Bake #9: Thanksgiving with Meringue (Cookies) on Top

I am now back in my apartment after a restful week relaxing at my dad’s house for the holiday. And I have to tell you, it was a very food-tastic week, and not just for the regular Thanksgiving-y reasons.

For my birthday, Dad took me shopping at our favorite place, Sur la Table, where I could get all the kitchen things I wanted and/or needed and just couldn’t bring myself to spend money on. Like a sieve. For months I have been draining my pasta with the lid of the pot and losing half of it in the sink. Sieves are better. I know that now and do a little jig every time I use mine. I also got a very large mixing bowl to prevent mishaps like the one prior to my birthday dinner. Also a nice whisk. For some reason, I was most excited about the whisk, even though I got tons of cool things. There’s something so special about whisks; I just feel so good when I hold one. And now I have one of my very own!

The pastry bag and tip I used while at Dad’s! For Thanksgiving, I decided to make meringue cookies. I was so proud of the meringue I made for the mousse last time that I wanted to try to make cookies. I’ve never done it, and I knew I could make a meringue. Now that I had the pastry bag, I could conquer the world!

Meringue Cookies really couldn’t be simpler. It’s just egg white and sugar and a dash of salt, essentially. Some recipes suggest adding a bit of white vinegar or other such things. Something to do with the chemistry. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. I know cream of tartar does something to help meringues stay light, so I added a sprinkling of that as well.

So:

  • three egg whites
  • 1 c white sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • a sprinkling of cream of tartar

Whisk the whites on medium on your stand mixer until really bubbly. Slowly pour in the sugar a bit at a time, then pump it up to high speed. Sprinkle in a bit of cream of tartar if you have it. Don’t overwhip it. Overwhipping meringue is the greatest meringue sin you could make. It’s not as easy to make as you might worry, but once you overwhip it, there’s no going back. Only whip it til it’s shiny and thick. You should have stiff-ish peaks. Not stiff like rigid, but stiff like once it flops over it doesn’t really move much more. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with whatever tip you want (mine was just round) and pipe little round things onto a baking sheet with foil or pastry sheet. Don’t crowd them, but they won’t expand so feel free to make it a bit tight. Here’s the part that caught me short: Bake for 1 – 1½ hours at 250°F. I left mine in for about an hour for each batch and it worked out fine. If you eat one right off the bat they’re chewy in the middle and I just love it. Let them dry out in the open for a while and they’ll crisp up in the middle like they should.

Mine were a hit with my mom’s family. I think because when we got there they’d already eaten dinner and were all stuffed, but these are light and sweet and something to nibble on. Perfect after Thanksgiving dinner.

While at Dad’s, I also made those apple turnovers again, but was tired and used frozen puff pastry. It wasn’t as good, but they were still delicious! Cranberries instead of raisins this time. Yum. These are perfect with coffee for breakfast.

We also got our first snowflakes of the year while I was at Dad’s!

Me waking up to snow in the air! You can’t really see it…

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as much as I did. We in this country have so much to be thankful for that we take for granted so often. Most people in the world would never be able to put together such huge, delicious feasts as we can. And we should not feel guilty for it but treasure it and remember to share our plenty with the rest of the world instead of jealously hording all that we have. Because nothing is as nourishing to the soul as a delicious healthy meal. Peace, love, and good food to all.

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