Even if you’ve never made meringue before

Angelic holiday treats

A bevy of angels makes a fun holiday centerpiece — and when the holidays are over, you can eat them. Even if you’ve never made meringue before, pastry chef Josh Short’s directions will make it easy. A word of caution: If you don’t achieve a firm mixture, it’s better to start over than to try adding extra lemon juice or sugar.

A bevy of angels makes a fun holiday centerpiece — and when the holidays are over, you can eat them. Even if you’ve never made meringue before, pastry chef Josh Short’s directions will make it easy. A word of caution: If you don’t achieve a firm mixture, it’s better to start over than to try adding extra lemon juice or sugar.

The bodies of the angels can be hollowed out and filled with ganache or sorbet (and eaten right away, of course). A sting of edible glitter on each angel makes a nice touch. For this recipe, it’s easiest to use disposable pastry bags.

Make ahead: The meringue pieces need to dry in the oven overnight before assembly.

Allow at least 30 minutes and up to 1 or 2 hours for the royal icing to set on the assembled angels. The angels can last for 3 to 4 weeks; they will get harder over time.


Makes three or four 3 1/2-inch-tall angels

6 large egg whites or 1 cup pasteurized egg whites

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for halo assembly

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

Royal icing (see NOTE)

Red paste food coloring

Blue paste food coloring

3 yellow gumdrops, or other yellow gum candy


Beat the egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until the whites form soft peaks. Begin adding the cup of granulated sugar very gradually, sprinkling in no more than a tablespoon at a time, evenly, to form fairly firm peaks. Do not rush this process.

Reduce the mixer speed to low; alternately add tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar and the cornstarch, increasing the mixer speed as needed so each addition is well incorporated. This will take several minutes and should produce a smooth, glossy meringue that is quite firm and holds a shape well.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Scoop the meringue into a pastry bag that has about a 1/4-inch opening (no tip is needed); alternatively, use a large resealable plastic food storage bag with one of the bottom corners snipped off. Don’t fill the bag more than half full.

To make the angels’ wings, place the template under the parchment paper. Pipe out the meringue to trace and fill in the outline. Make extra wings, in case of breakage. Feel free to vary the size (freehand, if you feel comfortable doing so).

To make the angels’ heads, hold the pastry bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and pipe out 3 balls as round as possible (they will flatten on the bottom), spacing them at least an inch apart.

Cut a slightly larger opening (1/2 inch to 3/4 inch) at the end of the same pastry bag (or if you’re not using a disposable bag, use a bag fitted with a tip that allows for the same size opening). For the angels’ bodies, hold the pastry bag just above the sheet; squeeze slowly until the base is as large as you need it to be, then start raising the bag slowly to create a rounded cone-shaped body. The base might be 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide, with the bodies about 31/2 inches tall.

Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meringues are cream-colored and crisp on top when tapped. They may develop cracks; that is okay. Turn off the oven; let the meringues cool and dry out overnight on the baking sheets.

To assemble, if you’re working alone, it’s best to build one angel at a time. Use (a firm) royal icing to attach the wings to the body. If necessary, use gumdrops to help hold the wing in place.

Dab a drop or two of the red and the blue paste food coloring on a plate. Use a clean, thin brush or the blunt end of a toothpick to paint mouths and eyes on the heads.

Spread the remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar on a small plate. Cut a horizontal slice from the bottom of a gumdrop, dip it into the sugar and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a larger, thin circle. Dip it in the sugar again and cut out a round circle for the halo.

Pipe a large bead of royal icing on top of the body to attach the head. Then gently pipe a small bead on the head to attach the halo. Repeat assembly for the remaining 2 angels.

Note: To make royal icing, whisk 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of pasteurized egg whites (from 1 large egg) in a medium bowl together with 1/4 teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extracts and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Add water in very small increments to create a thick, sticky glue. (Royal icing recipe from chef Carla Hall; Josh Short likes to use lemon juice instead of the extracts.)

Nutrition: Ingredients are too varied for a meaningful analysis.

What you’ll need

Short, pastry chef at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, has created this year’s cookie project: Meringue Angels. With the right consistency of meringue, he says you can quickly become adept at making angels of varying size and shape. Use them as a garnish for your holiday buffet — or just eat them.

Besides the recipe ingredients, you’ll need:

• Stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment

• One or two disposable pastry bags (or you can use a large resealable plastic food storage bag and cut off one bottom corner)

• Wing template

• Parchment paper

• Rolling pin (for the halos)

• Yellow gumdrops or Dots or fondant (for the halos)

• 1-inch round cutters (for the halos)

• Red and blue paste food coloring (for the face; such as Wilton brand)

• Edible glitter (optional, but recommended)

Just Posted

Thousands of Albertans flock to Westerner Days on last day

Central Albertans took advantage of Sunday’s sunshine and flocked to Westerner Days… Continue reading

Former Humboldt Broncos player who survived bus crash hopes for spot on team

RED DEER, Alta. — A former Humboldt Broncos player whose back was… Continue reading

Man and dog dead after early morning house fire in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Officials say a man and a dog are dead… Continue reading

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

OTTAWA — The federal government is fighting a proposed class-action lawsuit against… Continue reading

May says Greens will work with any party that has a serious plan for the climate

OTTAWA — With three months until Canadians vote in the next federal… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

TORONTO — The names of the two people killed in a shooting… Continue reading

Relief in sight for southeastern Canada following weekend heat wave

MONTREAL — Relief is in sight for sweltering Canadians after a weekend… Continue reading

Trudeau’s former right-hand adviser playing role in Liberal election campaign

OTTAWA — With three months to go now until the election, the… Continue reading

Hotels face battle over whether to help US house migrants

DETROIT — There’s a new target in the clash over immigration: hotels.… Continue reading

Thousands visit Illinois governor mansion after renovations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Thousands of people have visited the Illinois governor’s mansion… Continue reading

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

VANCOUVER — High school students in Canada may not be getting the… Continue reading

‘Us and them’: influence of Quebec anglos on decline with new Coalition government

MONTREAL — Last March, Quebec Premier Francois Legault made a mocking remark… Continue reading

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

VANCOUVER — Japanese Canadians across the country are meeting to discuss how… Continue reading

Most Read