Monday, December 19, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Confections - Day 6 Peppermint Meringues

Day 6 - Peppermint Meringues

One of many images that are synonymous with the holidays are the red and white stripes of a candy cane, that coupled with the mouth chilling flavor of peppermint and I'm yearning to make a snowman stat! Sadly, that's not a possibility here in Los Angeles, but a girl can always dream. I was initially drawn to these cookies because although not low in sugar, the meringue is at least low in fat, a wiser option during the bombardment of calories this time of year. These meringues make the choice of less fat, verses full fat, such as in eating fudge, a painless experience. These bad boys only contain 9, yes NINE calories! The burst of peppermint is quite a pleasant surprise, and very refreshing. It will make your guests feel like they have a little mint in between sips of cocktails, easily combating bad party breath, every guest’s worst nightmare. The refreshing mint pairs perfectly with the fluffy, light texture innate to a meringue. The striped appearance was very easy and fun to obtain, so much so that Todd ended up piping most of them out of pure entertainment of perfecting the swirl-like stripe. These are very easy, and extremely low in cost to make. My tips are to double the peppermint in the recipe and also keep in mind the cook time for the meringues. They prepare in a jiffy but take a good solid couple hours to cook and dry out.

Peppermint Meringues
Recipe by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez - Yes, another Bon Appetit, December 2011

3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract ( I used 1/4 teaspoon)
12 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 200°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until white and foamy, about 1 minute. With mixer running, gradually add sugar in 3 additions beating for 2 minutes between each addition. Beat until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes longer. Add powdered sugar and peppermint extract; beat to blend, about 1 minute.
Dot coloring over surface of meringue; do not stir (the coloring will form swirls when piped). Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2" tip. (See Prep School; alternatively, spoon into a plastic freezer bag, then cut 1/2" off 1 corner.) Twist top; pipe 1" rounds onto prepared sheet, spacing 1" apart.
Bake meringues until dry, about 2 1/2 hours. Let cool completely, about 1 hour (meringues will crisp as they cool).

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