A show-stopping dessert that features vanilla-scented meringue – crisp on the outside, marshmallow-like on the inside – topped with a dollop of cookies and cream. They melt in your mouth like a dream. Super easy, ultra versatile (add fruit for example), and a MUST for your dessert repertoire! Watch me make it HERE!
If you think Pavlova is beyond your culinary capacity, think again. It’s actually one of the easiest desserts you can make. And you need just 5 ingredients! In this recipe, you add cookies and cream (2 additional ingredients), but you can certainly top the finished meringue with fresh fruit (like I did in my Strawberry Pavlova). Seriously, it’s not as hard as you think, and my recipe is pretty much foolproof.
I love that the topping options are endless! You can use any cookie you want for the cookies and cream (I used Oreos)! Or you can skip the cookies and simply top with chewy-crisp meringue with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
About tracing circles onto parchment paper: This is done so you have a guide for creating Pavlova circles. If you’re making one Pavlova, trace a 9-inch round cake pan. If you’re making individual Pavlovas (as I did here), trace a biscuit cutter or coffee cup and make 8 circles.
About the vinegar/lemon juice: This is added so that the egg whites stay aerated once they’re baked. The acidity helps the egg whites hold onto air and, like the sugar, prevents the egg whites from collapsing. I promise – the Pavlova will NOT taste like vinegar or lemon – you use just enough for it to do its job without adding flavor.
Individual Cookies and Cream Pavlovas
1/2 cup pasteurized liquid egg whites or regular egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar, apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice (see note above)
1 cup whipped cream of choice (I used Cool Whip)
1/2 cup crushed Oreo cookies or chocolate sandwich cookies of choice, or any cookie you want!, plus extra cookies for garnish
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Trace a biscuit cutter (or coffee cup) on a large piece of parchment paper, making 8 circles (or make one 9-inch circle using a cake pan; see note above). Flip the paper over and transfer it to a large baking sheet.
Combine the egg whites and pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the sugar – VERY slowly.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Beat on high until stiff peaks form again, and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the cornstarch, vanilla and vinegar (stop mixing as soon as everything is blended).
Spoon the meringue onto the parchment paper, in the center of each circle, about 3 tablespoons of meringue per circle. Gently spread the meringue out to fill the circle. Use the back of a spoon to form a slight well in the center.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the outside is dry to the touch and the Pavlovas are just starting to turn golden. Turn the oven off and leave the Pavlovas in the oven for 1 hour, or until the meringue is crisp and dry on the outside (the inside will be marshmallow soft). Let the Pavlovas cool completely before topping them and removing them from the parchment paper (otherwise, they’ll stick to the paper).
Mix together the whipped cream and crushed cookies. When the Pavlovas have cooled, top them with the whipped cream/cookie mixture and garnish with a cookie.
Makes 8 Pavlovas