Meringue Candy Kisses (Besitos de Meringue)

Meringue candy kisses

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 5 hrs
Cool: 3 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 20 to 25 servings
Yield: 40 to 50 candies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
58 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20 to 25
Amount per serving
Calories 58
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 31mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 4mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Here is a simple, basic meringue candy recipe from the Spanish islands of the Caribbean. These kisses are light, airy and sweet. Dress them up with a dusting of confectioner's sugar or cocoa powder or even a drizzle of melted chocolate.

While these candies are relatively simple, they're easier to make if you have a helper, especially if using a hand mixer. Just allow plenty of time for them to slowly cook in a low oven and then dry out as they cool. Feel free to leave them cooling in the oven overnight.

This delicious confection originated in Europe and most likely found its way to the Caribbean with the European planters or colonists. No matter how it landed in the Caribbean, it's a sweet treat that everyone can enjoy. Why not give it a try?

"While these meringue candies take some time, it's almost entirely hands-off. If you're using a hand mixer, enlist a helper to assist with the sugar syrup, and use caution. The resulting meringues are super glossy, crisp, and light." —Laurel Randolph

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, coarsely grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, coarsely grated
  • Confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder, for dusting meringues

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make meringue candy kisses

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Preheat oven to 200 F/93 C. Line a large baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

    A baking sheet lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until frothy.

    A bowl of whipped egg whites and a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt. Continue to beat until the whites stand up in soft peaks. Set the mixture aside.

    A bowl of stiff whipped egg whites

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lime zest, and lemon zest.

    A pot of sugar and citrus zest

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat, swirling the pan by the handle. Boil the mixture until the temperature reaches 238 F/114 C on your candy thermometer. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

    A pot of boiling sugar and zest with a candy thermometer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. With the mixer running on medium speed, pour the sugar mixture through a coarse strainer (to remove the lemon and lime zest) into the bowl with the egg whites.

    A strainer with citrus zest

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Continue beating the mixture at medium speed until the egg white mixture is cooled and stands in stiff peaks. This will take about 10 minutes.

    A bowl of stiff whipped egg whites

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Using a pastry bag and 1/2-inch star tip, pipe the meringue onto the baking sheet into bite-size, pointed swirls.

    A baking sheet with piped meringue swirls

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Bake the kisses on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 5 hours. They should feel stiff when touched. Turn off the oven and leave it closed for at least 3 hours, letting the meringues slowly cool. You can also let them cool in the oven overnight. The meringues should loosen easily from the paper and be light and crisp.

    A baking sheet of baked meringue kisses

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Dust the meringues with powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Serve or store in an airtight container.

    A storage container filled with meringue kisses

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • Meringue candy can be sensitive to humidity. You might not want to attempt making meringue on a humid or rainy day.
  • If you are making meringue kisses with a hand mixer you may want to enlist a helper. It's best if someone can strain the sugar syrup into the bowl as the other person keeps the mixer running.
  • Don't skip the powdered sugar or cocoa. This helps keep the meringue tops from being sticky and makes them even prettier.

How to Store

  • The meringues are nice and shiny on top, but that can also make them a bit sticky. Store layers of the candies in between pieces of parchment or waxed paper.
  • Store the kisses in an airtight container on the countertop to prevent moisture from softening the meringue. They should last at least a week.