The first time I tried a meringue cookie I remember thinking that it was the strangest thing I'd ever put into my mouth. Food-wise, that is.
...annnnd meringue candy cane kisses! So pretty, no? The texture of a meringue cookie is interesting: very light and airy but with a delicate crunch as you bite into it. These particular cookies are flavored with peppermint but you could substitute vanilla, almond, whatever you'd like, really.
Meringue cookies make lovely gifts and require the barest minimum of packaging - something that allows the receiver to see what's inside works nicely here.
I'm probably going to regret this but...what's the strangest thing you've ever put in your mouth?
Candy Cane Kisses
2 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup sugar
red or green paste food coloring
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in peppermint, then sugar about 2 tablespoons at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form.
Fit a pastry bag with 1/4 inch plain tip. Use a small clean paintbrush or cotton swab to brush the inside of the bag with 2 stripes of the food coloring, opposite one another. Preheat oven to 200F. Spoon meringue into pastry bag. Pipe 1 inch cookie kisses onto baking sheets, 1 inch apart.
Bake until cookies are dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and let cookies remain in the oven another 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cookies will keep up to 1 week stored in an air tight container.
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