Christmas Meringue Cookies

*I’d like to introduce everyone to a fantastic foodie friend of mine.  Gwen and I first met as each others roommate assignment for Eat, Write, Retreat, a food bloggers conference in Philadelphia.  We had both been given the chance to go by the great people at Canadian Beef and instantly hit it off.  Best roommate ever!  Despite being from two different ends of the country we connected over our love of food and our sarcastic and sometimes biting sense of humour.  We have since stay in regular contact, have discussed collaborations such as this one and can hardly wait to room together for FBC 2014.  Check out Gwen’s blog Devour and Conquer to see how those on the West Coast do it and watch for more guest posts in the future here at The Tasty Gardener. * 

It’s that time again, the season where cookies and baked goods are popping up everywhere, tempting us with their festive tastiness.

I’m lucky enough to have a great group of baking friends out here on Vancouver Island, and we meet up each December for a cookie exchange and tasting competition. We’ve all been slaving over hot ovens in anticipation of this annual exchange, and I decided to invent something new – Candy Cane Peppermints and After Eights Christmas Trees.

These festive cookies are made with baked meringue and are quite easy to whip up. They have a crisp crunch, a cloud-like texture, and a taste that shouts “Christmas!”. It should also be noted during this butter-laden season that the Candy Cane cookies are 100% fat-free and dairy-free, and both recipes are naturally gluten-free.

A note on equipment and double batches:
– A piping bag is ideal for forming these cookies, but if you don’t have one, a freezer bag with a small corner snipped off works just fine to pipe them out.
– While a fancy stand mixer is obviously the best choice for whipping up eggs, I was able to make over 250 of these cookies with a crappy old hand mixer just fine.
– The below recipes can be doubled and tripled for larger batches, you can estimate a yield of approximately 10-15 cookies per egg white.

Candy Cane Meringue Cookies After Eight Christmas Tree Meringues

These cookies are similar to the Candy Cane Meringues, but with an extra punch of mint and dipped in dark chocolate as a tribute to those irresistible wafer-thin After Eights chocolates, a Christmas tradition in my house.

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon pure mint or peppermint extract
  • Red food colouring
  • ½ teaspoon pure mint or peppermint extract
  • Green food colouring
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Separate eggs, taking extra care that no yolk gets into whites.
  3. Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl (with no traces of water or oil, will affect the whipping process)
  4. Beat eggs on low until they are foamy.
  5. Add Cream of Tartar and mint extract.
  6. Beat on high until soft peaks form.
  7. Begin slowly adding sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while beating continuously on high to incorporate.
  8. Continue beating until all the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is shiny and forms stiff peaks.
  9. To test if the sugar is fully dissolved, run a little meringue between your fingers, if it feels gritty, keep beating.
  10. To create a candy cane swirl design on your cookies, use red gel food colouring to paint three lines inside your piping bag before adding the white meringue mixture. If you are using liquid food colouring, separate out one cup of meringue and fold in 15 drops of red food colouring, then alternate the white and red meringues as you fill your piping bag. I used this liquid food colour technique on the cookies pictured here and was happy with the results, but gel will give you a stronger 'red candy cane stripe' in the cookie design.
  11. Pipe the meringue mixture in small, cookie-sized rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. They will not expand very much during baking, so pipe them out to the approximate size you want for your cookies.
  12. Bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees. If you want a very crisp meringue, turn off the heat and leave them in the oven, door open slightly, for an additional hour after baking.
  13. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. Store the meringues in an air-tight container to maintain their crisp, airy texture.
  15. Separate eggs, making sure that no yolk gets into whites.
  16. Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl (with no traces of water or oil, which will affect the whipping process).
  17. Begin slowly adding sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while beating continuously on high to incorporate
  18. Continue beating until all the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is shiny and forms stiff peaks. (To test if the sugar is fully dissolved, run a little meringue between your fingers, if it feels gritty, keep beating).
  19. Add green food colouring until desired colour is achieved. Fill a piping bag with meringue.
  20. Pipe the meringue mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet, starting with a small circle, then spiraling upwards to create a tiny Christmas Tree shape. The trees will not expand very much during baking, so pipe them out to the approximate size you want your finished cookies to be.
  21. Bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees. If you want a very crisp meringue, turn off the heat and leave them in the oven, door open slightly, for an additional hour after baking.
  22. Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave until fluid. Dip the base of each meringue into the chocolate, then place back on the parchment paper to set.
  23. If you wish, pipe a small dot of chocolate onto the top of your trees and add a decorative sugar star.
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.4
305

Store the meringues in an air-tight container to maintain their crisp, airy texture.

Devour in mass quantities. This is, after all, the season to be merry.

Thanks for inviting me to stop by The Tasty Gardener to share a festive recipe, happy holidays to all!

~ Gwen from Devour & Conquer

Devour & Conquer Food Blog website, @devourNconquer on Twitter, Devour & Conquer on Facebook

Share this with your friends:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Speak Your Mind

*