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This fun little Ghost Meringues are a deliciously crunchy, sweet cookie treat or decoration for Halloween goodies! Use candy eyes or mini chocolate chips to decorate these cute little guys!
Light and airy meringues are one of my favorite treats! They have such a great texture that is crunchy at first but then melts in your mouth. And these cute little ghost meringues are extra fun because of their spooky appearance!
If you want to be even more extra, go ahead and dip the bottom of the ghosts in melted chocolate!
Why this recipe works
- Ghost meringues are naturally low-fat, dairy-free, and gluten-free so they are a great option for those with dietary restrictions!
- No tricky piping or decorating skills required!
- Eat them on their own for poppable little treats or use them to decorate a layer cake with orange or black frosting or on a haunted Graveyard Dirt Cake.
- Egg whites: You want them to be at room temperature for best results. They will whip up better and fluffier!
- Cream of tartar: If you don't already have some in your cupboard, it's worth getting a little jar. It's often used to stabilize egg whites in things like meringues and pavlova. And you need it for my amazing snickerdoodles as well!
- Candy eyes: My friend Amy from My Name is Snickerdoodle has an amazing post on how to make candy eyeballs, if you want to try making them yourself!
How to Make This Recipe
- Carefully separate the egg yolks and whites. Getting any egg yolk into the egg whites can make it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the stiff peaks you need for meringue ghosts.
- Beat the room temperature egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. This can be done with a hand mixer, but I find it's much easier to make the meringues with a stand mixer using the whisk attachment.
- Add the cream of tartar and beat again until the egg whites start to form soft peaks. That just means that if you lift the beaters or whisk attachment out of the bowl the egg whites slump over rather than holding their shape.
- Gradually add the sugar a little at a time while beating. Continue to beat the egg whites until they get nice and thick and glossy and start to hold stiff peaks. This whole process typically takes 5-10 minutes, so don't rush adding the sugar too quickly.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix just until combined.
- Transfer the meringue to a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip or use a gallon-size Ziploc bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe mound of meringue onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them an inch or two apart. Hold the tip close to the parchment paper and apply steady pressure to squeeze out meringue. Slowly lift the piping bag while continuing to squeeze to get some height to your ghosts, then pull away at the top leaving pointy tips.
- Decorate each ghost with candy eyes before baking while the meringue is sticky. Or wait to decorate after baking if you plan to use melted chocolate or black icing for the eyes.
- Bake for 60 minutes at 225 degrees F. Then turn off the oven but leave the meringues in and the door closed. Let them cool slowly for 1 hour before removing to finish cooling. This dries out the meringues so they are crunchy instead of chewy.
Be sure to store your meringue ghosts in an airtight container at room temperature to keep them crispy. If they are exposed to humidity, they will turn chewy much faster.
The biggest reason a meringue will weep (i.e., get little droplets of water condensing on the outsides) is because the sugar didn't dissolve completely when adding it to the egg whites. To avoid this issue, go slowly and add the sugar a spoonful at a time. Also, only mix on medium speed, rather than high speed.
Yes, you can freeze these meringue ghosts! Just separate them into layers with parchment paper and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.
- Don't rush! The process of gradually adding the sugar helps it dissolve better into the meringue so it's not grainy and makes it so the ghost meringues don't "weep" while baking.
- Stick the parchment paper down. If you find that the parchment paper moves around on you a lot while piping, you can stick it down by piping small dots of meringue directly onto the baking sheet in each corner, then placing the parchment paper on top.
- Troubleshooting chewy meringues: To fix meringues that have gone chewy from being left out too long, you can put them back in a 225 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes to dry them out a bit.
- Decorating: Instead of candy eyes, you could use an edible pen to draw eyes onto the ghosts after baking. Or use melted chocolate or black icing to pipe on faces.
- Use a clean bowl: Make sure the bowl is completely clean and free of any grease or residue, which can make it hard to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks.
More Halloween Recipes
- Chocolate Covered Halloween Pretzels
- Hocus Pocus Cupcakes
- Black Spider Bread Bowl
- Halloween Panna Cotta Eyeballs
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you thought with a comment and star rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- Beat the egg whites in a large, very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed for about 1 minute until frothy.
- Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat another 2-3 minutes on medium speed until the egg whites start to form soft peaks that droop if you were to remove the whisk attachment from the bowl.
- Gradually add the salt and granulated sugar, a little at a time, while beating. Continue to beat the egg whites for 5-10 minutes until they are thick and glossy with stiff peaks that hold their shape without drooping when you lift the whisk attachment away from the bowl.
- Add in the vanilla, mixing just until it is combined.
- Transfer the meringue to a large piping bag fitted with a large open round tip or a Ziploc bag with one end snipped off one. Pipe dollops of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet to make ghosts in whatever sizes you like. They won't spread while baking so they can be piped fairly close together as long as there is enough space that they aren't at risk of touching.
- Carefully place candy eyes on each "ghost" before baking".
- Bake for 60 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the ghost meringues in there for 1 hour with the door closed to cool slowly before removing.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days. If left exposed and there is humidity in the room, the meringues will lose much of their crispness and get chewy.
- If you find that the parchment paper moves around on you a lot while piping, you can stick it down by piping small dots of meringue directly onto the baking sheet in each corner, then placing the parchment paper on top.
- To fix meringues that have gone chewy from being left out too long, you can put them back in a 225 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes to dry them out a bit.
- Instead of candy eyes, you could use an edible pen to draw eyes onto the ghosts after baking. Or use melted chocolate or black icing to pipe on faces.
- Make sure the bowl is completely clean and free of any grease or residue, which can make it hard to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks.
- Be careful to avoid getting any egg yolk into the egg whites, which can also make it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the stiff peaks you need for meringue ghosts.