Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meringue Cookies

I made some Key Lime Pie the other day and had some left over egg whites.  I decided that this was the time to try to make something new.  That something was meringue cookies.  They're easy to make and turn out to be really light and airy.  They almost melt in your mouth.   They also store fantastically.

Meringue recipes call for superfine sugar.  I'm sure it's something you can buy but I just poured it into my food processor and let it whirl.

Here is one more thing to think about when making these.  While they sit in the oven and dry out it's important not to forget that they are in there and turn the oven up to 400* to make some garlic toast.  It will cause them to burn and you'll have the throw the entire batch of lovely meringues that you just spent hours making into the trash. 

I just wanted to throw that out there (not that I would do something like that... i'm just saying)

Meringue Cookies: 
(Joy of Baking)

3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
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. 

<- It should look like this.

Beat in the vanilla extract.   
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You can either use a piping bag or use two spoons to make mounds of meringue.
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.) Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours or overnight. 

The meringues can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days.

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