I made meringues. Meringues make everything better. Even when people are tormenting and getting the best of you…meringues will make you feel accomplished and content. For some reason I always thought of meringues as something hard to make. I remember having tried with my dad a few years back and failing miserably. They would turn out deflated, sticky, unbearably chewy and some even burnt. I stopped trying for a while…Maybe there was a trick we didn’t know or needed a special technique.
Upon reading some recipes I realized it had to do with the beating and then the oven temperature. We weren’t beating the whites and sugar enough to make them glossy, and then the oven temperature was too high. So I had 5 egg whites leftover from another recipe (soon!) and decided to make something a little lighter and refreshing for a change. I had recently found this wonderful almond extract (I had never had almond extract before!) and wanted to use it as soon as possible so I decided on Almond Coconut Meringues since coconut and almond is one fo my favorite combinations ever! I was going yo make an ice cream with those flavors but my friends don’t like coconut. Yikes.
The batter was SO good. I wanted to just take the bowl with me and watch tv. But apparently raw egg whites and bad for you 😉 so I went on with my trusted ziplock bag and pipped them right in the parchment paper. I’m telling you…you can make a LOT of meringue with just 5 whites…I didn’t know what to do with the batter anymore (aside from eating it of course). At the end I was bored and decided to mix in some cocoa in the remaining batter. Those were good too but the cocoa kind of overpowered the mild almond and toasted coconut flavor. I prefered them plain.
These were perfect…crisp on the outside and chewy in the inside…and they looked so pretty and fancy! When I saw them I immediately thought: Tea Party! They would be perfect…tiny, sweet and that lovely almond flavor that keeps you reaching out for more. They are the perfect light snack and mine kept pretty well for 3 days. After that I didn’t see any still living…so sad, I loved the little fellows! (:
Recipe adapted from: Eating Well
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar (I didn’t want them too sweet, you can slighty adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup toasted finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut
Place the whites in a clean, dry medium bowl.
Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Add almond extract and beat for 30 seconds more. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold almonds and coconut into the meringue until combined; do not overmix.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan. Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip) with the meringue. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze. Snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a 3/4-inch-wide opening. Fold the top of the bag over a few times, then gently push the meringue down to the snipped corner. Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 1 1/2-inch-diameter cookies, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
Bake the cookies until dry and crisp throughout, about 11/2 hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
And at the end you can melt some chocolate and decorate them to make them dressier. Dressier makes you feel fancy. Fancy makes you feel different. Different makes you feel good. Good equals happiness. See the connection I just made there? Go ahead and make some meringues, listen to some happy music (Like The Kooks’ Mr. Maker, this song will make you smile no matter how sad, I promise, or I’ll send meringues) and eat little sweet treats.
Oh, and talking about happy, check out this awesome and cute contest Minted is having and Joy The Baker is being a judge in. I ish I could enter but I don’t live in America. Just try it, you never know what could happen 😉