December 18: Meringue Cookies

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I had a little help making these.

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Larry Potter–now a fully grown 13 year-old man-boy–wanted to make some cookies unassisted. The four egg whites needed to make this recipe turned into about 8, due to some mistakes in de-yolking. But he finally did it.When the egg whites were whipped, he added the rest of the ingredients and left. It’s okay. I told him to. The next step involved a pastry bag, and I make a big enough mess as it is.

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Now, here’s the awful truth: it’s nearly impossible to make meringue cookies in 100% humidity. They need to be whipped and dried, and the barometric pressure just doesn’t care. Even still, we (or at this point, I) forged on. About 15 minutes later (WAY longer than it should have taken), my mixture was stiff enough to pipe on to cookie sheets.

The recipe says to leave them out at room temperature. That was not going to happen.

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Even for Louisiana, it’s a weird and too warm Christmas. I put the trays in the oven at 200 and checked on them frequently. After about 20 minutes, I had some cookies.

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Snowflake Meringue Cookies
(from The Spirit of Christmas Cookbook, Volume 4)

Ingredients:

4 egg whites
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. almond extract
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. cream of tartar
decorating sugar

Directions:

1. Cover baking sheets with waxed paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add powdered sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, and cream of tartar; beat until very stiff.
3. Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Make snowflake design. Add decorating sugars.
4. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

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