MERINGUE COOKIES - BISCOTTINI DI MERINGA (VEGAN OPTION INCLUDED)*

 

    Meringue! Who is crazy like me about these fluffy, light and crunchy sweets? 
    I have been buying these cookies for years, and finding them in the GF version recently has been a bit of a challenge. So I decided to make my own, and share the easy recipe with all of you. 

    Though the process is fairly easy, and they did come out delicious, the time they take to bake has once again reminded me why I am not a baker (Oh the lack of patience! 2 hours in the oven!). So I suggest that while you are waiting for them to bake,  you get yourself a nice book, watch a movie, or get busy making another recipe right from this blog.

    These sweets are sure to be a success even for the less-experienced bakers like me, provided you promise to follow the instructions to the "t" and watch out for my tips in green. 💪

MERINGUE COOKIES 

(BISCOTTINI DI MERINGA)

 (Serves 6+ sweet lovers)

Ingredients: 

(*) For the vegan version, using Aquafaba, which is the cooking liquid of beans or legumes like chickpeas that acts as a wonderful egg replacer.
Collect the water from two cans of chick peas, and follow the same instructions as below. (Boy do I also have a great recipe for you to make the most of those beans!  Check it out here!)
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar ("in the raw" also works very well)
  • 1/4 tsp of the following: 
    • cream of tartar
    • salt
    • vanilla
    • (Optional: food coloring)
*****
 For the regular version:
  • 4 egg-whites at room temperature (save the yokes for another culinary creation...
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar ("in the raw" also works very well)
  • 1/4 tsp of the following: 
    • cream of tartar
    • salt
    • vanilla
    • (Optional: food coloring)
Let's get whipping...
  • Preheat the oven to 200F
  • In a medium mixing bowl, pour the egg-whites (* or the Aquafaba), and beat on low for a minute
  • Add the cream of tartar and the salt, and keep whipping on medium for three minutes, or until the mixture turns a white color
  • Up the speed of the mixer to fast, and carefully add the sugar 1/4 spoon at a time, while still whipping. (Adding the sugar little by little is very important in order for the grains of sugar to build the body of the meringue and be fully incorporated in the mix)
  • Whip until you get some nice stiff peaks, as you would for whipped cream, and the mixture has hardened
  • Add the vanilla, and whip on medium for a few more seconds
  • Option: fold in the coloring (If you want to make all different colored cookies, you will need to split the mixture in separate smaller bowls according to the different colors prior to this step)
  • Mix one more time on low for a few seconds to make sure the coloring is incorporated well
Let's get baking...
  • Get something that has a diameter that measures 1 1/2 inch, and trace its perimeter with a pencil on a piece of parchment paper, drawing the circles 1 inch apart
  • Turn the parchment upside down to show the side that does not have pencil marking on it, and use it to line a baking sheet
  • Fit a sac à poche with one of those fancy star shaped decorating tips (I have always wanted to use this French term when speaking of piping bags, doesn't it sound more sophisticated?)
  • Scoop some of the fluff in the piping bag (... or sac à poche),  and by gently squeezing the bag, pipe the mixture out by circular movements to fill the circle and build up on the base. (Just as in the video below)
  • Put in the oven .. and ... now, get a nice book or visit more recipes on this same blog, and patiently wait two hours, checking often that the meringues are not browning, which will of course depend on the size and height of the cookies you formed.
These cookies can be eaten over the course of the next couple of days. To prevent them from getting too sticky, a useful tips is to put them in a baggie with some confectionary sugar once they have cooled off, and shake them in it. Store in a tight glass or food grade container.


    The same recipe can be used for Pavlova. The most important trick with a bigger meringue such this is to make sure that you pipe a solid base, and that you check for doneness after the two hours have elapsed by inserting a toothpick in the very middle as it may still not be completely cooked or still be too soft. If so, keep the meringue in the oven, lower the temperature to 170 F (so not to brown the top) and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes before checking the center again.

                                 
Buon Appetito!
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Comments

Margaret said…
I'm a huge fan of meringues. I buy a big one to eat all by myself when in Paris. At the bakery across the street from the Catacombs de Paris, they make meringues in the shape of bones.