Mint Meringues

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I have a two-for-one recipe today: Mint Meringue cookies!  My mom started making this first one about fifteen years ago.  I think it was out of one of those home magazines, and called “Mint Moments”.  They’ve been one of my favorite cookies ever since, though I haven’t always had the best luck with the meringue part.  In looking for that recipe, I came across a variation that was red-and-white striped.  So I’m including both here; maybe make both for a truly festive cookie plate!

Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies 

  • 2 large egg whites – room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup Superfine or Caster Sugar – make in a coffee grinder
  • ½ tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/8 tsp. green food coloring (optional)
  • ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
 Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Place cooking rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place egg whites into a clean bowl. Note: A plastic bowl is not recommended, as plastic retains residues, which can prevent the eggs from developing into firm peaks. (This may have been one of my problems)
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed, until they get foamy. You can do this by hand, but it will just take a bit longer, so be ready for an arm workout.
Once foamy, add the salt. Continue to beat until soft peaks form.
With the mixer on medium-low, gradually add the sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. Once half of the sugar has been added, scrape down the bowl. Continue to add the rest of the sugar. Once all sugar has been added, scrape again. Wash you spatula, to remove the sugar. You don’t want that to get back into the meringue. Beat until firm peaks form and meringue is smooth when you run it between your fingers.
Add the peppermint extract, with the mixer on low and beat to combine. Don’t worry if the peppermint smell seems overpowering, as it fades with cooking, so it’s not too much.
With the mixer off, add the green food coloring if desired. Mix to combine. You may need to finish it by hand, as some may get on the sides of the bowl or not get to the bottom.
Pour chocolate chips into the bowl and fold — gently! — in with a spatula.
If desired, spoon mixture into a piping bag with a wide tip or a plastic bag with the corner cut off. Gently shake down the meringue to the bottom of the bag and twist the bag. If not using a bag, grab two spoons.
Onto the baking sheet, pipe or spoon the meringue about 2 inches apart. Secure the parchment to the baking sheet with a few dabs of the meringue on each corner.
Place baking sheet on the center rack of preheated oven. After 45 minutes turn the oven off, but DO NOT open the door! Leave the meringues in the oven undisturbed for at least 3-4 hours, but preferably overnight. I’ve tried them both ways and overnight works best and allows them to completely dry out. Once the meringues have dried, remove from baking sheet and EAT! They can be stored in airtight containers or plastic bags, but they won’t be around for long!
I’ve made these blue for a party.  Save the egg yolks and make these cookies!
The other variation: different, but probably just as good.

 

Peppermint Meringue Cookies

Fit a pastry bag (12″ or 18″) with a 1/2″ large open star pastry tip. With a small paint brush paint stripes on the inside of the bag with a gel food coloring paste.

  • 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (peppermint oil will not work)
  • dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • parchment paper

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In metal mixing bowl beat egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, a dash of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract to soft peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating until very stiff peaks form.

Fill pastry bag with meringue and pipe one-inch stars onto the parchment paper.

Bake for 90 minutes, but do not let them brown. Allow to cool completely. Meringues will be crunchy. Store in an air-tight container. The meringues should keep for a couple of weeks.

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