Meringue – it’s not just for pie topping. Making it is the first step in making Swiss buttercream. A little taste of step one was all that I needed to fall in love with meringue.
This post was inspired by a grocery store pumpkin. It was adorable (as pumpkins go) and it had a beautiful mossy green curving stem. It must have escaped the notice of the stem chopper at the farm. It stood out in the big stack of stubby-stemmed, and stemless pumpkins. So I had to do another Halloween post. I think the little meringue ghosts enjoyed haunting that pumpkin.
3 Large Egg Whites
½ Cup + 2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Bake at 170 degrees for approximately 1-1/2 hours
Wipe down your stand mixer bowl, paddle and whisk attachments with vinegar (don't rinse out).
Fit a tip #21 to a 14” or 18” piping bag for 1-1/2” ghosts, or a #1M tip for larger ghosts.
Place parchment on cookie sheets. Place a dot of meringue at the corners to keep it from dancing as you pipe.
Have a small plate sprinkled with about a ½ teaspoon of black nonpareils.
Add egg whites and sugar to your mixer bowl, place over another pot with simmering water (not touching the water). Add a candy thermometer, and gently whisk egg whites, sugar. The tip of the thermometer should be in the liquid and not touching the bottom of the bowl. When the mixture reaches 160 degrees, remove from heat and place on stand mixer fitted with the paddle.
Whip at setting 3 for one minute. Increase to 6 or 7 for about 2-3 minutes. Mixture will begin to look opaque and fluffy. Add vanilla and keep whipping for about 10 minutes. The meringue will start to look thick shiny.
Scoop meringue into piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice. Tip bag at an angle squeeze onto parchment and release. Touch your fingertip to a damp cloth, press finger onto a nonpareil and apply to the ghosts.
Place in oven. You can tell they are done, if you can tip them up and they are no longer sticky. You can also take one meringue out and break it. If it is sticky or moist, return to the oven. I turn my cookie sheets at 1 hour. Take them out of the oven and leave on the cookie sheet until cooled then transfer to your display container.