A Magical Meringue Forest!
- 1 Stand Mixer with Whip/Whisk Attachment I used my KitchenAid Pro600 for this recipe.
- 1 14" disposable piping bag
- 1 large star or round piping tip I used Ateco 846 or Wilton 1M
- 38 grams meringue powder (1/4 cup) or 6 large egg whites (see notes)
- 3/4 cup water (room temp)
- 420 grams powdered sugar (3 2/3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon gel food coloring if desired
- For decorating – If desired – sparkling decorating sugar, tiny non-pareils, tiny white snowflakes see notes
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Make sure mixing bowl and whip/whisk beater are very clean (any oil/fat residue will interfere with whipping). Sometimes I wipe them off with white vinegar.
- Add meringue powder (or egg whites) to mixing bowl along with water, food coloring if using, and vanilla. Whip (med/med. high speed) until mixture begins to form foam.
- Add powdered sugar. Whip on medium high – then increase to highest speed. And whip for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. (when you pull the beater out of the mixture, it forms a "peak" that will stand straight up)
- TIP: You can "glue" parchment to the baking sheet with a little bit of meringue in each corner.
- If you don't have a piping bag, You can dollop the meringue with a spoon to make meringue cookies. You could alternatively try using a zip bag with the corner cut off. To make the trees a piping bag with star tip is very helpful.
- I used 14" disposable piping bags fitted with a large metal star tip (mine was an Ateco 846 or Wilton 1M, but any large star or round tip will work.)
- Pipe approx. 2" "bloops" or (Hershey Kiss shapes) onto parchment lined baking sheet. They should be about 1" apart. To make trees, add 2 gradually smaller "bloops" on top of each of the rounds – start with the tip touching the previous "bloop" so they are well bonded together.
- You can decorate the cookies/trees if you like with small white non-pareil sprinkles, small white snow flake sprinkles and sparkling sugar. (Larger balls and stars have melted – in my experience)
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 250 degrees. (don't open oven door)
- Turn off oven, leave on light, leave door closed 1 hour. This will generally result in cookies with chewy centers. For totally crisp throughout. I leave them in the oven that is turned off, door shut, light on for several hours and even overnight (I'll turn the light out after several hours.) The size of cookie and humidity can affect the bake/drying time.
- Store in airtight container.
Meringue Powder:Meringue powder is available in the baking/cake decorating area of larger grocery stores and craft stores. (also online). Wilton makes one. (Egg white powder is not the same thing.) I like using it as I can control the measurements more precisely than with regular liquid egg whites. Plus it’s a pasteurized product, so you don’t have to worry about using raw eggs.
Decorating Sprinkles:I have found that larger sprinkles melt when the meringues bake. I have been able to use decorating sugars, tiny white and silver non-pareils and those non-shiny white tiny snowflakes.
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