These red white and blue cookies are light, airy and easy to make. Perfect 4th of July cookies, this meringue cookie recipe has a special ingredient for a BANG!
Meringue cookies are perfect for summer. They are light, melt in your mouth and are baked but not in a traditional way leaving the kitchen cool. A fun coloring trick makes this special 4th of July cookie recipe in a red, white and blue meringue cookie with a special touch: Pop Rocks!
They will get your party going with a bang!
This easy meringue cookie recipe is so fun to make. You'll love the secret of how to make them three colors. It's so easy and easy to change up.
This classic cookie goes on a cookie sheet in a previously heated over to transform from glossy to a matte light-as-a-feather perfect meringue cookies. The delicate cookies are perfect with a cup of coffee or on holiday cookie plates.
Try our Peppermint Meringue Cookie recipe and Cinnamon Spice Meringues along with easy meringues using meringue powder! All delicious and low calorie treats.
What makes these skinny?
- Meringue cookies are not like traditional cookies. They do not contain any flour. Whipped egg whites and sugar are the main ingredients of classic meringue cookies. Once they are firm, airy meringue cookies (or meringue kisses) melt in the mouth like magic!
- We've used candy melts to adhere the Pop Rocks onto the bottom The recipe calls for more than will be incorporated into the cookies themselves. Having more melted makes dipping the cookies easier.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Egg Whites. Be sure no egg yolks get into the meringue mixture; whites only!
Cream of Tartar. This helps stabilize the meringue cookies and make the egg whites lofty. You'll find it with the spices at the grocery store.
Vanilla Candy Melts. These look like large baking chips and are specially designed to melt smoothly and harden nicely making them perfect for adding our Pop Rocks layer on the bottom of the 4th of July meringue cookies!
You'll find them with baking supplies, at kitchen stores or online. Candy melts do not all taste or work the same. Some can taste very waxy. We used Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers which melt well and have a wonderful rich flavor. Guittard is another high-quality brand.
Red and/or Blue Pop Rocks. You'll find them in lots of different colors. We share more tips about using them and where to buy below!
Piping bag (pastry bag). It can be reusable or disposable.
Large star tip. We used a Wilton 2D tip (shown in photos). Any large open star tip or drop flower tip will work.
Tips for Using Pop Rocks
If you've ever had Pop Rocks you'll never forget them. The tiny gravel-size candy that pops in your mouth!
They are the secret ingredient that makes these meringue cookies unlike any other. We have some tips for using them:
- Pop Rocks pop when coming into contact with moisture. To ensure they pop when people are eating the cookies, do not get them wet before serving.
- Do not allow them to come into contact with eyes.
- There are multiple flavors of red colored Pop Rocks. Any can be used.
- The only blue colored Pop Rocks I found were an greenish blue which did not fit the 4th of July cookie theme.
Where to Buy Pop Rocks
Despite being an old school '70's candy, Pop Rocks are widely available. They are sold at party stores, Walmart, Dollar Stores, World Market, office supply stores and on Amazon.com.
The best way to find them locally is to Google 'Pop Rocks where to buy'. Stores local to your area carrying them will populate.
PRO TIP: Call before going to the store. I visited several stores before locating them in my area.
How to Make these Meringue Cookies
For detailed printable recipe instructions refer to the recipe card at the end of the post.
STEP 1. Preparation
Heat the oven to 300 degrees F oven temperature and then turn it off. Fit 1-2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (photo 1).
STEP 2. Make the meringue cookies mixture
Beat egg whites with standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until foamy; 2-3 minutes (photos 2-3). Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and beat in (10-15 seconds) (photo 4) until soft peaks have formed (photo 5).
Continue running the and gradually add sugar (photo 6) until stiff glossy peaks form (photo 7). Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
STEP 3. Pipe the meringues
Fit a piping bag with a large open star tip. Using a food safe paint brush or spoon, draw a straight line of red gel food coloring on opposite sides of the inside of the piping bag (photo 8). Repeat with the blue gel food coloring between the red lines (photo 8).
Spoon the meringue batter into the pastry bag (photo 9) and pipe small meringues onto the prepared baking sheets (photo 10).
STEP 4. Let meringues set
Place the baking sheets with meringues into the hot oven and leave the door closed for 2 hours or until the meringues change to have a matte exterior. Do NOT open the oven door during the time the meringues are setting. They can also be left in the oven overnight.
Remove the meringues and allow them to cool slightly on the pan.
STEP 5. Add Pop Rocks
Melt the vanilla candy melts as instructed on the package. Place the Pop Rocks into a small bowl or plate.
One at a time, dip the flat bottom of a meringue into the melted candy (photo 11) (allow any excess chocolate to drain) and into the Pop Rocks (photo 12).
Place them on a fresh piece of parchment paper and allow to set.
Repeat until they are all completed and allow them to harden. They can also be chilled to speed up the process.
Skip the Pop Rocks. If you can't find Pop Rocks or want to leave them out, do it! The cookies are great on their own. You can skip the dipping step if not adding Pop Rocks too.
Change them up for different holidays. Now that you know the secret to making multi-colored meringues change them for different holidays! Red and green dye for Christmas, red for Valentines Day, black and orange for Halloween. You get the idea!
Add flavorings. Adding some extract can give these perfect meringues additional flavor. Try lemon extract, peppermint extract, pure vanilla extract, almond extract etc. Add ½ teaspoon extract after the meringue mixture reaches the glossy peak stage. Do not overmix. NOTE: extract work best if not using Pop Rocks due to flavor conflicts.
Try not to make on a humid day. As a general rule, meringue cookies can be finicky in highly humid conditions. Try to avoid making them when it's very humid, pick a dry day. The sugar in the meringue mixture will absorb the moisture from the air making it difficult to create the needed stiff peaks. as well as the finished meringues can get sticky.
Do not open the oven door. Resist the temptation to open the oven door while the meringue cookies are setting. It can cause them to fall.
Use a stand mixer with whisk attachment if possible. This more powerful type of mixer works best to whip the egg whites. A handheld electric mixer can be used but it may take longer to get the egg whites into soft peaks and stiff peak stage. This is critical for the meringues to keep their shape.
Easy tip to fill the piping bag. Once fitted with the tip, place the piping bag into a tall drinking glass, tip down, and fold the top of the bag over the outside of the glass. Add the gel coloring as instructed (see photos). This makes it easy to scoop in the meringue mixture! When done remove from glass, twist and pipe!
Practice piping. After assembling the piping bag make a few test meringues to make sure the mixture is coming out of the bag properly.
How to Store
The finished meringue cookies should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Place a piece of parchment paper between each layer.
The cookies can also be made ahead of time and dipped the day of or before serving.
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Firecracker Meringue Cookies
- 2 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon ream of tartar
- ⅔ cups granulated sugar
- Red Gel Food Coloring
- Blue Gel Food Coloring
- parchment paper or silpat
- 1 cup high-quality Vanilla Candy Melts I used Ghirardelli we used Ghirardelli brand
- 2-3 packages Pop Rocks red and/or blue
- piping bag
- Wilton 2D tip or other large open star piping tip
Make the meringue mixture
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees F and then turn it off. While the oven is heating, line 1 large or 2 standard size rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
- After turning off the oven, beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment for 3 minutes until soft peaks have formed.
- Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and beat in (10-15 seconds).
- Continue to run the mixer on high speed and slowly spoon in the sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated and stiff peaks form. The mixture will have a glossy appearance.
Piping the Meringue Cookies
- Fit a piping bag with a Wilton 2D tip or any large open star tip or drop flower tip.Roll the top of the piping bag down halfway (the top edge to the outside) making the inside toward the tip more accessible.
- Using a food-safe brush or dining spoon, spread some red gel food coloring in a straight line along one side of the piping bag. Repeat on the opposite side of the piping bag.
- Repeat with blue gel food coloring in between both lines of red food coloring leaving clean space in between.
- Spoon the meringue mixture into the pastry bag and pipe small meringues onto the prepared baking sheets. Pipe until a 1-inch meringue is created then lift the pastry bag up to create a tip.
- Place the baking sheet(s) of meringues into the oven and leave the door closed for 2 hours or until the meringues change to have a matte exterior. Do NOT open the oven door during the time the meringues are setting. They can also be left in the oven overnight.
- Remove the meringues and allow them to cool slightly on the pan.
Adding the Pop Rocks
- While the meringues are cooling, melt the vanilla chips in a metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, stirring often, or in the microwave following the melting instructions on the package.
- Place the Pop Rocks in a small bowl or on a small plate. If using both red and blue they can be mixed together.
- One at a time, dip the flat bottom of a meringue into the melted vanilla candy (allow any excess to drain back into the melted candy) and into the Pop Rocks.
- Place them on a fresh piece of parchment paper. Repeat until they are all completed and allow them to harden. Note: They can be placed on a baking sheet and into the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Everyone loved these for the 4th..a total hit and so festive.
These were gorgeous, light, fun and festive for the holiday weekend!
Gina D says
I just made these for our party tomorrow but my kids found them so now I think I have to make more!!
Oh wow! Such a fun recipe to make! These colors are definitely perfect for July 4th and all summer long.
What a fun treat for the upcoming 4th of July. I will make this with my kids. Thanks!
These are awesome! The kids are going to love these at the 4th of July cookout we're attending.
Wow, how cool are these? They will be the hit of the party for sure. Love the colours.