Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Peppermint: Peppermint Meringue Cookies

Greetings All~
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






























Swiss Meringue
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.

































-credit-
Modified from the Martha Stewart website

Have a mentioned that I love holidays?

Tata for now,
L. Mousse

4 comments:

  1. Oh, I miss these!!! They consisted of half my diet last winter, I swear...

    Question for you, oh wise Mousse and Blogger: why do you think that we associate minty things with winter, when it's a "cold" flavor/experience? Almost all other flavor or sensation associations with winter are warming or heated associations. Why is "cool" mint doubling the winter chill? Just curious to see what you think! <3<3<3 pie.

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  2. By the way, the meringue you're making in this recipe is classified as a Swiss meringue, since you're heating it over a bain marie. Effectively, you're pasteurizing the egg whites. If readers have candy or instant read thermometers, the temperature you're aiming for is about 140F. (This is compared to a French or common meringue, where you just whip the whites and sugar and tartar, or an Italian meringue, where you make a simple syrup out of sugar and drizzle it into the egg whites as you beat them - again, the purpose to pasteurize the whites.) This is mostly important when you're following recipes that don't cook the whites all the way, i.e. lemon meringue pie, or something along those veins. The temperature probably isn't as important for these, since they probably reach about 140F in the oven, mayhaps...
    Oh, the wonders of food that are explained/destroyed by baking school.
    <3 <3 <3 Pie.

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  3. Thanks, darling Pie, I am forever amazed by your knowledge. <3

    ~Mousse

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  4. Awwww, shucks... I've only had to make a million lemon meringue pies over the last month or so, using the Swiss meringue method. It's been hammmmmmerreedddd into my brain.

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