These Halloween meringue ghosts are a kid favorite. The meringue is piped from a pastry bag–easy peasy–and then the ghosts are given chocolate chip eyes and baked to set their spooky shape.
Meringue ghosts may sound intimidating. And not in a haunted house sorta way. But if you can squeeze the last drops from a pack of ketchup from a fast-food joint, you can make these cute little Halloween meringue cookies.
Well, there may be a touch more nuance and artistry required, but it’s still easy peasy. It just takes a little practice to get just the right-size blobs—and a little restraint to not demolish the entire batch in one nosh.–David Leite
☞ Table of Contents
Meringue Ghosts FAQs
What’s the best way to store meringue?
Moisture and humidity is the enemy of meringues, so you want to store these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you need to stack them, place parchment paper between layers of cookies so that they don’t stick together.
What other shapes of meringue cookies can I make?
Use your imagination! If you’re sticking with a Halloween theme, try these meringue bones. For Valentine’s day, pipe meringue kisses, or heart-shaped cookies. If all else fails, these are just as lovely piped in a round shape and topped with colored sanding sugar.
How can I make sure my meringues are light and crispy?
Meringues can be tricky and can end up being soft and chewy instead of light and airy. We do have a few tips to keep in mind when making them.
Start with a very clean, very dry bowl and beater, and use room-temperature ingredients. Make certain that you don’t get any egg yolk in your egg whites when separating them. Any egg yolk can prevent the meringue from reaching its full volume.
When beating the superfine sugar into the egg whites, add it slowly, and make sure that it is fully dissolved. If you rub a bit of the meringue between your fingers, it should not feel grainy. If it does, you have some undissolved sugar.
Lastly, don’t be tempted to pull the meringue out of the oven before it has fully cooled. This step is critical in achieving that dry, crisp texture. Ideally, you want to be able to let them cool in the oven overnight.
Halloween Meringue Ghosts
- 6 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 48 mini (about 1/2 cup) chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and adjust a second rack to the top position. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large metal bowl with an electric mixer on low speed, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add the salt, increase the speed to medium-high, and continue beating until soft peaks form.
- Beat in the vanilla until combined. Gradually add the superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks.
- Sift the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl to remove any lumps. Then sift it a second time over the meringue. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the confectioners’ sugar into the meringue only until no more streaks of sugar remain. Do not fold any more than is necessary as overmixing will deflate the meringue, resulting in sad, sagging ghosts.
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bag or create your own makeshift piping bag with a large resealable plastic bag. After filling it with meringue, use a sharp pair of scissors to snip 1/2 inch from a bottom corner of the bag.
- Hold the bag upright and squeeze a stack of 3 blobs of meringue onto the parchment to form a wide base, a slightly smaller middle, and a curled top that droops off to the side, sorta like when you dispense soft-serve ice cream. If you use your imagination, it should look like a chubby, upright ghost shape. Pipe a total of 12 meringue ghosts onto each lined baking sheet.
- Press two chocolate chips into the meringue, with the flat side of the chips facing outward, to form eyes.
- Bake the meringue ghosts until crisp, about 2 hours.
☞TESTER TIP: Baking the meringue ghosts for a long time at a low temperature ensures they will remain crisp and exceptionally white. Keep a careful watch during baking. If your little Caspers start to turn a touch brown at the edges, reduce the oven temperature to 175°F (79°C).
- When the meringue ghosts are crisp, turn the oven off and allow them to cool in the oven for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These little meringue ghost confections were great. They were easy to mix up and fun to shape.
I do know that I need more practice shaping my ghosts. Let’s just say some of my ghosts looked a little off. I thought it made them look more scary, but the grandkids thought they just looked funny.
I left mine in the oven overnight and removed them from the pan the next morning. I love the idea of using a disposable bag but next time I’ll go for my large pastry bag with the big round tip.
Simple, straightforward, and super cute, these ghost meringue cookies are perfect for Halloween. The taste was that perfect crunchy-then-melt-in-your-mouth feeling and the color stayed nice and white.
The timing was spot on. Or you can play around with other ideas for other holidays, such as adding green and red sprinkles for Christmas and so on.
Originally published October 26, 2009