peppermint meringues

So.  Three points to anyone who can name the products sitting on my kitchen table behind the tray of meringues!  I conquered the art of American-style cookies months ago.  Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, brownies – all are things I consider to be among the easiest of baking projects.  Even the sugar cookie, which in its simplicity had long eluded me, has finally become manageable.  I had always heard that cookies like meringues, which involved touchy issues of egg white whipping and precise measurements, were very difficult, so I’d lived in fear.

Plus, I had always equated meringues to chewing on styrofoam, so I wasn’t exactly jazzed to give it a try.

At last I decided to conquer this fear, and turned out row after row of pretty, peppermint flavored puffs that melt in your mouth.  They were among the easiest cookies I have ever made, and might even be my go-to cookie in the future when I want something simple.  Sure, they’re not the quickest things I’ve ever made, but honestly, the time spent in the oven isn’t so different from the time spent scooping out dough of traditional cookies and switching baking sheets half a dozen times because they spread out.  So, I’d say it might even out, but with meringues I can spend more time with my feet up!

peppermint meringues (makes about 100, depending on size)

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. red food coloring gel

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place egg whites and salt in a stand mixer with wire whip.  Beat on medium-high speed until foamy, and then gradually add granulated sugar, allowing the mixer to beat a few minutes in between additions.  Beat to firm peaks, 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  3. Add confectioners’ sugar and peppermint extract.  Beat in until blended.
  4. If you want meringue to come out in stripes, drip small blobs of food coloring gel on the meringue in various locations.  Scoop into pastry bag fitted with round or star tip and pipe out about 1-inch meringues, about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake 2 1/2 hours, then let cool completely.
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