Meringue Kissed Cookies or Iced Gems Cookies

Totally nostalgic! These meringue kissed cookies are the cutest thing! They remind me of the iced gem cookies that come in plastic purses. My mom used to buy me these when I was a child, and I also remember buying them for my girls. For those of you who do not know which cookies I am referring to, they are called iced gems biscuits or cookies. I found a photo of them here, but not of the purse. For the passionate experienced baker or the new cookie decorators, these are beautiful and inviting without the need to make difficult decorations with many of details.

While working with this mildly spiced cookie dough, I realized that it tastes very similar to the famous cookies sold in the Dominican Republic called Martin cookies. That's why I named them meringue-kissed cookies. Although these cookies are decorated with royal icing, Dominicans call the icing “suspirito” meaning meringue kisses.

I know Dominicans that live abroad or tourist that have visited this country will love to try these and flavor a bit of home in every bite! If you bake these, please share the photos.

Lightly Spiced Cookies with Meringue Kiss


Spiced Cookie dough
¼ stick + 1 Tablespoon of butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar (65 g)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (30g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (10 ml)
1 large egg
1¾ cup all-purpose flour, divided (224 g)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch (15 g)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
 ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of freshly grated Nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Royal Icing with Meringue
1 ½ tablespoons meringue powder
2⅓ cups powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
2 ½ -3 tablespoons lukewarm

1” (2.54 cm) cookie cutter
Pastry bag
Decorating tip #22

1. Spiced cookies: Mix 1¼ flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, set aside. Reserve the remaining ½ cup of flour to add only if it is needed at the end of mixing. With the flat beater beat butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, add the vanilla and egg. Beat until well combined. Stir in flour gradually to form a non-sticky dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, cut out cookies using a 1" (2.54 cm) cutter, place them on a baking sheet, and bake for 8-12 minutes until they are slightly browned. Cool completely before placing decorating.
3. Meringue powder icing: Mix the icing sugar and meringue powder on low speed, stir in vanilla, and add water slowly until a paste is formed. Continue beating on medium-high speed for 7-10 minutes until the meringue has strong peaks; yields about 1½ cups of strong consistency icing.
4. Divide the icing into four bowls and add a drop of food coloring to each bowl of the colors you like to use. Fill the pastry bag with icing and form a meringue kiss on top of the cookie. Leave to dry for several hours or overnight. Keeps well for a week, it could last longer, but my cookies are usually eaten right away.

Yield: Approximately 65 cookies.

Notes: Although these cookies may have a similar appearance to Martin cookies, the recipe I share here is not their recipe, nor the instructions may be the same way they are made in the factory. This recipe was developed by me because I wanted to have a mild spiced cookies that were similar to the iced gems. *For personal use only.

“In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought. - Philippians 2:3-5

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