The seasons continue to change and I continue to bake. With the colder weather comes a new theme, peppermint! When I think holiday treats immediately peppermint comes to mind; candy-canes, peppermint hot chocolate, and red and green Christmas cookies. No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, if you celebrate any at all, it is hard to go wrong or offend anyone with peppermint as a theme. I begin this new theme with what I consider one of the cutest of cookies of all time.
Peppermint meringue cookies
4 egg whites, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 pinches cream of tartar (a pinch is commonly considered to be 1/8 of a teaspoon)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Preheat oven to 175 degrees F. and cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
-Put water in a pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- In a heat-proof bowl mix together egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar.
- Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk ingredients consistently for about 3 minutes.
- Whisk until all the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are warm (not hot).
- Remove mixture from heat and whisk, by hand or electric mixer.
- Begin whisking on a low speed and slowly increase to high speed over about 10 minutes.
- When glossy peaks begin to form add the peppermint extract, mix in.
- Put the meringue in a pastry bag or decorating gun and pipe onto baking sheets in whatever shape makes you happy (I used a large star-shaped tip).
Bake cookies for around 2 hours. They should be firm, but not browned. Remove them from the parchment paper promptly and cool on a wire rack.
~ As far as presentation goes, I chose to attempt to make half of the cookies pink. Unfortunately, adding the food coloring disrupted the meringue and my pink cookies did not hold their shape as well as the white cookies did. However, I think a little extra cream of tartar and extra whipping could remedy this because, come on, pink meringues are so cute! These work well on a plate or in a bowl, as they aren't squishy and won't lose their shape when all thrown in together. They are also relatively easy to make, as long as you don't mind a lot of whipping, and would make an excellent treat to give out as holiday gifts.
Modified from the Martha Stewart website
Have a mentioned that I love holidays?
Tata for now,