Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fluffy Crispy Meringue Cookies

My Grandma's RecipesThese meringue cookies literally melt in your mouth. Add a touch of peppermint oil or crushed candy canes and they remind me of those round peppermint candies sold around Christmas time that melt in your mouth. Elegant and sweet these meringue cookies look lovely on a plate for tea time or on your holiday dessert table.

2 egg whites - at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar - superfine works best

With cream of tartar added beat egg whites to soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar until peaks are stiff. Fold in salt*. Drop by tablespoons on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 275 degrees for one hour, turn heat off, remove cookies from parchment paper, place back on cookie sheet and leave in the oven for one more hour. Cool completely and store in air tight container.

*With salt fold in any of these to the meringue cookies:
- 1 cup of mini chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup of finely crushed peppermint sticks (candy canes)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts; pecans, walnuts, macadamia
- One tablespoon finely grated orange or lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, sprinkle tops with slivered almonds

Use clean, oil free beaters and bowl
Do not use plastic container to whip up meringue
Bake meringue cookies a few minutes longer if they do not peel easily from the parchment paper
Perfect meringue cookies are crispy on the outside with a softer middle