Meringue Chronicles: Vol. 1

One thing that I have yet to perfect is meringue. Today I felt was a good day to try my hand at making some meringue cookies. Here’s what I did…

Start by getting all the ingredients together and making sure everything is setup and ready.

Be sure everything you’re using is very clean and dry and free of any fats and liquid remaining on bowls/utensils. Moisture can ruin your meringue.

It’s best to make meringue on a day that isn’t humid. I have a hygrometer to let me know the humidity in my house on a daily basis…today it’s 49.

Meringue

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of superfine sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.

Separate the 4 egg whites from the yolks while the eggs are still cold. The whites will separate easier when cold. Set the whites aside to come to room temperature, at least 30 minutes.

While the egg whites are coming to room temperature, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

If you don’t have superfine sugar, you can make some in the blender. Put 1 cup of sugar in the blender and blend until it’s ‘superfine’.

I use a food scale and weigh out exactly 200 grams of sugar per the recipe I use.

Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on low until foamy. Once the mixture is foamy, increase the speed to high.

Gradually mix in the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, letting the sugar blend in for about 15-20 seconds between additions.

Keep beating until the mixture is thick, shiny, and has increased in volume. The sugar should also be completely dissolved. To test this, take a little bit and rub between your fingers. If it feels gritty then the sugar isn’t dissolved.

Stir in the vanilla and if using food coloring, add it in now as well. I added in pink coloring for these meringues.

When done, the meringue should keep a stiff peak and not fold back on itself. Be careful to not overbeat!

(Looks perfect!)

Fit a large pastry/icing bag with a tip. I used the 1M Wilton tip. Fill bag with meringue.

Pipe meringue onto the prepared cookie sheets. Be careful to squeeze the meringue from the top of the pastry bag so you don’t deflate the meringue by squeezing in the middle. You can pipe them pretty close together because they do not spread in the cooking process.

(Don’t those look so pretty and yummy!)

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Then turn the oven off and allow the cookies to cool completely in oven (don’t open the door!) for about 1.5 hours.

Remove from oven. Meringues should be crisp and fluffy. Store in air tight container and keep them away from heat and moisture.

Notice how I said ‘should’ be crisp and fluffy. Well, mine were crisp…but they weren’t fluffy anymore. They had fallen while in the oven. Major bummer! Another meringue attempt failure!

Now, I have read post after post…recipe after recipe, and all the tips and tricks on meringues. I feel like I know everything there is to know about meringue. I believe I did everything correctly. But why did my meringue fall while it was baking?

We’re supposed to get rain later today, but the humidity in my house seems acceptable…could the forecasted rain have something to do with it? Once again, I still can’t figure out how to make the perfect meringue! Help! What are your tips and tricks?

XOXO~

Jen

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