Sunday, April 6, 2008
After seeing Jenn's posts about making meringue cookies with her daughter, I was compelled to make some myself. We used to buy these a lot at the commissaries in Bremerton and Yokosuka, but it's been a long time since I've had one. I always figured they would be way too much work to make at home. I tend to have those kind of misconceptions about recipes that involve something as complex as (gasp!) filling a pastry bag, or baking in two parts (as in a crust and a filling). I am such a dork, because it's not like those things are even difficult, it's just that I often look at them as disqualifiers for recipe selection. Silly Food Slut...
Anyway, these were an absolute breeze to mix up! I didn't have a pastry bag on hand, so I used my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator instead, and it got the job done just fine.
There are a bunch of different ways you can make these...with different flavorings added (peppermint, vanilla, chocolate), with nuts or chocolate chips folded in, tinted with food coloring, or with crushed peppermint candies sprinkled on top. I went the very basic route, because I'm in a very basic kind of mood today. ; )
I tried several different shapes, but I think these hearts are my favorite!
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup white sugar
Preheat oven to 200. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil.
In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat to stiff peaks. The mixture will start to look glossy. Pipe onto the prepared baking sheets, or use two spoons to drop them in mounds.
Bake for 90 minutes. The meringues should be completely dry on the inside. They should not brown. Turn off the oven, keep oven door open a bit, and let the meringues sit in the oven until they have cooled completely. Carefully peel from the foil or parchment paper.
These will get soggy quickly in humid weather. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.