Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Cookies - Round 3 - Peppermint Meringues

I mean, who wouldn't want to make something from the cover of Bon Apetit?  Pink and white and red and minty...  Sign me up!  A great treat for any one who is gluten free too!  I am always a little hesitant when going into a project that involves meringue.  If there is just the littlest bit of oil in your mixing bowl you have to start all over again.  And you have to add everything S L O W L Y.  But I thought what the heck.  Why not give it a try.  And have something totally different to give out, or eat myself.

It was really quite simple, took very little time to make and then I just had to wait about 2 hours while they cooked/set in the oven.

So here we go.

Direct to you from Bon Apetit December 2011

Makes about 60

3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
12 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 200. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until white and foamy, about 1 minute. With mixer running, gradually add sugar in 3 additions, beating for 2 minutes between each addition. Beat until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes longer. Add powdered sugar and peppermint extract; beat to blend, about 1 minute.

That's it!  Just kidding.  You still have to add the food coloring and pipe them onto the baking sheets.  But seriously.  So quick!  So simple!

Dot coloring over surface of meringue; do not stir (the coloring will form swirls when piped). Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip.  I didn't have a 1/2 inch, and I have disposable pastry bags, so I just cut the tip off and went from there.  You could also use a freezer bag or any other large plastic storage bag.  Pipe the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch in diameter and about one inch apart.  
Some meringues will come out white, some very red and white and as you get to the end of your bag of meringue they will be pink with small red stripes.  This was annoying to me so I just ate some of the really red and white ones, after they were cooked of course, problem solved.

Bake for about 2 1/2 hours, until meringues are completely dry.  Allow to cool completely, for an hour, before storing.   Bon Apetit said to store in layers between waxed or parchment paper.  I carefully put them all in a glass storage container with a lid.  We'll see what happens.

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