You may know these cookies as Merengues. But in Germany, they are called Baiser. Baiser cookies are a plain mix between egg whites and sugar. They are an easy way of using up egg whites that are leftover from another cookie recipe. (hint – German Butter Cookies)
Why are the cookies called Baiser and not Merengues like in English?
There are many theories on who invented the Baiser recipe. One theory ist that Baisers were invented in a Swiss village called Meiringen at the end of the 17th Century. So this is where the English name for Merengues Cookies originated from. However the world "Baiser" comes from the French word for "kiss". I read on another source that the cookie was first called “Baiser” by Elizabeth the First. They were exported as a delicacy to the queens and kings in Europe. Nobody knows for sure the true story.
Tips for the BEST Baiser Recipe Success
- Choose fresh ingredients – All you need is sugar and egg whites. However, double-check that the sugar does not have any lumps and that the egg whites are fresh and not been spoiled with egg yolk
- Keep eggs whites at room temperature
- Clean up – A bowl and a whisk are the essential equipment. However, make sure that the bowl is clean. There should be no traces of grease. I suggest giving the bowl and whisk a quick wipe with some white vinegar to make sure. Is it best to use a steel bowl as sometimes grease sticks to plastic.
- Choose the easy way – you can off course whisk the egg whites with a manual whisk. It takes a long time and lots of arm muscle. Give yourself a break and use an electric hand or stand mixer.
- Add enough sugar. The high volume in sugar stabilizes the egg whites. So, don’t save on the sugar in this cookie. The sugar to egg balance should be 2:1.
- Add a pinch of salt. This will also help stabilise the egg whites. You can also use some crème of tartar if you have some handy.
- Don’t hurry – there is no need to take the Baiser straight out of the oven once baked. You could leave them with the door closed overnight, which will help to remove all moisture.
How to shape the Baiser cookies
You can choose from two options:
- you can create the baiser cookies with a piping bag. These make the familiar peaks. Use a star tip.
- Another fun way to shape the baiser is in a snowman form. You can use a round tip for your piping bag. However, you don’t need to use a piping bag for this version. A spoon will do. You can decorate the snowman faces with some melted chocolate and a clean (new) watercolour paint brush.
I thought both methods were easy enough. But I preferred the snowman. Mainly because my boys (2 & 4) love snowmen and were excited to see them. It's also a lot easier just creating the snowmen with a spoon.
How to store the cookies and how long do they last?
Store them in a dry, airtight container. Keep away from moisture. They last for about 6 months.
Baiser Cookie Recipe
- electric handmixer
- mixing bowl
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 tsp vanilla sugar (2 packs, 18 gr)
- 300 g sugar 10.5 oz
- In a clean, grease-free bowl, add the egg whites and the salt. Now whisk the egg whites until you achieve soft peaks.
- While whisking add slowly the sugar and vanilla sugar to the egg mixture. The egg whites need to be as stiff as possible.
- Preheat the oven to 60°C / 140°F. Line a baking tray with parchment
- Add the mass into a piping bag with a star tip. Squeeze various shapes onto the tray.
- You can use a piping bag with a round tip to make the snowman shapes. Alternativley use a teaspoon add two round balls onto the baking parchment. Flatten with a spoon to make a snowman shape.
- Leave the baiser cookies in the oven for about 4-5 hours to dry.
- Store in an airtight box Avoid moisture