When Christmas comes around…All I can think of is baking! (I actually do so all year round!!), But seriously, every Christmas I make myself a little ‘Wish List’ of things I want to bake and new recipes to try. This is my regular meringue recipe but since they are so versatile, I turned into Peppermint meringues by adding crushed peppermint to the raw meringue and then painted some colorful lines inside my piping bag to give it that nice green and red tones.
I actually have two ways to baking my meringues. One, and the first one I learned, was leaving the meringues with the oven on 180F for 3 hours (Yes!! 3 hours with the oven ON!). The second method, is the one I used in this recipe, which gives you a mallowy inside, more like a Pavlova, and it is baked only for 35-40min only until they pull apart from the parchment paper and then turning off the oven and leaving them inside until they are completely cooled.
Go on ‘fellows’ and bake these cuties and share with your family, I am sure they will appreciate it very much!
- 4 egg whites (from free-range eggs at room temperature)
- Double the weight of egg whites in Caster or Superfine sugar
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 – 2 Soft Candy Canes color paste or gels in your desired colors (avoid liquid food coloring and they could deflate your meringue)
- Christmas sprinkles
- First preheat your oven to 185F and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a paper towel and a bit of vinegar or lemon juice, clean your bowl and whisk first, removing any fat that might have remained there from other bakes. This step is extremely important, if there is any fat, your whites wont whisk correctly.
- Separate your egg whites and egg yolks. Try separating them one at a time on a separate bowl so if you get any yolks on your whites, discard it and make scrambled eggs with that but DON’t use it if you get bits of yolks or the whites will not stiffen up.
- In the bowl of an stand mixer add the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt and whisk slowly at first until big bubbles form. Continue mixing at a medium high speed until it is very foamy and stiff (when your egg whites are white and fluffy and don’t fall of the bowl if you turn it upside-down).
- 5. At medium high speed add the sugar one tablespoon at the time and continue mixing until you get very stiff peaks (about 5-8 min). At this point you could lift your whisker with some meringue mix and you would get a nice loop/shape, you can also test rubbing it between your fingers and if you can feel any sugar then it is all done. If you can still feel some, whisk for a few more minutes. Add the vanilla and mix for a few seconds more.
- While the egg whites are mixing with the sugar, put the candy canes in a ziplock bag and crush them carefully with a rolling pin. Once the meringue mix is ready, fold in the crushed candy cane using a spatula, being carefully to not deflate your meringue
- Prepare a piping bag with a big round tip (or star tip works too!). Open the bag as best as you can, turning the top part inside out and paint fine lines on the inside, from the nozzle to the end. Be generous or your meringues will be all white or with pale colors.
- With the help of a spatula, fill your bag with meringue. Then turning the end to make a tight grip and start piping on your tray. You can use some of the meringue to stick the parchment paper to the cookie sheet to make it all more comfortable.
- Pipe in the shape you like, stars, kisses, christmas trees…until you have used all the meringue (I used two cookie sheets).
- Bake for 35-40 min until your meringues pull easily from the parchment paper. If they dont pull easily, pop them in the oven for a few more minutes. Once they pull away, turn the over off and let the meringues cool in the oven completely.