Last year I made meringue cookies to teach my kids about the true meaning of Easter. A sorority sister of mine wrote about these cookies in a cookbook she made to honor her late son, whom she said always remembered these cookies fondly. Her story made me want to have this experience with my own children.
After trying it last year, I realized it’s something we’ll do each year. To be honest, I expected this to be a lesson, not a cookie that I loved to eat. Turns out it was both. These cookies are excellent. You can’t eat just one.
Ideally, this recipe is best done the night before Easter, but this year we did it the night before Palm Sunday because we’ll be out of town on Easter Sunday. Either way, it’s a great lesson and one the children love participating in. We let the kids eat the cookies in the morning to help keep the excitement alive.
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 3 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- Other items needed:
- zip top bag
- wooden spoon
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. IMPORTANT! Do this before you do the next steps.
- Place pecans in zip top bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3
- Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30
- Add egg whites to vinegar. Explain that eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11
- Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
- So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm. 34:8 and John 3:16
- Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah. 1:18 and John 3:1-3
- Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Or, put ingredients in a gallon zip top bag and cut off a tiny piece of the corner to use as a piping bag. Pipe cookies onto cookie sheet.) Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60
- Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66
- GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22
- On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read John 11:25-26