Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peppermint Meringues

This easy meringue recipe was passed down to me from my great aunt and has been a 
Christmas cookie tradition in our family ever since.

Peppermint Meringues
((Printable Recipe))

2 egg whites
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tarter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed in food processor

1. Heat oven to 225 degrees F.  Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large impeccably clean bowl (the egg whites will not whip if the bowl is not perfectly clean) beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tarter with an electric mixer until soft peaks form when the beater is lifted.

3. Gradually beat in the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, beating 5 to 6 minutes until the mixture is very stiff, smooth, and glossy.

4. Drop by teaspoons or fill a zipper bag, snip off the end and squeeze out drops of meringue.  Top with crushed candy cane.  (I added some red sugar crystals to my crushed candy canes.)

5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.  The meringues should look dry and white.  Turn off the oven.  Keep the door ajar and let meringues cool.

Store loosely covered in a cool dry place up to 2 months.

You can use this basic meringue recipe to make many varieties:
* Cinnamon Toast Meringues: 1/2 c. chopped pecans with 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
* Mint Chocolate Chip: 1/2 tsp. mint extract and 1 c. mini semi sweet pieces
* Chocolate Chip: 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 c. mini semi sweet pieces
* Toffee Pecan: 1/2 c. chopped pecans and 1/2-1 c. crushed toffee pieces

Linked to: Gooseberry Patch

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