These cream-filled meringue cookies are made with a whipped cream filling sandwiched between two ethereally light meringue cookies.
RAW EGG REMINDER
Hey, in case you hadn’t noticed, this recipe contains raw egg which is not heated above 145°F (63°C) during the baking process. Please be mindful if making it for anyone for whom this is a potential no-no.
Cream-Filled Meringue Cookies
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 2 H, 30 M
- Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Preheat the oven to 110°F (43°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly rub the parchment sheets with unsalted butter, and then lightly dust with cornstarch.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar slowly to the egg white mixture and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Place half the mixture in a pastry bag with a 1/4 inch tip. Pipe out 1-inch meringue rounds, 1/2-inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets.
Place the meringues in the oven and bake until they’re firm to the touch, lift off the parchment easily, and dry underneath, 80 to 95 minutes. Open the door of the oven for 10 seconds every 15 minutes while baking to release any built up moisture and help the meringues stay dry and crisp.
Remove the meringues from the oven. Slide the meringues still on their parchment onto a wire rack to cool. When the baking sheets are cool, line them with new parchment and repeat the process until all of the meringue mixture has been used.
In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream and the confectioners’ sugar until thick.
Peel all the meringues off the parchment sheets and place on a dry work surface. Turn 24 meringue halves upside down and make 2 rows of 12. Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag and pipe out approximately 1 teaspoon of whipped cream in the middle of each meringue. To assemble, take the remaining meringues and place one on top of each meringue to make sandwiches. Press each sandwich together gently.
Place each cookie in an individual paper pastry cup and refrigerate until serving. The Little Clouds will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days in a tightly covered container. Originally published April 23, 2003.
Recipe Testers' Tips
Oh my! These are the most divine, swoon-worthy meringue macarons. It's hard to stay away from them. The recipe is bang on and is definitely worth the laborious process. They stayed fresh for 3 days, though there were only 2 left on the third day!
These cream-filled macarons are like eating little clouds. It's a sophisticated dessert but very easy to make. They're 1 or 2 bites of sweet air and whipped cream. This is the perfect dessert after a large meal, with tea in the afternoon, or the perfect snack if you just need something sweet during the day. I'm always looking for make-ahead desserts if I'm cooking for a crowd, so I have the dessert done early in the day. This is one of those desserts.
This goes on my list of make agains. The picture gave the cookies more color than I saw in the ones I made. My meringues were white as was my whipped cream.
The finished product was delicious and my meringue-loving husband was super thrilled.
I also think that it would be really fun to add variations to this recipe. This recipe is very plain and straightforward, but I think that it would be fun to add some variations with extracts, zest, perhaps some added colors to the meringue, or change up the cream on the inside. You can easily add chopped nuts, cocoa powder, change the cream to a ganache, or add jam, etc., to add another dimension to the filling. The variations could be endless! As such, I think that this is a great recipe, using pretty simple ingredients, and was very easy to follow.
I started to beat the eggs on medium or high on my stand mixer, and gradually increased the speed to high, and it took about 3 minutes to get to a stiff peak stage. After adding the sugar, it took closer to 8 more minutes to get to stiff and glossy peaks.
My oven, unfortunately, did not go as low as 110°F, so I used the lowest temp of 175°F and kept the oven door cracked open with my silicone spatula. Because of this, I did not open the oven door every 15 minutes, as the moisture was most likely not being built up.
The first batch of meringues, I think I made them a little bigger than 1-inch rounds, so it took longer than the 1 hour 10 minutes. When I took them out, and they started to cool, they didn’t seem completely dried through. I put the second batch in for 1 hour 15 minutes (the second batch were about 1 inch in diameter), which was the right amount of time for me. I popped the cooled first batch in for another 15 to 20 minutes and they dried out a little better.
I kept some meringues in the fridge for 3 days to test the texture over time. The biggest difference was between day 1 (freshly made) and day 2, when the meringue softened a little bit where the cream touched. It was actually quite nice. It wasn’t as dry as when freshly baked, but the outside of the meringue was still sturdy. Days 2 to 3 didn’t have much of a difference in texture. If you want a crunchy meringue, the freshly made ones were the best, but days 2 and 3 were still terrific, and had a more delicate texture, in my opinion.
You can easily eat 2 to 3 as a quick snack or sugar rush. Meringues are so light that it’s pretty easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten. Anyone with a sweet tooth, beware.
The main problem that I had with this recipe is the title of the recipe. I don’t know why this is called a macaron when there is no almond meal in the recipe. This should be called cream-filled meringue or meringue sandwich. It’s my understanding that macarons are the French dessert made of egg whites and almond meal/flour, and Macaroons are made of egg whites and coconut flakes. This recipe uses just egg whites and sugar, so it’s just a meringue.