Acorn meringue cookies are adorable cocoa-flavored meringue kisses dipped in chocolate and coated with ground walnuts. They look like acorns, but taste like the crispiest little treat you’ve ever had!
acorn meringue cookies are adorably delicious!
These little meringue cookies are cute, but much more importantly, they really taste great. The cocoa flavored kisses have that super crispy, airy texture that meringues are famous for, but lest they get too light and airy, we dip their base in yummy chocolate and coat that with crushed walnuts. The final effect is a perfect bite (or two!)
PS Meringues are the ideal dessert after a heavy holiday meal ~ nobody is ever too full for a little meringue kiss.
ingredients for cocoa meringues
Acorn meringue cookies are naturally gluten free, and can easily be made keto using your choice of sugar substitute and keto-friendly chocolate for dipping.
- egg whites ~ I use fresh, room temperature egg whites, but you can also use powdered egg whites if you prefer, just follow the instructions on the package.
- sugar, granulated
- cocoa powder gives a boost of flavor and light color to the ‘acorns.’ That little bit of cocoa really does give these cookies a nice chocolatey flavor.
- semi-sweet chocolate ~ I like chopped bar chocolate for melting, but you can also use the chocolate chips of your choice.
- walnuts ~ crush them finely.
- vanilla extract, adds complexity to the meringues and brings out the chocolate flavor.
- cream of tartar ~ this is a natural acid, and it really does help stabilize your meringue. It also helps prevent the sugar from crystalizing. It’s a handy little product to have in your pantry and it will last forever.
equipment you’ll need
This is a recipe where having the right tools at hand will really make all the difference. Here’s what I used to make perfectly crisp meringue kisses:
- electric beaters or a stand mixer to make the meringue. I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer because it’s so easy!
- a piping bag, coupler, and large round tip (I use the Wilton A-1 round piping tip.)
- parchment paper for baking the meringues and also as a nonstick surface to set the dipped cookies on.
tips for piping meringue acorns
If you’ve never piped anything before, don’t be intimidated, you’ll easily get the hang of it after a few practice cookies.
- Make sure you have the right size piping tip — I used the Wilton A-1 piping tip.
- You can make these acorns any size you want, but know that ‘what you pipe is what you get’ with meringue. It will puff ever so slightly in the oven, but basically hold its exact shape.
- The method that worked best for me was to hold the piping tip about 1/2 inch from the surface of the baking sheet, and to pipe the base of the meringue without moving the tip at all. Then, when the base is big enough, quickly lift up to make a little pointed tip. They won’t all be completely uniform, but that’s what makes them organic and charming!
- It might take a couple of practice runs, but soon you’ll have an army of cute little acorn shaped kisses ready to be baked.
how to bake meringue cookies
One you’re done piping your meringue kisses, slide the pan into a 250F oven. Meringues bake at a very low temperature for a longer time than regular cookies. This allows them to slowly dry out and become crispy. Let them bake for an hour. When the timer rings, turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven, with the door ajar for another 30 minutes. This is because meringues are sensitive to sharp temperature changes and can crack. Letting them cool in the oven avoids this.
Note: the egg whites will reach a safe temperature, so no worries about raw eggs.
add a touch of woodland whimsy to your holiday cookie collection
If you’re like me you’re always on the hunt for a new cookie to add to your holiday assortment. These cute little meringues are fun to make, and if you’ve got kids or grandkids, they can help. Once dried, these cookies can be gently packed for gifting, too. They’re surprisingly sturdy, but you do have to watch out for their delicate tips.
more fun holiday desserts
- Bûche de Noël Layer Cake
- Starry Night Gingerbread Cookies
- Traditional Swedish Pepparkakor Recipe
- Cardamom Spritz Cookies
- Glazed Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies
Acorn Meringue Cookies
- piping bags, coupler, and round piping tip
- 2 egg whites
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces, coarsely ground
- Preheat oven to 250F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Note: it helps to lightly spray or add a few dabs of butter to the tray first so the paper adheres well. This will help you when you are piping out your meringue.
- In the (very clean!) bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg white and cream of tartar at medium/medium-high speed until foamy (a minute or so).
- Turn the mixer up to high speed, and with the mixer running, add the sugar about a big spoonful at a time, allowing it to get mixed in for 30 seconds or so between each addition.
- Continue whipping the meringue until it is thick and glossy, and add the vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
- When the meringue holds stiff peaks, it is done. Be sure to use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get everything well incorporated.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip. I used the Wilton A-1 round tip here. If you use another size, just be aware that your baking time may need to be adjusted for larger or smaller cookies.
- To make perfect acorn shapes, hold the tip of the piping bag about 1/2" above the surface of the cookie sheet. Pipe the bottom of the acorn without moving the piping tip, and then lift up quickly at the end for a little pointy tip.
- Bake for about 1 hour (this makes meringues that are crisp all the way through). Turn off the oven after 1 hour and crack the door open. Leave the meringues in the oven for another half hour before removing.
- When the cookies have fully cooled, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Place the ground walnuts in a shallow bowl for dipping.
- Carefully dip the base of each meringue cookie into the melted chocolate, and then roll it in the ground walnuts to coat.
- Place the cookies back onto the parchment lined baking sheet and allow the chocolate to fully harden before moving.
- Store them in an airtight container at room temperature. As long as the air is not humid, they will last several days this way.
- You can freeze meringue cookies for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Let them thaw on the counter. Do not put meringues in the refrigerator or they will get soft.
Questions and Reviews
I am surprised anyone had a bad time with this recipe. I wonder if their eggs were cold. I made these with a six year old and am impressed at how easy they were to make. They are light and delicious as well. Thank you for your very detailed instructions.
I just tried to make these…is there some step I’m missing? I whipped the egg whites to stiff peaks and then added the cocoa powder and vanilla and then the whole thing deflated and became soupy. What am I doing wrong?
Sorry you had that experience Nancy, it sounds to me like the egg whites didn’t get whipped enough. They should be glossy and quite stiff.
Normally I like recipes from this site quite a lot … but this one is an exception. Don’t try it unless you have a lot of patience. I thought they looked SO cute I just hd to try them but they took forever and just didn’t work out. First, my piping tip must be a lot smaller than her Wilton A-1 (don’t know the size of that) because mine made about double the number. They turned out ok after baking but the decorating was a disaster. Whenever I picked one up by the pointy tip the tip broke off. There wasn’t enough space left to dip them in chocolate without getting on the fingers or otherwise messing it up. The nuts that I ground up in a small food processor (walnuts) weren’t crumbly enough (oil from the nuts made the pieces stick together too much) so I swithed to pecans and chopped the by hand. Even then they were too big to stick well. And since there was hardly any way to hold them easily,, rolling them in nuts was very difficult. I eventually quit trying and just settled with the chocolate. Maybe if the cookies were bigger it would have worked better but I’m giving this a low rating because it was just too much work …. oh, and when tasted, they were way too sweet.
I made these today, and they turned out perfectly! I made similar cookies many years ago, and had forgotten just how easy they are to make. I had done little mushrooms, which had the added step of piping stems and “gluing” them to the rounded caps, made much in the same way as these acorns, but rounding off the tips. I look forward to serving them after Thanksgiving dinner and seeing my grandchildren when they see them. They are lovely and taste wonderful.chocolate c
Thanks Gail! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂
Perfect, havent made them YET but these I know will be light and fluffy, PLUS they have chocolate and nuts, whats not to love and they are GF!
Thanks for the vote of confidence 🙂