They are, in order of importance (to this gal, anyway):
*Easy to make (and clean up!)--no muss, no fuss
*Surprisingly tasty and with a texture like nothing else
*Gorgeous, dainty, and simply lovely
*Made with just a few staple ingredients
*Light, in both weight and calories
Plus, these little cookies are highly versatile. To make this batch Christmas-appropriate, I colored them with streaks of red and green and flavored them with white chocolate extract*and peppermint extract. Just think of the possibilities with these little beauts--black and orange on Halloween; red and blue (or the colors of your nation's flag) on any patriotic holiday; orange, yellow, and rusty red for Thanksgiving; and so on and so forth. They're open to any sort of flavoring, too, whether it be coconut (yum!), almond (none for me, thanks!), or something citrus like orange or lemon. I love endless alternatives, don't you?
*So the white chocolate extract is a little steep, but you'll be using very little of it here and there...and everywhere, if you're like me.
Having never made meringue cookies before, I was amazed at how quickly and easily everything came together. I was also quite shocked when I picked one up off of the baking sheet--it was SO light! It's a crunchy, crackly, crispy first bite, and by my fourth or fifth cookie, I had decided that the best method for eating them was to simply pop the whole thing in my mouth and let it break down on my tongue. Yum!
|Looks kinda like a walnut, no?|
This is my entry in the Creative Holiday Recipe Contest hosted by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups, two terrific blogs you should intensely examine posthaste!
White Chocolate Peppermint Meringue Cookies
Makes about 60 small cookies
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon white chocolate extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks.
Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks.
Beat in the white chocolate and peppermint extracts.
Fit a pastry bag with your favorite tip and streak red and green stripes of icing colorsalong the inside of the bag. I did four streaks, alternating red and green.
Pipe small decorative blobs onto the prepared tray(s). The first one may not have much color, but it'll come, I promise!
Bake the meringues for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until completely dried.
Store the cookies in an airtight container.