Diet-friendly sugar-free meringue cookies (HCG, South Beach Diet)

Sugar-free meringue cookies – the best “I just finished lunch and now I want something to munch on” snack you could ever ask for.

I have written about these sugar-free meringue cookies so many times that it’s amazing that I still have anything to say about them. These cookies have proved to be a lifesaver for me when I’m dieting. An entire batch of cookies is only 72 calories, so if you’re in one of those moods where you just feel like stuffing your face Cookie Monster-style (a mood I am often in), you can do it with these cookies and feel absolutely NO guilt.

I started making sugar-free meringue cookies because I was looking for something to snack on the first time I did HCG diet. My first few attempts were complete failures. I could never get the texture right. Sometimes they were undercooked and too gooey, but usually they were too dry and it was like eating cardboard. So one day I decided that I was going to make a batch of cookies every night, with slight variations, until I came up with the perfect recipe.

A picture of the first batch of meringue cookies that I ever made (#Fail!):

It took a LOT of trial and error (over 20 batches of cookies) before I was able to figure out the precise recipe for how I like them.  This is the basic recipe; there are many different things you can add for flavor/variety. I’ll be adding those recipes very soon.

Sugar-free Meringue Cookies

…………………………………………………………………………..

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 47 min
Ready in: 59 min
Yields: 36 bite-sized cookies

Ingredients:

½ cup liquid egg whites AT ROOM TEMPERATURE (this is equivalent to 3 egg whites)
¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2 Tbs. Truvia

Instructions:

1. Place the liquid egg whites into a metal bowl and let them warm up to at least room temperature. (I place the bowl on the oven while the oven is pre-heating so the egg whites get even warmer.)

2. Preheat the oven to 215 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

4. Beat the eggwhites for about 5 minutes, until they start to stiffen.

5. Slowly add in the Cream of Tartar while continuing to beat the egg whites.

6. Slowly add in the Truvia while continuing to beat the egg whites. (The total beat time is about 10 minutes. You’ll know you’re done when you’re able to turn the bowl upside down and nothing falls out.)

7. Use a spoon to dollop the egg whites on to the parchment paper (I like to make 36 bite-sized cookies).

8. Put the tray in the oven for 25 minutes.

9. Rotate the tray and leave it in for another 22 minutes. (Every minute makes a difference. I like the texture the best at 22 minutes, but you might like them crunchier at 23 or 24 minutes. Feel free to experiment!)

10. When the time is up, turn the oven off but leave the cookies in there for a while, then transfer them to an airtight container. (This is especially important during the summer months when it’s humid. When it’s warm outside I’ll leave them in the oven for like an hour. But in the winter I usually take the tray out after only 20 minutes and just let them sit on top of the stove.)

All finished:

…………………………………………………………………………..

NOTES

On the ingredients:

The recipe comes out perfectly fine when you use liquid egg whites, but on the few occasions when I’ve been able to use real egg whites, well, it has definitely been a treat! The texture is a bit different.

As far as the sweetener is concerned:  So far I’ve tried Sweet Leaf, Truvia, Stevia in the Raw, and various brands of liquid Stevia. I find that Truvia is the best, especially for baking, because there is less of a nasty, bitter aftertaste. I’ve read that there is debate over whether Truvia is truly “natural,” because of some of its ingredients. Honestly, I don’t care. It tastes the best, so that is what I use.

On the preparation:

You’ll know that the egg whites have been perfectly beaten when you’re able to turn the bowl upside down without the meringue falling out. I swear, every time I turn the bowl upside down and it doesn’t move I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.

On cooking:

I rotate the tray halfway through because in my oven they don’t cook evenly if I don’t do that. But I’ve read some recipes that say you shouldn’t open the oven when you’re cooking them. So…yeah, I don’t know.

…………………………………………………………………………..

So that’s my recipe. I hope you enjoy it, and that it brings you as much diet-relief as it has brought me! xoxo

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29 Responses to Diet-friendly sugar-free meringue cookies (HCG, South Beach Diet)

  1. lwestfall says:

    How does this work for the HCG diet? Is this considered your protein for a meal, or the whole day….how many can you eat with staying in tune with the diet? For example, 6 cookies equal 1 protein. How does it break down?

  2. Rory says:

    All of the cookies AND one egg equals ONE protein serving for the day.

    In the pdf that came with my drops, it says that “one egg and three egg whites” equals one protein serving. Since this recipe only calls for the equivalent of 3 egg whites, you can still eat an egg at some point in the day AND another protein serving as well.

    What I used to do was; half a grapefruit for breakfast, one egg with a veggie for lunch, snack on the entire batch of cookies throughout the day, and then have another protein and veggie for dinner. If you want to follow the diet to the letter, that’s what you should do.

    Now, however, I’m not quite as strict with myself. I’ll eat the cookies in additional to whatever other HCG meals I have planned for the day. I figure the additional calories and protein are negligible (especially the calories – the entire batch is only 67 calories, so if I eat 5 cookies a day it’s only an additional 10 calories). But that’s just me, it may not be the same for everyone.

    Good luck on your diet!

  3. lwestfall says:

    Awesome, I figured the whole batch was only one protein, but sounded too good to be true! :) I will definitely be making these!

  4. MThomas says:

    I made these tonight……….they were goooooooooooood. Great for the HCG Diet.

  5. randee says:

    Thank you for this recipe. The first batch I made came out PERFECT! They were yummy. The second, third and fourth came out spongy. Any thoughts why? Interestingly, the last 3 batches had a tan color to them. The first batch was pure white. Help!

    • Rory says:

      Hmm…I think the sponginess might have to do with what you do when they’re finished cooking. I’ve definitely made some spongy batches, and I think it’s a result of humidity in the air and maybe not putting them in a tupperware fast enough.

  6. Seven says:

    Can u add lemon juice for flavor?

    • Rory says:

      I’ve never tried it, but I’ve seen it in other meringue recipes so I think it’s okay. If I remember, I’ll add it the next time I make the cookies and see what happens.

  7. David says:

    I just made a batch for my wife and they’re in the oven as I type… Not sure I beat the eggs long enough though, they were stiff and didn’t move but I chickened out of turning the bowl upside down… fingers crossed!

    • Rory says:

      Well, if there is a lot of liquid left at the bottom of the bowl after you scoop your mixture on to the baking sheet, that means you didn’t beat it long enough. I was really scared the first time I turned it upside down, but it was such a sense of accomplishment when nothing spilled out! Just make sure you turn the bowl slowwwwly – you’ll know right away whether it’s done, because if it’s not done then the mixture will move.

    • So you could turn the bowl upside down over top of another bowl….no risk there.

  8. Kels says:

    amazing recipe! mine are in the oven right now. Its so great to have a treat that is so low calorie that you can have so many of and not feel too guilty :P

  9. ajaxmommy says:

    What is the stuff sprinkled on the 2nd row? I have a batch of these in the oven right now. I put half of them in just like your recipe, then I mixed a bit of cocoa powder in with the remainder and will see how “chocolate meringues” are! Thanks for the post!

    • Rory says:

      It’s cocoa powder! I stopped adding the cocoa powder into the meringue mixture because it would ALWAYS cause it to deflate before I was able to scoop the meringue onto the baking sheet.

      Now I wait until the cookies are about halfway cooked before sprinkling cocoa powder on top.

      How did yours come out?

      • ajaxmommy says:

        Last night’s batch didn’t really work at all. They were completely under-cooked, like the spongy top of a lemon meringue pie and still fluffy and moist inside. I didn’t actually discover this until they had been “resting” in the oven for about a half hour and completely cool. But I put them back in the oven and raised the temp to 300 (mistake!!) They got completely brown (like dark chocolate burnt-brown) very quickly and still weren’t crispy. I ate them anyway, and they tasted good, if a little charred, but it was just a different creature than a meringue cookie. You were right, by the way, the cocoa ones were definitely flatter, although I don’t know if it was a completely failed experiment.

        I’m not sure what I am doing wrong, or perhaps I don’t know what a meringue cookie is supposed to be like – these are coming out more like marshmallows.

        I made a 2nd batch today using my conventional oven (last night I used my Breville mini oven, which I use about 90% of the time but I suspected might be the culprit) and upped the heat to 225. They still came out underdone. So I put them back in the oven (again at 225) and told my husband to turn the oven off after 10 minutes… yeah, 45 minutes later I came home and yanked them out of the oven. They were all caramel brown in color and after they cooled they were certainly much closer, but still spongey and soft.
        Again, they taste good, but I’m expecting something brittle. Am I mistaken about what a meringue cookie is?

      • ajaxmommy says:

        Well, I’ve made 4 different batches now, in 2 different ovens. And I’ve just resigned myself to just change my idea about what I am going to get. I LIKE what I am eating. They are soft chewy pillows of yummy satsifying gooeyness, but they are much more like a marshmallow than a brittle crispy puffy cookie thing. I’ve adjusted the cooking time and the raised the temp a smidge (this simply results in a browner result) and still they are spongey.
        *shrugs*
        Ah well. They are good and tasty and the kids fight me for them, so who cares! LOL

  10. karina says:

    hi! for the lemon juice as flavor in the meringue cookies as a pastry chef i don’t think it’s a good idea because then you would add to this receipe too much liquid but instead only use the zest of the lemon and the flavor should be great!!;-) enjoy ! very nice receipe Rory thank you!!!

  11. Donna says:

    Ajaxmommy,

    Maybe you could cook them at a lower temperature, but for a longer amount of time. Might help! Thanks for the recipe Rory!

  12. What about using that powdered “True Lemon” product? That wouldn’t add any more liquid and might actually help with the sponginess factor some people are having. I’m going to give it a try tomorrow…will let you know!

  13. Adira says:

    Just tried these today and they are yummy! Thanks bunches!

  14. Kathleen says:

    Re: Cooking Temps & Texture

    I don’t follow South Beach…I’m more of an Eat to Live fan (though not as strict on it’s vegan aspects) but am always on the lookout for healthier recipes.

    I made these but added some coconut flakes & cooked at 325 F for 20 minutes, then took out and cooled on a wire rack – they came out airy inside, somewhat crunchy, though they were more brown than I cared for & which I attribute to the higher temp.

    Not sure how they would have come out if I cooked them at a lower temp. I did not wait for room temp egg whites… I just separated them cold, and waited about 5 min (while I looked up info on meringue). I almost wish they were a bit chewier on the inside…probably me thinking of coconut macaroons instead of meringue cookies, lol. Personally I will try again using less Truvia as these were a bit too sweet for my taste.

    I will likely try again with your cook time/temp to see what happens and continue experimenting to see what I can do with these…a great idea & I was unaware you could do this without regular sugar. One more tool in my arsenal for healthy eating is always appreciated :)

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • If you’re having trouble with browning, cook on the middle rack and put an empty cookie sheet on the rack above that. That should protect the tops from over-browning. If they’re browning on the bottom, use a double thickness cookie sheet or a layer of parchment paper.

  15. Kathleen says:

    Ps. I used 1 tsp vanilla & real egg whites…If vanilla worked, lemon juice should too as per a macaroon recipe I have ( macaroons are also a meringue type cookie)

  16. Pingback: Sweet Failure | Confessions of a Fat Girl

  17. Tracy says:

    Hint: try adding LorAnn’s candy flavoring in the banana flavor (a few drops) and a few finely chopped walnuts (1/4 cup). The result is a meringue cookie that tastes like banana bread …. yum yum!

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