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I'm planning on making some peppermint meringues tonight but am a little concerned about my recipe. I've successfully made meringues in the past with peppermint extract but this recipe contains crushed peppermint candy.

A commenter on the recipe mentioned that the moment they added the peppermint pieces their meringue went flat. What is the proper way to add an addition such as this to a meringue?

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You want to be sure that the egg whites are fully whipped before you add pieces of anything (it's also best to incorporate sugar as either a syrup or very finely ground sugar once the eggs are already whipped as sugar can make the whipping take longer).

When you incorporate pieces of anything into your meringue, be it nuts, candy, etc, fold it in gently with a spatula. You can also add a stabilizer like cream of tartar to help prevent the meringue from falling.

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To add peppermint candy to meringue, you want to crush it into as reasonably fine a powder as possible to minimally disrupt the meringue. You don't need it as fine as flour, but you definitely don't want any chunks that wouldn't easily pass through a larger meshed sieve.

After you get stiff peaks in your meringue, fold the crushed peppermint into the egg whites gently. This is much akin to folding in a nut flour to make a dacquoise.

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Do peppermints with their potentially sharp edges behave differently? I've been putting chunky things in for years (chocolate chips, red hots, chopped up candied or maraschino cherries), and haven't had problems w/ folding them in. –  Joe Dec 17 '13 at 16:02
    
No, making them small is to make them easier to incorporate since the OP was having trouble. –  SAJ14SAJ Dec 17 '13 at 21:50
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