If you saw my post last Wednesday, I wrote about peppermint meringues and how my nieces gently insist they get a supply for the holidays. Originally I made vanilla meringues but one year I switched it up and made peppermint meringues, well that was it. From now on its peppermint meringues for every holiday.
OK so again in case you missed it last week, a few notes about making meringues before you even start:
NOTE: Egg whites must be at room temperature to get the highest loft from the beaten egg whites. Take my word for it, they never turn out well if the eggs are cold.
NOTE #2: DO NOT attempt to make meringues when it is raining or very humid. Meringues are best made in the winter when it is cold and dry but can be made when the weather is warmer just be sure to choose a dry day to bake them. Then store in airtight containers to keep them the freshest possible. Not to worry though, in my family once anyone knows I made meringues they are gone! Honestly, they disappear within a day or two.
- 4 eggs whites, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Red food coloring
Preheat oven to 225F
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside
- Put egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer adding salt and cream of tartar. Beat at low speed until frothy.
- Increase speed of mixer to medium and slowly add sugar; pouring it in a very slow stream until all sugar is incorporated.
- Increase speed to high and continue beating until stiff peaks form. This means you can turn the beater upside down and the tip of the meringue will stay rigid.
- Add vanilla and peppermint extracts continue beating to incorporate
- To get red stripes on the meringues put several drops of liquid food coloring in a zippy bag fitted with a tip. Close bag and squish food coloring to coat inside of bag then fill with meringue mixture.
- Transfer beaten meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a tip, or a zippy bag (with a tip or without). I usually use a zippy bag without a tip. I like the look of a smooth meringue so there is no need for a tip when just making small meringues; just clip the corner of the bag but, be careful to clip only a small amount off and try it out for size especially if you want small meringues. Remember; you can always make the cut bigger but you cannot make it smaller. If you want a crenelated top, fit bag with a tip.
- Pipe small, about 1 ½ inch meringue cookies onto prepared parchment lined baking sheets. You can space them about 1 inch apart as they do not spread during baking.
- Place filled baking sheets in 225F oven for 60 to 90 minutes depending on the size of your meringues.
- To test cookies you will have to sacrifice one. Break it in half, if still wet in the center leave in oven for an additional 15 to 30 minutes. Baking time is totally dependent on the size of your meringues.
- Yeild: about 60-70 meringue cookies, about 25 – 30 mini Pavlova – a tiny tart shell made from meringue and filled just before serving.
- Meringues keep for several weeks in an airtight container as long as it is not humid.
I packaged these peppermint meringues in a cellophane sleeve with a bright red ribbon to sell at a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. I feel confident they will be the first things gone.