Last weekend, I made my dark chocolate crème brulée and set the egg whites aside for another day. Last night, I decided to try my hand at meringue cookies. Trader Joe's has these in their dessert section, and they are GOOD and addictive (especially the miniature ones). While the recipe requires quite a bit of patience, the end result is well worth the wait. These are by far my favorite cookies that I've ever made.
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ cup superfine or caster sugar (see notes)
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 200ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks, about another 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) tip. Pipe 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) rounds of meringue in rows on the prepared baking sheet. Alternatively, spoon mounds of meringue, using two spoons, onto the prepared sheets.
- Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to1 3/4 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp. (The meringues will release easily from the parchment paper.)
- Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and let sit in the oven several hours or overnight to finish drying.
If you don't have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30-60 seconds in a food processor.
The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
Before placing the cookies on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding.