The next day I was exited to get to the task of coloring meringues. I prepared the meringue as usual except for using two different flavor extracts. As you can see in the pictures, some have a caramel coloring. Those are the meringues flavored with vanilla, and the white ones with pink swirls are flavored with hazelnut extract. I used a large star tip and striped the inside of a few bags with different colored food dyes. Then I filled the bags with the meringue and piped little star shaped kisses.
A little peek from the box!
I had some leftover dipping chocolate from filling some Lorna Doone cookies so I decided to dip the tips of a few meringues. They had such a lovely taste. I had some amaretto on hand and incorporated a little drizzle into the melted chocolate.. it was delightful! We all loved the chocolate and packaged in a cellophane bag and ribbon, they made a lovely little thank you gift!
Ciao and Buon Appetitio!
Basic Meringue Cookie Recipe
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup superfine or castor sugar *
1/4 teaspoon pure hazelnut or vanilla extract
*(if you don't have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30 seconds in a food processor)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees˚ and place the rack in the center of your oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can form the cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch star tip, or I often use a plain tip to make the cookies.
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 until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the extract.
Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
Before placing the cookies on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) tip. Pipe 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) rounds of meringue in rows on the prepared baking sheet. Alternatively, spoon mounds of meringue, using two spoons, onto the prepared sheets. Sprinkle with a few shaved almonds, if desired.
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. Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying overnight.