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No-Guilt Meringue Cookies

10 Dec
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Bubble Gum & Peppermint Meringue Cookies

Ok so here’s the thing. I love sweets. I don’t care if it’s a tart, a slice of cake, cookies, candy or a hunk of chocolate. Just love it all. I have a secret obsession with vanilla bean ANYTHING, but I will take down a cup of rich, intense drinking chocolate like it’s my job. Since we are in the full swing of holiday season, there has been a lot of discussion amongst my friends and loved ones about the subject of dessert. For me, making the sweets portion of a meal is absolutely awesome (if I have the time). Needless to say I’m usually bringing dessert. But the funny thing is, I’m realizing that people are craving small bites of sweetness. It’s almost like they don’t have the time (or the room) for a slice of dessert after, cocktails, apps and dinner. So I decided to start making these awesome meringue cookies for dinner parties or family gatherings. It’s usually not the only thing I bring, but I find they are the perfect item to hold in your hand while sipping the last of your champagne.

The other thing I love about these little guys is that they can be flavored with anything. And I mean anything. The versions I made here were peppermint and bubble gum, but you can make classic vanilla, cocoa, citrus zest, cinnamon…hell even brown-sugar & bacon. It really doesn’t matter how you flavor them, just give them a whirl. Trust me, they’re sooooo easy.

Lastly, they are fat-free (aka guilt-free). The most basic bones of the recipe are egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. That’s it!! Of course you have the creative liberty to add whatever your heart desires. But honestly? Everyone has those 4 ingredients in their home. I promise, they’re simply awesome. No worries, you already have the ingredients in your kitchen.  So do yourself a favor and whip up a batch won’t you?

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This is how your meringue peak should look!

No-Worries Meringue Cookies

makes approximately 60 cookies

3 large egg whites (at room temperature)

3/4 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of flavoring (vanilla extract, citrus zest, flavored oil or extracts)

1-2 drops of food coloring (optional)

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
  • Combine the egg whites and the sugar in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir this mixture until the sugar dissolves and is warm, about 3-5 minutes. – I can tell it’s ready if the mixture is no longer grainy and when drizzled over my finger, it feels like my body temperature.
  • Pour the egg white-sugar mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, and add the cream of tartar and salt. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until the mixture is stiff and glossy, about 7-10 minutes. (I like to stop the mixer around 7 minutes and detach the whisk. Turn it upside down and the peak of the meringue should stand up straight and just fold over at the tip. If not, continue whisking for 2 more minutes.) Whisk or stir in your flavoring and food coloring. If you want your meringues to look swirled, just barely stir in the food coloring (leave streaks-don’t fully incorporate it). Otherwise you can make colored cookies by fully stirring the coloring in.
  • Prepare 2 parchment lined baking sheets. Fill a piping bag (or large Ziploc) with the meringue mixture. Pipe 1 1/2 inch circular rounds about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake the meringues until crisp on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.

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