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Holiday Meringues 5 Ways {GFCF} {Day 9} 12 Days of Holiday Cookies

Posted on December 13, 2011 by Glutenfreeda

meringue cookies gluten free + milk+casein+dairy free + vegan

Psst! Are you allergic to eggs and/or vegan? We found an interesting (GFCF) Vegan Meringue Recipe — now, we haven’t tried it– yet– but it looks rather promising!

Holiday Meringues
Yields 2 dozen 1-2 inch meringues // Gluten Free & Milk/Lactose/Casein/Dairy Free {GFCF}

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300°F. Prep work: line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat & wipe out your mixing bowl (what you’ll be whipping the egg whites in) with a vinegar or lemon juice-soaked paper towel. (Why? Any grease, soap, dust, any anything will ruin your egg whites!) Set aside.

Using an electric mixer (handheld or stand) and your prepared bowl, whip the egg whites until thick and foamy — not quite soft peak. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cream of tartar. Gradually beat sugar mixture & vanilla extract into egg whites. Beat egg whites until glossy, shiny, stiff peaks form — they should hold their shape when you pull away your whisk and/or should remain motionless when you flip the bowl upside down.

Drop dollops of meringue onto your prepared baking sheet, or for a more decorative look, use a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip (#20, #21, #2110 or #48 tip work best) and pipe them onto the baking sheet. (Psst! In a pinch, a gallon-size freezer bag with the corner cut away works pretty well!)

Bake for exactly 1 MINUTE then TURN YOUR OVEN OFF. Seriously, OFF – and do NOT open that oven door for the next 3 hours — feel free to leave the meringues in the oven overnight! After 3 hours of cooking in the residual heat, they should be crisp on the outside, set and firm, and a little bit chewy on the inside. If after 3 hours they too chewy for your liking, let them sit and dry out for another hour or two. Store in an airtight container.

Festive Variations:
+ Cardamom: whisk 1/2 tsp ground cardamom into the sugar & cream of tartar mixture, continue as usual

+ Peppermint: just before filling your pastry bag, gently fold in 2-3 Tbsp  peppermint candies (approx. 10 pieces), pulverized to a coarse powder.* Fold in the powdered candies and proceed as directed. Optional: just before baking, sprinkle tops of meringues with slightly more coarse peppermint pieces and/or add a dot or two of red food coloring for ultra festive meringues!

*If you’d rather not use candy, you could add 2-3 drops of peppermint extract/flavoring (add with vanilla in step 1). Also, the best way to vaporize ‘em is to put them in a heavy duty zip-top (freezer) bag, place the bag on top of a towel or cutting board, and pound the heck out of ‘em using the smooth side of a meat mallet(/bottom of a cast iron skillet/rolling pin/really, any heavy blunt object with a flat surface) and tada! 

+ White Chocolate: Just before piping, gently fold in 2 oz white chocolate shavings or mini-chips, pipe and bake as usual — just make sure you are using an extra large tip or use shavings so the chips don’t get stuck!

+ Eggnog: just add 3-4 drops of eggnog flavoring (available from Amazon.com, King Arthur or at candy supply stores) at the same time as the vanilla extract. Optional: whisk in 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg with the sugar & cream of tartar.

Tips:
+ Make sure your bowl, whisk and spatula are clean – use vinegar! (See directions above)
+ Avoid making on a damp/humid day (raining included)
+ Separate your eggs first into a small (clean) bowl, then transfer one at a time, to the actual mixing bowl. Any bits of yolk or shell will make it very difficult for your egg whites to perform properly! By doing it one at a time, you can dump any single yolk-dotted egg white (into another bowl for omelets, of course!) instead of having to start completely from scratch.
+ Separate your eggs while they’re cold and allow the whites to sit out for a half hour and come to room temperature. Why? It’s easiest to separate eggs when they are cold (less chance of the yolk breaking), but better for meringue-making if the whites are at room temperature

Photos by liladobbs & Mattie @ Vegan Baking



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