Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Has any of you gotten the Christmas tree up yet? I can’t believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away. And I can’t believe our tree is still not up yet (I guess that’s not a surprise to many of you who knows me well). Well, except for these Peppermint Meringue Christmas Trees! Only if that counts. Besides baking French Macarons on a regular basis throughout December, I think I’m on a meringue cookies baking marathon these days as well.
I guess I love meringue cookies a lot, not only they are easy to bake, low in fat, but also very magical. I truly enjoy the light-as-air and crunchy texture from the meringue. As soon as you bite into one, it mysteriously disappeared. Plus, I can simply make them into different flavors and shapes easily, like these Peppermint Meringue Christmas Trees. With this batch, I only added 2 drops of food coloring, so they appear a little pale (I’m not a big fan of food coloring). But if you want a darker shade, feel free to add a drop or two more until the batter reaches the shade that you prefer.
Besides eating these cookies as the way they are. You can of course package them as homemade gifts. I used them to decorate another Christmas treat and I’ll show you on the next post. Also, you can drop one into your coffee, or hot cocoa and turn your drink into a peppermint version. Not only it tastes fabulous, it’s also very festive. Watch it melt slowly into your drink. The meringue will slightly sweeten your drink and adds wonderful peppermint aroma. Enjoy!
Peppermint Meringue Christmas Trees: (Printable Recipe)
3 eggs whites
a pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon of peppermint extract
1-2 drops of green food coloring
some star shape sprinkles
Preheat oven to 200 degree F. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on medium high until foamy. Slowly add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff peak forms. Add peppermint extract and food coloring until incorporated.
Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a close star tip and pipe 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch wide cookies, 1-inch apart from one another. Bake for 1 hour, rotate the baking pan and bake for another hour. Then, turn off oven and let the meringue cookies cool in the oven completely, at least 2 hours or preferably, overnight.
When the meringue cookies are completely cooled, add a drop of icing on the tip and attach the star shape sprinkle on top of your tree. Store in an air tight container in a cool dark place.