December 19, 2005

Cherry Almond Meringues

I decided to experiment with these meringues - they were originally supposed to be peppermint, but cherry and almond sounded much more pleasant to my palate yesterday. Best served fresh, but can be kept in an air tight container at room temperature. A great addition is to dip one side of each meringue in melted chocolate shortly before serving. Yum!

If you want to dip the meringues in chocolate before serving, melt 3 oz. chocolate and 1 T. shortening over a small saucepan, stirring frequently.

Cherry Almond Meringues

2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. cherry extract
Red food coloring (optional)

Place eggs whites in a medium mixing bowl and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line two large cookie sheets with foil. Set aside.

Add vanilla and cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat with electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 2 tablespoons or so at a time, beating till stiff, glossy peaks form and sugar dissolved. The sugar didn't 100% dissolve for me, I don't know if I didn't beat it for long enough or what. eh.

Quickly beat in the cherry & almond extracts and, if desired, several drops red food coloring to tint the mixture pink. My cherry extract was already tinted red, but I did add several drops of food coloring for good measure.

Using a decorating bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe cookies 1" or so in diameter onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake in a 300f degree oven for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and let cookies dry in oven with door closed about 30 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets. Store in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place. Makes approx. 4.5