December 14: Meringue Cookies

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Note: I got behind because of illness.. Now that I can at least sit upright for more than a few hours, I am catching up. But with that, these are going to be more bare-bones than in the past.

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.

I think these may be my kids’ favorites all around. They ask about them more than another cookie. When they smell the batter in the air, suddenly they are three obedient kids who get along fabulously and do any chore I ask of them.

I did something a little different this year. At the end, I put a little gold or white sprinkle pearl at the top of them, just for a little pizazz. And they stuck!

So maybe when these disappear, my kids will at least feel fancier as they snarf them down.

December 9: Meringue Cookies

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We had a busy day today. Or it at least seemed busy. We had pretty much one thing to do today, and it was at 4, but somehow the day got away from me. It was 2 before I started the cookies, which is why this post is a little later than normal. 

My kids love meringue cookies, especially these, and so do I . It’s something with the cinnamon in it, I think. These are a staple in our home at Christmas, well until they all get eaten. They go pretty quickly. 

To start these cookies, you need four egg whites. I found a new method for separating eggs earlier this month, and it works really well. Yes, I use my hand.

After the egg whites are frothy, I add the almond extract, cinnamon, cream of tartar, and powdered sugar. I keep whipping them until there are stiff peaks. 

This is not a stiff peak.

This is a stiff peak. 

Then comes the fun part…loading the decorating bag with gobs of sticky meringue. Thankfully, there were no casualties this year.

It always takes me a few tries before I find my rhythm. For this batch, I found it easier to put the tip on the cookie sheet, rather than start it above where I wanted it. To me, it looks more like snowflakes like this. After I piped them all, I found different colored sugars and shook them over the snowflake globs. I used a shimmery white, light blue, and gold, but you really can only see the gold. It’s cool; I know it’s there. 

I left for the 4 pm band concert at 3 (hey, those seats aren’t going to save themselves) and left the cookie sheets out to dry. When I came back at 6, they were no dryer than when I left, so I popped them in a 210 degree oven for about 25 minutes, and that seemed to do the trick.

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.