I have recently fallen in love with meringue, especially meringue cookies. They satisfy (in a pretty way) the craving for a crunchy something sweet. They are easy to make and are an almost guilt-free bite of deliciousness. Add them to tablescapes, cupcakes, cakes, or bag them up and give them out as party favors.
Experiment with making different shapes, and colors. You can add different toppings like candies, shaved chocolate, chopped nuts, crushed peppermints...you name it! I liked making little trees in an unusual Christmas color combo to top a snowy looking cake.
The icy pieces are made of Isomalt crystals. You can sprinkle and bake Isomalt Crystals between two silicone baking pads and see what you wind up with. It comes out different every time. You can add powder colors to the Isomalt too; swirl them in or mix them evenly depending on the feel you want.I added some larger pieces to the cake top and the little pieces worked well around the bottom of the cake. This is a great project to do with kids. While the meringues bake, you can start making something else!
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
Things you will need
Piping Gel to paint on trees and then apply sugar or edible glitter
Toothpicks or small brush to apply gel
Dragees 6mm for tree tops
Edible glitter or crystal sugar
Tweezers to place dragees
2 Large piping bags, 12-16" each fitted with #1M tips
Americolor gel color (I used #129 Avocado and #116 Mauve)
Stand mixer, with whisk attachment
Preheat oven to 200
Place a small amount of vinegar on a paper towel and wipe your mixing bowl, spatula, and whisk attachment.
Add parchment to 2 large cookie sheets. Place a small dot of meringue to the underside of each piece of parchment to help hold it down while you pipe.
Whip egg whites in stand mixer and whip at medium high until you have stiff peaks. If the egg white stay on an upturned spatula, it is ready to work with, if not, whip some more. Gradually add sugar, vanilla and vinegar. Continue to whip until mixture become glossy and very smooth.
Add your coloring with a toothpick. If you are using more than one color divide before adding your color. Fill piping bags and pipe trees about 1" apart.
Bake at 200 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Check the cookies at intervals of 1 hour, 1-1/2 hours, 2 hours. They are done if you can lift a cookie from the parchment easily (and the bottom should not be brown).
Cool cookies on a wire cookie rack. Completely cool then apply edible glitter. Apply thin amount of piping gel where you want glitter. Place a dot of gel at the tree top and apply a dragee. Store in airtight containers.