While Meringue might have a complicated history that is hard to pinpoint, it is still considered a part of Italian food history as well. There are actually three different types of Meringue – Swiss, French, and Italian – and they are all very similar with slight variations. This recipe will, of course, follow the Italian recipe for Meringue, and we will be making them into crispy lightweight cookies. They are a wonderful little treat, perfect for all ages and so incredibly easy and cheap to make that you will be making a batch every weekend!
Combine the water and the sugar into a saucepan and let it sit on low heat. Keep stirring the mixture until the sugar dissolves.
When the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches about 230°, place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and start whisking together with an electric mixer at medium speed.
When the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches about 250°, lower the mixer speed and pour half of the syrup into the egg whites. Increase the speed to medium and whisk the mixture together for a minute. Slowly pour in the remaining syrup, but be careful not to pour it directly over the mixer or else it will make a mess!
Continue whipping until the meringue mixture has cooled. You should be left with a very dense, shiny and smooth meringue. Let this cool before cooking.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the meringue into a piping bag (or you can shape between two spoons) and then squeeze the mixture out onto small rounds, or you can use a shaped nozzle.
Cook the meringue cookies in the oven for 3-4 hours. Turn off the heat, crack the oven slightly, and let the cookies cool in the oven for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight.
The cookies should be kept in an airtight bag or container, or they can be frozen!