The first time I remember having a meringue based dessert was during a prix-fixe lunch, where the included dessert was a pavlova cake. Usually topped with whipped cream and fruit, pavlova is a popular dish in Australia and New Zealand (another place on my travel bucket list!) often served during celebratory and holiday meals.
Meringue itself is a light, airy confection made up of just whipped egg whites and sugar. It’s fairly easy to put together, at least based on my observations while ‘supervising’ Mr. Chuckles in the kitchen.
Adapted from Sugar Spun Run.
Servings: Approximately 40 medium sized cookies | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 2 hours
- 12 large egg whites
- 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons rosewater
1) Preheat oven to 225 F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. You will probably need 2 to 3 large trays.
2) Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt into a large bowl.
3) Use an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture becomes foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, while stirring after each addition until sugar is dissolved.
4) Beat until mixture is thick and shiny. It should have stiff peaks (see illustration below) and the sugar should be completely dissolved.
5) Stir in vanilla and rosewater extracts.
6) Fit a large disposable piping bag with a large tip and transfer meringue into prepared piping bag. Pipe onto the prepared baking tray, keeping the cookies about 1 centimetre apart.
7) Bake on 225 F for 1 hour. After baking has completed, allow meringues to cool for 1 hour in the oven with the door closed.
8) Remove meringues once crisp. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
👨🍳 Notes from Mr. Chuckles
We obviously need more practice with the piping contraption to get the cookies picture perfect, but they still tasted really good and that’s what matters.
The meringues can be easily customized to suit your cravings. We enjoy the rosewater, but you can flavour them to your heart’s delight and also add food colouring for a different aesthetic.
Our cookies turned out quite big, so you can reduce the quantity of mixture to make the same number of cookies but smaller in size. You may also need to modify the cook time to achieve an adequate level of crispness, as a few of our cookies came out chewy in the centre. We had a large portion of ingredients since we were aiming to use up leftover egg whites from the egg nog we were preparing (that recipe is coming up next).
Enjoy your sweet treats!