These meringue cookies, known as merenguitos, are a traditional Cuban cookie that’s easy to make with just five ingredients! It’s the perfect treat to whip up with the leftover egg whites you’ll have after making crema de vie (aka Cuban eggnog). Crema de vie and merenguitos are quite pair at Christmas time!
You can find these little merenguitos at most grocery stores in Miami, but I don’t really like the store-bought ones because they are very crisp. I like them when they are slightly crunchy on the outside, and the inside is soft and chewy, just like a marshmallow. You can control how crispy they get by the amount of time you bake them.
5-ingredient Meringue Cookies
These little meringue cookies have no flour… you just need egg whites, sugar, vanilla and cream of tartar. I like to add a little flavored liquor like Amaretto, but it’s not traditional. You can also add a little colored sugar crystals to match your theme, like these red crystals for Christmas.
Just whip the egg whites until foamy, add the sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form. You know the meringue is stiff enough when it can hold its shape when the whip is turned upside down. Then, add the vanilla, Amaretto (if using) and cream of tartar, and beat another thirty seconds.
You can spoon the egg whites onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, or you can use a pastry bag to pipe the meringue into pretty, little fluted mounds. I used a Wilton 1M tip to do this.
Next you can sprinkle tiny sugar crystals on top, then stick in an oven set to 200 degrees, and cook for 45 minutes. If you want them to be a bit crisper, you can leave them in the oven until they are cooled.
Fun Variations For the Merenguitos
You can have some fun with these! Add other great toppings such as unsweetened flaked coconut, cocoa powder or cinnamon. I use unsweetened since the meringue is sweet enough.
You can also fold in a bit of food coloring to the meringue before piping if you want pastel-colored merenguitos. These are fun at baby showers!
And you can also sandwich two merenguitos with a little dulce de leche. Really addicting this way!
These meringue cookies, known as merenguitos, are a traditional Cuban cookie that’s easy to make with just five ingredients! It’s the perfect treat to whip up with the leftover egg whites
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon amaretto (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt into the mixer and mix on medium for 2 minutes until the egg whites are foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add the sugar ¼ cup at a time. Beat the egg whites with the sugar for about 6 minutes until stiff peaks form. The egg whites should hold their peaks even when you turn the whites upside down. Add the cream of tartar, amaretto liquor and vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds.
Pipe meringue into little mounds.
Optional: Sprinkle with sugar or shredded coconut.
Bake for 45 minutes. Let it cool in the oven.
For softer meringue cookies, remove the cookies from the oven to cool.
Torticas de Moron are a wonderful Cuban shortbread cookie that’s simple to make and so delicious! The shortening makes this cookie perfectly crumbly and once you bite into it just melts in your mouth. And it’s made even more irresistible with a dollop of guava paste!
For years I’d seen these cookies displayed at local Cuban bakeries, but I was never tempted to try them. They were usually huge and topped with sprinkles. It looked like a big old sugar cookie, and they just couldn’t compete with the pastelitos made with puff pastry and guava. But then a family friend made a batch, and I tasted a homemade version of these torticas de moron … wow, what a difference!
These Torticas de Moron Taste Like Old Cuba
These cookies are delicate and taste very old world… at least very Old Cuba! This is an old-time cookie named after the town of Moron, where it was first made.
Torticas de moron have just a few ingredients: shortening, flour, sugar, and lemon rind. I like to add a little bit of butter to mine, but just a little. These Cuban cookies also have a little sprinkling of sugar crystals to give them a slight crunch and extra sweetness.
I’ve seen different versions of this cookie running around the internet (this cookie gets around!). Some recipes use all butter (no shortening), vanilla, eggs, and even baking powder, but the original recipe doesn’t have all of that. I taste-tested this recipe with my favorite Cuban folks and they said this recipe tasted like the torticas de moron they grew up eating.
Look Ma! No Vanilla, Butter, Or Eggs!
What makes this cookie so crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth good is the shortening and the lack of moisture and leavening. Otherwise, it’s just a sugar cookie, not to say there’s anything wrong with that. I love those too! But torticas de moron are different.
Instead of vanilla, this cookie has a bit of citrus for flavoring. The original recipe used lime rind, but I like it better with lemon rind. Cubans use lime for everything. Some folks make it without adding the citrus. My mom likes it better that way, but she was outvoted 😛
I already mentioned this Cuban cookie is crumbly, and this means that the dough is too. I beat the sugar, shortening, and butter together and then added the flour and the lemon rind. The dough looks very crumbly and needs a little bit of kneading to come together, and even then, it’s not very elastic. Just shape it with your hands into a rough rectangle and then roll until it’s a quarter-inch thick. You can cut with a biscuit cutter or with the glass. You’ll notice the photos show some with a fancy crinkle cut on the edge and some are plain, either way it’s pretty delicious!
Sprinkle a little sugar on these before baking. If it’s Christmas time, you can use colored sugar. But most times I just use white sugar crystals for a little sparkle and sweetness!
Although they may not look it, these cookies are delicate and should be cooled on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before moving them to a cooling rack. If you try to move them when they’re hot, they could break, and then you’ll have to eat the crumbs to hide the evidence. Not a bad problem to have… but they are so much prettier when you’re patient. 😇
Kick It Up A Notch With Guava
These cookies are good on their own… but they are even better with guava. The sweetness of the guava and the slight tang of lemon go so well together! Just add a dollop of guava to the baked cookie after it’s cooled. I also sprinkle a little finishing salt because I like the salt and sweet together. If you don’t have finishing salt, you can use kosher salt.
You can buy a can of guava marmalade at the store, but I like to make my own. This way, the guava is a little thicker. But don’t stress it, the canned marmalade would be fine. You just have to store with a little more care so you don’t mess up the guava. Or, store without the guava and just add a dollop when you’re serving.
I also add a touch of orange liquor to the guava. Oh, it’s soooo good that way! I used Cointreau in mine, but Grand Marnier would also work.
Dress These Cuban Cookies For Christmas!
Make these torticas de moron for Christmas and add colored sugar crystals on top. You can also add a maraschino cherry to the center when you bake it. It’s very Christmas-y and makes great gifts for neighbors.
1 teaspoonCointreau or other orange liqueur (add more if you prefer a more intense flavor)
5 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grate 1 teaspoon of lemon rind.
Cream the sugar, shortening and butter until smooth. Add the lemon rind and beat for 30 more seconds.
Mix two cups of flour until combined, using a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the last cup of flour and mix until you have a crumbly mixture.
Dump the crumbly dough onto a floured surface.
Knead until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half and shape each one into a flat disc.
Roll each disc until it’s 1/4 inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter or a glass. Roll the leftover dough and repeat the process until you’ve used up all the dough. As you cut the cookies, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle the shaped cookies with sugar crystals.
Optional Topping: If you’re using the maraschino cherries, add half a cherry to each cookie. You can use both the sugar and the cherries to decorate.
Bake: Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden (mine took 18 minutes). Remove from oven.
Cool on baking sheet for about a minute. Then transfer them to a cooling rack. Be careful with these, because they can break easily. That’s why I don’t remove them from the baking sheet right away like I do with most cookies.
Cube 7 ounces of guava pasteaffiliate link and add to a pan set on medium low heat. Add 5 tablespoons of water and a teaspoon of Cointreau. Cook until the guava is melted and spreadable.
Place a dollop of guava on each cooled cookie and sprinkle with finishing salt.
Keywords: Torticas de Moron, cuban cookies, guava cookies, cuban shortbread cookies, shortbread cookies, christmas cookies, cuban christmas cookies