Peppermint swirl meringues
Merriest Christmas Eve morning...
If it weren't the day that it is I'd stick around to write something reflective and meaningful. Something fitting for the holiday. But it is Christmas Eve and before the rest of the house wakes up and the chaos of the next 48 hours ensues, I'm going to sneak downstairs and enjoy as many moments of silence as possible with a cup of tea. This recipe by request.
Merry, merry Christmas.
Peppermint Swirl Meringues
Place oven racks in top and bottom thirds of the oven and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and fit a large piping bag with a large star tip. Use a paint brush to draw four straight lines of red gel food coloring inside the piping bag from top to bottom. My food coloring came in little squeezable tubes. If that's what you have you can skip the brush and pipe directly into the bag.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites and salt on medium-high until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar about 1 tablespoonful at a time and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to low and beat in the peppermint extract. Carefully spoon the meringue into the pastry bag doing your best not to disturb the lines of food coloring.
Swipe a little bit of meringue under the corners of the parchment to help it adhere to the baking sheet (it has a tendency to curl up during baking.) Pipe meringue into 2 inch swirls at least one inch apart. Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the gloss fades and they're dry to the touch. Turn off the heat and wedge the oven door open slightly for a few minutes. Close the door and allow them to cool inside the oven for at least two hours or until completely dry. Store in an airtight container.
3 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar, superfine is preferable
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red gel food coloring