[recipe & photo courtesy of Donna from Corkscrews & Spatulas]
Meringues are best when made with superfine sugar, which you can make yourself by pulsing regular white sugar in a food processor until extra fine. The standard ratio when making hard meringues is 1/4 cup (50 grams) of granulated white sugar for every egg white. This amount of sugar is needed to give the meringue its crispness. Adding the sugar gradually to the egg whites ensures that the sugar completely dissolves and does not produce a gritty meringue. If you are new to making Meringues, here’s a meringue-making tutorial that might be of help.
6 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cup superfine sugar
2-3 drops of extract (almond, vanilla, orange, peppermint, etc.)
2-3 drops food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Fit a pastry bag with a large star or round tip and set aside.
Using a clean, dry mixing bowl, whip egg whites on medium speed until foamy in a Kitchen Aid mixer or a similar high-speed mixer.
Add cream of tartar and whip until meringue starts to form soft peaks.
Add sugar a little at a time. Continue to whip until meringue forms very stiff peaks that hold their shape.
Add extract and coloring if desired and whip just until mixed. Transfer to the pastry bag. Get creative and pipe swirls or any other desired shapes for your meringues.
Bake at 225 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until meringues are light in color, crisp and dry. Turn the oven off and let the meringues sit in the oven for another hour or more.
Cool completely, and store your Meringue Cookies in an airtight container. Indulge in one yourself, wrap in tins, cover with a ribbon and use as holiday gifts, or serve these at a cocktail party!