Forgotten cookies are a classic Christmas treat. These crunchy meringue cookies, filled with nuts and candy morsels, melt into your mouth when you bite into them.
I remember my mom making forgotten cookies for the holidays. For sure, the waiting overnight for them to be ready to eat is the hardest part!
But they’re worth it!
The light, airy meringue cookies are filled with chocolately morsels. These traditional Christmas cookies have a nice crunch when you bite into them, but then they kind of just melt in your mouth.
For Christmas, I like adding crushed peppermint candies to the tops.
Of course, the beauty of forgotten cookies is that you can easily adapt the recipe to your taste preferences. You can use chocolate chips, but they’re also good when made with other baking morsels, or a combination.
Forgotten cookies are. great for gifting because the recipe makes a lot — two dozen — and they last a long time. My old-fashioned icebox fruit cake, no-bake butterscotch haystack cookies, Christmas fruitcake cookies and chococate dipped peppermint candies are other good, giftable holiday treats.
What are they called Forgotten Cookies?
What’s with the name, “forgotten cookies”?
You might think this is a long-lost recipe that was been rediscovered by modern cooks. But the funny name actually refers to the fact that you have to “forget” these cookies in the oven overnight before eating them.
The meringue cookies go into a preheated oven, but then you turn the heat off and let them set overnight — aboutt 10 to 12 hours — until they’ve dried out and hardened.
While you may be tempted to open the oven and take a peek, resist the urge, especially in the beginning while the oven is still hot. Trust me, your patience will pay off.
You can scroll to the end of this post for the full recipe and ingredient list. But you may want to keep reading for more tips on how to make perfect forgotten cookies and to avoid any pitfalls when working with meringue.
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To Make Forgotten cookies, You Will Need:
- Egg whites – The most important ingredient in these light and airy meringue cookies their light and airy texture. An egg separator comes in handy.
- Cream of tartar – This will help stablize to the egg whites and ensure your cookies don’t spread and fall.
- Superfine sugar – This is not the same thing as powdered sugar. Superfine is comprised of small crystals of granulated sugar. It’s key for making light and airy cookies. But if you can’t find it, you can make your own by pulsing regular, white granulated sugar in a food processor for two minutes until fine.
- Vanilla extract – Any brand will do, but you won’t regret investing in a high-quality vanilla extract for baking.
- Baking chips – Traditional forgotten cookies are made with semisweet chocolate chips, but you can combine also use equal portions of chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch or whatever flavors you prefer.
- Pecans – These are optional, but they add a nice crunch and flavor to the cookies alongside the chocolate chips.
- Crushed candy canes – If you’re making these for Christmas, I recommend adding crushed candy canes or starlight mints to the tops of the cookies for garnish. The peppermint pairs well with the chocolate.
How to Make Christmas Meringue Cookies
- Begin by preparing your baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or foil and preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a handheld electric or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. I like using the whisk attachment on my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar and mix until fluffy.
- Next, you’ll mix in the superfine sugar, in four batches, adding the vanilla extract midway through. Continue beating until the egg whites form glossy, stiff peaks.
- Gently, being careful not to ruin the meringue, fold in the baking chips and nuts.
- Drop the meringue cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Garnish the tops with crushed candy canes.
- Place the meringue cookies into the oven and immediately turn off the heat.
- Leave the cookies in the oven overnight, undisturbed, so they can harden and crisp up. Seriously, forget about them. No peeking or opening the oven to check on them. After 24 hours, you’ll have two dozen delicious, crispy airy cookies.
You can use any combination of baking chip you like, or you can just use one flavor. Peanut butter and chocolate are a yummy combo, or make “monster”-style forgotten cookies by using 1/3 cup each of chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch morsels.
Toffee chips — used alone or combined with chocolate chips — also make a good cookie. White chocolate and semisweet chocolate are another good pairing.
When you’re adding the sugar to the egg whites, you can also mix in 2 to 3 tablespoons of unsweetened powdered cocoa to make chocolate forgotten cookies.
Substitute the vanilla extract for another flavor, like almond, mint or coconut, for even more variety.
Omit the nuts or use walnuts instead of pecans, if you prefer.
If you can’t find superfine sugar or you don’t want to make a trip to the store, pulse white granulated sugar in a food processor for 2 minutes until fine. Then measure out the necessary amount for the recipe.
Allow the forgotten cookies to cool completely before storing them in an air tight container. They’ll keep for at least a week and can also be frozen to extend their shelf life. I would thaw them uncovered to avoid the cookies form taking on too much moisture.
However, do not refrigerate these cookies as excess moisture is not good for them.
More Sweet Treats
If you enjoyed these cookies, try these other sweet treats:
If you try Forgotten Christmas Cookies or any recipe on Atta Girl Says, please come back and share your 5-star rating in the comments below! I appreciate it, and my readers do, too!
- 2 egg whites at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ⅔ cup superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped pecans optional
- Crushed candy canes for garnish, optional
- Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a handheld electric or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and mix until fluffy.
- Mix in the sugar, in four batches, adding the vanilla extract midway through. Continue beating until the egg whites form glossy, stiff peaks.
- Gently fold in the baking chips and nuts.
- Using two teaspoons, drop the meringue cookies onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Garnish with crushed candy canes, if preferred.
- Place the meringue cookies into the preheated oven and immediately turn off the heat.
- Leave the cookies in the oven overnight, undisturbed, to harden and crisp up.