I've had this recipe kicking around the house for awhile. I have a recipe stash. Sometimes it gets too big and I put them in a drawer when company comes. Then I seem to start a new stash of recipes I want to try, before finishing the one in the drawer. That drawer is currently pretty full. So is the spot on the kitchen island. Gotta make one so I can toss the paper.
This one is from Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez, Bon Appetit
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
12 drops red food coloring
I put out the eggs when I had my morning coffee and made these around lunch time. I don't know how important the room temperature is, but the room temperature eggs staring at me from the counter reminded me I needed to make the meringues. So that was a help.
Preheat the oven to 200°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
You really need an electric mixer to whip egg whites to a firm peak. A stand mixer helps.
Beat the egg whites and salt on medium high speed until white and foamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar 1/3 at a time while the mixer is still running. In between each addition, beat for 2 full minutes. Use a clock, because if you just guess you will be wrong. Two minutes seems like forever when you have nothing to do but watch. I used the time to put away those ingredients I had already used and to get out the piping bag and 1/2 inch tip.
Beat until firm peaks form after the last of the sugar. Once again, about 2 minutes.
Then add the powdered sugar and peppermint extract. Stop the mixer for this. Powdered sugar can fly around the room and you do not want to mop again, do you? Start slow and bring up the speed to medium high again. Beat until everything is blended and the firm peaks are back, about one minute.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and drop red food coloring on top of the mixture. Don't stir it in. Use a large spoon to fill the piping bag. The colors will mix and swirl as you squeeze out the egg whites. They will get more pink as you go along. If you don't have a piping bag, a quart size Ziploc bag, or bigger will work. Just fill it and cut off a corner.
Squeeze the bag to keep the mixture firmly forced to the tip with no air pockets. As you squeeze, you will have to adjust your grip and squeeze the poofy egg whites down.
Pipe little puffs of the swirled pink egg whites onto the parchment paper. Leave a bit of room between each one, so that they are not touching, but these won't spread out so you might be able to get them all on one sheet. ( I did, but got a few too close and they ended up stuck to each other. I was forced to give these to Lee to test for taste and crispness. Then I had to try one (two) to verify his opinion.)
I tried little ones and big ones. I made a few with flat tops and a few with a pointy top. I wanted to see which I liked best but I liked them all. Remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "...consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Granted he wasn't talking about meringues, but I don't want to be accused of having a little mind...
Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Yes, that long. But remember, it is only 200°. Remove from the heat and let cool completely, about 1 hour. They will crisp up during this time.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature. If needed, place some wax paper or parchment paper between the layers.