Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Baking: Peppermint Meringue

First, I would like to say that I have never made meringue before, but something in my wanted to try it out; to see if I could do it. The answer? Kind of, sort of. Maybe I didn’t wait for the egg whites to get as stiff as they could be (I thought they were pretty stiff when I started) or maybe it was because I added the vanilla and peppermint extracts while I was folding in the sugar mixture that made the egg whites deflate a little (probably the later). Or maybe, the eggs whites are supposed to be a little runny when you put them into the piping bag or maybe it was the kind of bag that I used. Either way, the eggs white deflated a little, but I don’t care because they taste pretty darn good to me and I congratulate myself on trying something new! :)

By the way I first saw these on  Shauna's Piece of Cake blog, if you want to see what they are supposed to turn out like, go see her blog :).

This is probably where I messed up
 Looks so shiny, I sent so unbelieveable slow, but maybe I
was just too agressive.
 I do wish I could taste the peppermint flavoring more,
 Chocolate dipped!

Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Meringues
I have no clue how many it made. I was just making
random dots until the batter turned to goop

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Red gel food coloring
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet because that's all I had)

  1. Position the oven rack to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Sift together 2 tablespoons of the superfine sugar, the confectioners' sugar, and the flour into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the whip attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Whip first on medium speed, gradually increasing the speed to high, until the egg whites reach soft peaks. Gradually rain in the remaining superfine sugar. Continue to whip until the meringue is glossy and holds a very stiff peak. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer. With a large spatula, gently and carefully fold in the remaining sugar mixture by hand in three additions, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.
  5. On the inside of a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, use a long, thin paint brush to paint four or five long stripes of food coloring up the sides of the bag. Carefully transfer the meringue to the piping bag, aiming for the center of the bag as much as possible to avoid smudging the stripes. Pipe out the meringue into cookies about 1 1/2 inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Place both sheets into the oven at once, and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 200 degrees. Bake until the cookies are completely firm and dry, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely.
  7. Melt the chocolate chips on a double boiler or in the microwave on high power in 30 second intervals until smooth, stirring after each interval. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the melted chocolate and place them on parchment-lined baking sheets. when the chocolate has cooled and set (the refrigerator can speed up this process considerably), remove the cookies from the sheets and store in airtight containers at cool room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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