I love meringues. I’ve only made them one time before, but I grew up eating them. They used to sell them at the old Emporium department store in San Francisco, in the bakery, down in the basement. They were only a dime each, and it would only take one to give me that sweet, melt-in-your-mouth satisfaction.
I’ve only made them once before, and they came out pretty well, considering some people seem to think that they are complicated. They are actually pretty simple, though there is one, very strong piece of advice to heed while making them: keep oil out of the mix. That includes the tiniest speck of egg yolk, because if you do, your egg whites won’t stiffen up.
I actually kind of blew it with this batch, because I added just a smidgen of peppermint extract, toward the end. I noticed the stiffness withered a bit, and I wasn’t quite sure what I did wrong. I went online, and that when I found out about the oil… the peppermint extract that I used was made with oil of peppermint. Still I went ahead and made them, and they actually turned out really good, as far as taste and texture… they just didn’t stand up as much as I would have liked.
The other mistake I made was adding crushed peppermint sticks into the egg white mixture. When I starting piping with my pastry bag, the candy clumped together at the star tip I was using and jammed it all up. It started coming out at the top and made a big mess, so I’ll just have to recommend that you only sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top, before you put the baking sheet into the oven.
The main reason I made them in the first place is because I’ve got a bunch of lilikoi juice, waiting to be into gelato, and this is a great way to use up the egg whites. Since peppermint screams of the holiday season, it seemed only fitting to make these again.
Quick & easy, though they will take some time to bake, in a very low heat oven~
You can beat the egg whites by hand, if you like, but you will likely feel like your arm will fall off, by the end. Use a mixer with very, clean blades, if you can.
Start by preparing a large baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 250º.
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
2 candy canes, finely crushed
Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar together until soft peaks form.
Add in ¼ cup sugar and beat. Add in vanilla and blend that in.
Add in the last ¼ cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Pipe or spoon small amounts onto the baking sheet, then sprinkle with the crushed candy.
Bake in oven for 1-½ hours. Turn of the oven and open oven door until it is ajar, then allow them to sit for another 1-1/2 hours.
They should be cool, by that time. They should also be pretty dry, crunchy and delicious.
If you’re like me, you’ll play with them on different plates, lights, settings, etc., just because it’s fun. 😄