Friday, December 3, 2010

Week 10 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies: Holiday Meringues

Its December, can you believe that? I'm so happy. This is my favorite month of the year, and we get to celebrate my favorite holiday - Christmas. And speaking of favorites, today I stumbled on something that flew right onto my list of favorites - Meringues. I can't believe I hadn't made this before. Actually, I did try it out before, but they turned out flat and stuck to the baking paper and so it ended up in the trash, but don't tell anyone that. **wink wink** Anyway, this was a few years ago and I never considered making meringues again. However, in the last few weeks, I've been toying with the idea of making a Pavlova. According to me, it falls in the same category as the meringues, so I was a little apprehensive and it has been on hold since. For some reason, I felt brave this morning and decided that it was time to give meringues another shot. I knew that if I couldn't make meringues, making a pavlova would be quite questionable.

This attempt was better than the previous, but I still have some kinks to work out. Maybe some of you can help me understand what I can do differently the next time. Oh yes, I'm going to make these again, because even though they weren't visually very appealing, I loved the taste and texture. It was light and airy, crisp on the outside and a little chewy on the inside. They just melt  in you mouth. I know for a fact that the next time, I will need to add more color and flavor, because what I used this time wasn't nearly enough. Some of the meringues cracked a little. Can anyone tell me how this can be avoided? I'd love to hear from you. I tried the kisses and wreaths and I wanted to create something that looked like Christmas trees, those didn't turn out too well, some cracked and some tilted. I used inspiration from here, here and here.  I couldn't settle on any one so here's what I did.


Holiday Meringues

2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
A pinch of cream of tartar
Green food coloring
Peppermint extract
Sprinkles, or sanding sugar to decorate

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar together till it gets light and foamy. Gradually add the sugar and keep whisking till it reaches a stiff peak consistency.

Add food coloring and flavor extracts of your choice. I used green food color and peppermint extract and mix well. Prepare a piping bag and use a star shaped icing tip and pipe out the meringues onto some lightly greased baking paper. Bake at 160°C for about 20 minutes and then at 140°C for another 20 minutes.

Cool and decorate as desired. I used a mix of red sanding sugar and some crumbled cinnamon jelly beans.

I can't wait to try this again and hopefully get visually better results.


Go ahead and take a peek at what the other wonderfully talented folks have made this week.

Week 10 Twelve Weeks of Christmas:

15 comments:

  1. Wow, your meringues look awesome. I especially love that wreath, so pretty. I'll definitely have to try making peppermint flavored meringues too.

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  2. I love how your meringues turned out! They look so cute, and perfect for Christmas! I bet they melt in your mouth!

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  3. Those came out perfectly! I remember trying to make meringues one year and they came out tasting good, but too chewy. I oughta give these a try!

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  5. i love playing around with meringue batter! U can practically coax them to be any shape or colour u want them to be! Your cookies look great! The sprinkles are so festive!

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  6. All my pavlovas have been flops. I haven't attempted it for years though.
    I think to avoid cracking you have to make sure they cool down SLOWLY. That's what I read anyway as I've been doing research on how to make a successful pavlova before I try making it again (I want to make one for Christmas!)

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  7. @ Sportsgirl, thanks for the heads up, whats surprising is mine cracked while they were baking. I can't figure out what I need to do differently.

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  8. Hmm I don't know. Perhaps the temperature needs to be lower then? I would try cooking it at a slightly lower temperature next time.

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  9. I've made meringues and pavolas (check out my old post) many times, my oven was between 200º and 225º. Yours are so cute, love the sprinkles too.
    mickey

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  10. Really beautiful! So festive too! They would look amazing on a holiday platter as a gift!

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I'd love to hear from you. Reading your wonderful comments just brightens my day!

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