I recently made some peppermint ice cream. The ice cream base called for 6 egg yolks. I was tired of throwing away egg whites. Imagine the poor chickens giving birth EVERY DAY. Ouch. Respect the egg! I saved the egg whites, covered in the refrigerator and then placed them on the counter to come to room temperature. I learned during my macaron baking stage that egg whites left overnight in the refrigerator and then brought to room temperature whip up into stiff peaks the best. So ice cream one day ( or crème brulee, flan or other custard ) and meringue cookies the next!
I had 6 egg whites left over so I doubled the recipe. I will give you the original recipe in case you don't want an entire pantry full of meringues! If you are taking these to a party, go ahead and double. It will all fit in your stand mixer. I used a Kitchen Aid.
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar you will find this with the herbs and spices
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup sugar
red food color, optional
Preheat the oven to 225°.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. It likes to curl up so I placed objects on the parchment to hold it until I started piping the meringues. Set aside.
Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, peppermint extract and food color, if you decide to use it, in the bowl of a stand mixer. I used 3 drops for a very pale pink. Beat until soft peaks form.
Slowly add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time while it is mixing. Then continue to mix until very stiff peaks form.
Fill a pastry bag ( or Ziploc bag with the corner cut off ) fitted with a star tip. Pipe stars onto the parchment paper. I had so much meringue that I made bigger cookies and still ran out of room on the two sheets.
I decided to experiment with a Silpat sheet. They are reusable, fit the pan and never curl up on the corners. I wanted to know how they would work with meringues and now was my chance.
So I filled a pan with smaller stars and baked them in a 225° oven, also.
Bake for 90 minutes. Make sure they do not brown. After they cool for a few minutes, they may be gently lifted off and placed on a wire rack to finish cooling.
Allow to cool completely and serve.
These cookies are light and airy with a hint of peppermint. They are pretty and NON FAT. So have two...or three.
Or, you know, five, if they are small.
If you are interested, the Silpats worked okay for the meringues. The bottoms were smoother on the meringues baked on parchment paper. The Silpat was faster to use, but then I had to wash it. Personal choice.