4egg whitesroom temperature (or 1/2 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton)
½teaspooncream of tartar
1/2teaspoonpeppermint extractNOT peppermint oil
2tablespoonscrushed candy canesfor garnish
white vinegarto wipe mixing equipment
Preheat oven to 225°F/107°C. Arrange two baking racks in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Wipe the stand mixer's bowl and whisk with a towel lightly dampened in white vinegar to ensure they're completely grease free. Let these air dry.
Add egg whites to the clean, dry bowl and whisk on medium speed until frothy.
Add cream of tartar and continue to whisk until soft peaks that fold back on themselves form. (About 5 minutes.)
Increase speed to medium-high and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff peaks form that don't collapse upon themselves. (About another 5 minutes.)
Add peppermint extract and beat for 10 more seconds.
Plop by spoonful onto the baking trays or pipe quarter-sized cookies using an icing bag and a star tip about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
Bake both sheets at the same time for 90 minutes then turn the oven off. Do NOT open the oven door. Let the meringue cookies stay in the oven for at least one hour, up to overnight, until completely cooled.
Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. To freeze, place sheets of parchment paper between layers of cookies. Defrost layers separately on the counter for one hour before serving.