These adorable meringue mushrooms make a delicious and sweet decoration for cakes, holiday platters, and all things Christmas baking! The mushrooms are made from a simple meringue cookie batter and are held together with melted chocolate.
You may have already caught a quick glimpse of these decorative sweet "mushrooms" in our recipe for chocolate yule log! If you didn't, here's a quick peek at them in action:
These are 100% edible cookies that are shaped and decorated to look like mushrooms. And I think you'll get some people doing double takes because of how realistic these look!
We won't go into how adorable they are. I mean, tell me these aren't the cutest little cookies!
What are meringue mushrooms?
Meringue mushrooms are basically just meringue cookies piped in the shape of mushroom caps and mushroom stems. They're then "glued" together with chocolate (which, double benefit, looks like mushroom gills!)
They're most popularly used to decorate yule logs, but you can also use them to accent your cookie platters, holiday charcuterie boards, decorate any cake really, you name it!
Meringue mushrooms ingredients:
These meringue cookies are made using the same recipe as our meringue cookies, but scaled down. Because one can only fit so many meringue mushrooms on a cake.
But of course, you can always make the full recipe and make a few meringue cookies with your meringue mushrooms! Or just a whole lot of meringue mushrooms ... There are no rules!
For these meringue mushrooms, you will need:
• egg whites: at room temperature so they whip up faster and easier!
• cream of tartar OR vinegar/lemon juice: either form of acid works fine. The recipe below goes into detail about how to substitute one for the other!
• granulated sugar
• vanilla extract
• cocoa powder: to dust on the "mushroom caps" to resemble dirt (it tastes better than it sounds ... trust me!)
• semi-sweet chocolate: to connect the mushroom caps and stems. Plus, it looks like mushroom gills once dried!
How to make meringue mushroom cookies:
1. Make the meringue batter: Beat egg whites, salt, and your acid until frothy. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition, until fully combined and dissolved. Beat until the egg whites reach stiff peaks, then whisk in vanilla.
2. Pipe the "mushroom caps" and "stems": Transfer your meringue batter to a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip.
3. For the mushroom caps: Pipe round disks that are about 1 inch large to resemble the top of a mushroom. Use your fingers to sprinkle a bit of cocoa powder on top to look like dirt.
4. For the mushroom stems: Pipe tall cookies that are about ½ an inch wide and 1 inch tall to resemble the stems.
5. Bake: low and slow for 1 hour. Leave for an additional 1 hour in the oven to dry out.
6. Assemble: For the "mushroom stems" flatten the tops by shaving a bit off the cookie using a knife (pictured above). Turn the "mushroom caps" over to reveal the bottom. Cover the bottom of the caps with a thin layer of melted chocolate. Turn over the mushroom stems and stick the tops of the stems onto the bottom of the caps.
7. Refrigerate until the chocolate has firmed up!
How long do meringue mushrooms last?
Unassembled, these cookies will last for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container, at room temperature. Once you add the melted chocolate, it can cause the cookies to soften. So assembled meringue mushrooms will last for around 3 to 5 days.
Check out some of these other holiday classics!
Meringue Mushrooms Recipe
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar OR ½ teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for dusting the "mushroom caps"
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- Preheat your oven to 200°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside.
- In a grease free bowl, combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar or vinegar/lemon juice. Using a stand mixer (recommended!), electric beaters, or a handheld whisk (don't recommend … ouch!), beat the egg white mix on medium high speed until it turns an opaque white color and just starts to froth.
- Gradually add your sugar to the egg white mixture (about 1 tablespoon every 30 seconds) beating well after each addition until all of the sugar is used up.
- Continue beating the mixture until it turns thick and glossy and you no longer feel any dry granules of sugar. You can test this by rubbing a bit of batter from the bottom of the bowl between your fingers, and it shouldn't feel grainy. The egg whites should be at a stiff peak as well. If using, whisk your vanilla extract into the meringue mixture.
- Transfer the meringue batter to a piping bag fitted with a large plain piping tip. Pipe half of the batter into cookie disks (about 1 inch wide) onto your prepared baking sheets to resemble caps. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top to resemble dirt. Pipe the remaining half of the batter into taller cookies that are about ½ an inch wide and 1 inch tall to resemble stems. For all the cookies, you only need to leave a small space between each cookie for air to circulate. But they can be quite close together, if needed. You should get around 20 caps and 20 stems out of this recipe.
- Bake in the center of your preheated 200°F oven for 1 hour, or until the cookies easily slide off the parchment paper and sound hollow if gently taped on the bottom. Turn the oven off, and leave the cookies in the warm oven with the door shut for another hour to dry out. Cool the cookies completely before assembling.
- Assemble the cookies: If the tops of your tall cookies (mushroom stems) are uneven, shave a bit off the top using a knife to get a flat surface. Set aside.
- Turn the flat cookie disks (mushroom caps) over to reveal the bottom. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate onto the bottom of the caps (about ½ a teaspoon). Flip your "mushroom stems" over and stick the top of the stem to the bottom of the cap. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.