December 11, 2012

light as a feather, stiff as a board


I've put off making meringue cookies for far too long.


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

Ingredients:
  • 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
Directions:
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.

Crunch.

24 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So pretty! I love the idea.

Cheers,

Rosa

Joanne said...

I've somehow always convinced myself that meringues were super complicated...but I guess not!

Barbara said...

Those are so adorable, Grace. The colors! Cookie fun.
Unfortunately, humidity and meringues do not like each other and I rarely make them if I'm not going to serve them ASAP. We are having hot, humid weather in S. Florida right now. Very unusual this time of year.

cookies and cups said...

I LOVE these!! I have only made meringues a few times and honestly I was scared stiff the entire time! Yours are gorgeous :) THanks so much for linking up!

Pam said...

Festive & pretty. YUM!

Pam said...

I love buying them from the store! I always figured they were difficult to make.

vanillasugarblog said...

Yes I can do these just for the colors.
No not too hard to make, just hard if you attempt it in the summer

Guru Uru said...

What beautiful looking coloured meringues :)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Von said...

I think your red and green food colouring is going to run out before the end of the month- there's plenty of christmas baking going on in your kitchen :) Love the idea of colouring meringues! They look so pretty ;)

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Did I ever tell you how much I love your blog titles? Because I do :) These look soooo beautiful and festive!

Half Baked said...

So pretty. The addition of white chocolate extract sounds delicious!

Blond Duck said...

I've always been terrified of meringue.

Not Quite Nigella said...

They are so cute Grace! Love how you got the red and green into them too! :D

Lori said...

These sound yummy. Never heard of white chocolate extract. Must check it out.

I love your new font on your header.

All That I'm Eating said...

These look great, I love the idea of them. I must try making meringues soon!

Emily Laborde said...

these are so cute!

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Leslie said...

"Light as a feather, stiff as a board" lol lol lol I remember doing that as a teenager.
This look yummy and festive!

Dana said...

I think you may have inspired me to try meringue cookies again. The two times I've made attempts before they come out tasting eggy. Yuck. Yours look so lovely, it looks like I'll have to get out my whisk and try again.

Marjie said...

We love meringue cookies here, and yours are beautiful!

I Wilkerson said...

What a great holiday innovation!

WizzyTheStick said...

Oh these look too pretty. I am almost sure to not get the coloured streaks as perfect as these if I try, i'm sure.

Carolyn Jung said...

So pretty with the holiday colors, too. Happy holidays to you and your family. Hope Christmas is as sweet and surprising as these wonderful meringues. ;)

Laura said...

I never got to meringues. A victim of being so sick. Now I am jealous.