Caitlin’s Confections: Pastel Meringues
This morning I set out on an adventure in the kitchen: making meringues. This seems to always happen when I’m home from school for the weekend and have more at my disposal than a microwave and a coffee pot. My mom only complains if I forget to do the dishes afterwards.
Meringues are small, melt in your mouth cookies made from egg whites and sugar. For anyone with a sweet tooth, they’re a perfect treat, and luckily they’re also fairly easy to make.
The recipe I used called for the whites of three eggs, however I doubled all the ingredients, using the whites of six eggs. Once I had cracked and separated the eggs, I whipped the whites with an electric mixer (and a wire whisk attachment) until they started to form stiff peeks. Next, I added a cup of sugar and continued mixing until the egg whites and sugar mixture was very thick and stiff. I then folded another cup of sugar into the mixture with a spatula, taking care not to over mix and ruin the light, airy texture of the egg whites. After the mixture was folded together I spooned it evenly into three bowls and added food coloring. Then, putting each color into a piping bag, I piped out the meringues onto parchment paper.
*Caitlin’s Note: I worked at a cupcake shop last summer and they used food coloring VERY sparingly. Light, pastel colors are more attractive to the consumer of your baked goods, so go easy whenever you use food coloring- two to three drops goes a very long way.
The meringues bake at 200°F for one hour, however, in order to keep the bright color to the cookies and avoid really cooking the tops, you should open the oven up every ten to fifteen minutes or so and leave it for a minute, propped open with a wooden spoon.
*Caitlin’s Note: I believe leaving my oven propped too long was the cause of some of the cracks in my meringues, but like I said, this was a baking adventure, so anything could have happened. Next time I attempt these treats I will most likely adjust my baking methods, and if I find out any new information I will add it to the bottom of this post!
Once the meringues had cooked for an hour (plus a few more minutes- you will know that they’re ready if they come easily off the paper) I let them sit for a good twenty minutes. While they rested, I melted a few ounces of white chocolate chips in a saucepan with a teaspoon of oil, then transferred the melted white chocolate into a pastry bag. Once the meringues had sat long enough, I drizzled the white chocolate over the top.
I let my mom take these meringues for an Easter celebration she was attending, and I thought the pastel colors were perfect for this spring, but you can really make these meringues for any occasion: a bridal or baby shower, a friends’ luncheon, or a child’s birthday party. No matter the circumstance, I can guarantee they’ll be a hit.
So now you tell me, what are some of your favorite spring-themed desserts to make?