Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Classic Meringue Cookies


Because I made that delicious vanilla peach ice cream last week, I was left with about eight egg whites just chillin in my fridge. What to do...I could whip up an egg white omelette but it seems like no matter what you do to those things they're always on the bland side. Then, it hit me, my love for meringue cookies. Yes, you know what I am talking about, those light and airy, crunchy yet chewy, like if cotton candy and marshmallows ever had a refined love child, it would be these delicious cookies.


I decided to take half and make little meringue sandwiches using nutella and crushed pecans, crunchy Biscoff spread, and almond butter. It was nice to give them a little extra flavor/texture and you get a little break from the sweetness.


Classic Meringue Cookies

makes 20 cookies

6 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups superfine or caster sugar (if you don't have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30-60 seconds in a food processor)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

1.Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can form the cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain tip, or for a more decorative look use a star tip.

2.In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract and food coloring if using.

Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.

3.Before placing the cookies on the cookie sheet, spray a little non-stick spray on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper, this will prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag and pipe 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) rounds of meringue in rows on the prepared baking sheet.

3.Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp. (The meringues will release easily from the parchment paper. The meringues can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days.

Here are some ideas on how to dress up your meringues: My personal fav was the nutella and crushed pecans.



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