here. Switch up the trimmings on these elf hats by using shredded coconut or an assortment of sprinkles and dragées.
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
- red food coloring — preferably gel
- 6 ounces white chocolate candy coating
- assorted sprinkles
- shredded coconut
- Pre-heat oven to 215 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment and set aside.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, begin mixing on medium-low. Once the egg whites begin to foam up a bit, gradually increase the speed while adding in a little bit of sugar at a time.
- Once all of the sugar has been added, continue to mix, and medium-high until stiff peaks form. Add in the peppermint extract, if using, and mix until stiff again.
- Meanwhile, place a piping bag inside of a cup and roll the sides over the edges to expose the inside of the bag as much as possible. With a clean paintbrush, paint stripes on the inside of the bag using the red gel food coloring.
- Once the meringue mixture is stiff, carefully scoop it out of the mixing bowl and into the painted piping bag.
- Once the piping bag is partially full, carefully unroll the edges back up and remove the cup.
- Snip the end of the piping bag to create a 1-inch round opening.
- Pipe “kisses” on the prepared baking sheet. Let the meringue build up slightly, then stop the pressure on the bag before lifting straight up. Continue to pipe and carefully refill the bag with the remaining meringue.
- Bake the meringue for 60 to 90 minutes, or until they easily peel away from the parchment paper. When done, they should be crisp and dry on the outside, but slightly chewy on the inside. Allow to completely cool and dry out before decorating.
- To decorate, melt the white chocolate candy coating at half-power in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Stir until smooth.
- Dip the bottoms of the meringues in the melted white chocolate candy coating, then dip in shredded coconut or sprinkles. For the very top of the meringues, add a touch of white chocolate to adhere a metallic dragée or sprinkles. Set aside on a clean piece of parchment to dry.
Meanwhile, place a piping bag inside of a cup and roll the sides over the edges to expose the inside of the bag as much as possible. With a clean paintbrush, paint stripes on the inside of the bag using the red gel food coloring. Once the meringue mixture is stiff, carefully scoop it out of the mixing bowl and into the painted piping bag. Once the piping bag is partially full, carefully unroll the edges back up and remove the cup.
As you add more meringue to the piping bag, the colors will begin to blend a bit. If you prefer clean stripes, use a new piping bag instead of re-filling the first one.
Meringues hate moisture but will stay crisp for a couple days if stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
How cute are these?!
These would be adorable gift toppers too.
What items will make it on your cookie platter this year? Be sure to tag your recipes on Instagram using the hashtag #iamcreative.