October 28, 2011
Yummy Vanilla Meringues
3 egg whites Note: be sure your egg whites are at room temperature or they won’t fully peak (thanks to the Barefoot Contessa for that gem of wisdom)
a pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
First preheat the oven to 250 degrees, cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and fit a Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk tool or prepare a hand mixer for use. Whip the egg whites with your mixer on low until they become foamy. Increase the mixer speed and add the salt, cream of tartar and vanilla. Let the mixer work until soft peaks begin to form. Start adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time, waiting 5 to 10 seconds between each addition. After adding about ½ of the sugar increased the mixer speed to high and add the rest of the sugar all at once. Continue to beat the meringue mixture for 3 or 4 minutes or until the peaks begin to look firm and glossy. You can test the meringue to make sure it is ready by pinching a little between your fingers. You should only feel a few grains of sugar between your fingers, if you feel a lot of sugar continue to beat the mixture.
Once the mixture is ready, drop it on the cookie sheet a tablespoon at a time (the magazine suggested you pipe the mixture onto the cookie sheet but I thought that was an unnecessary step). Bake the Meringues for 75 to 90 minutes. Once my cookies hit the 75-minute mark I took one out of the oven and tried it. It was a little moist and chewy in the center, so I let the cookies cook for the extra 15 minutes. Be sure to watch the cookies at this point so they don’t start browning. When your baking time is up, turn the oven off and let the cookies sit in the oven for 20 more minutes before removing them.
Warning – addictive!