12/22/14

Peppermint Meringue Cookies

It's Christmas cookie season! There's nothing better than a heaping plate of assorted cookies, and these simple meringue sandwiches are beautiful and sure to stand out from the crowd. I picked up the recipe from Martha's Cookies. Although they do take a while to bake (more like dry really), the trickiest part was getting the beautiful stripes along the sides of the piped meringue. Martha made it seem so easy, but without gel food dye or a paint brush, I had to get creative. Mixing a few drops of liquid food dye with a tablespoon of powdered sugar made a good paste, and taping a frilly toothpick onto the tip of a pencil subbed as a paint brush.
 By the end of it all, there was so much red dye everywhere I looked like I'd murdered someone, but miraculously, it worked! For the filling I used a chocolate buttercream, but you can also use ganache.

Ingredients

3 large egg whites
2 cups confectioner's sugar, separated
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 ounces butter, softened
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Special Supplies

Piping bag and large star-shaped tip
Red gel food dye
Small paint brush, or toothpick

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 200 F.
2. Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form, then slowly add 3/4 cup powdered sugar until glossy stiff peaks.
3. Stir in the peppermint extract.
4. Carefully paint 3 stripes of red dye along the side of the piping bag, then spoon 1/3 of meringue in the bag.
5. Pipe small stars on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure to have an even number. Refill the bag as necessary, touching up the dye between fillings.
6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
7. When they have dried completely, place on a wire rack to cool.
8. Make buttercream: beat the softened butter until light and creamy, then slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder. Add the milk and vanilla and continue to stir until well combined.
9. Assemble the cookies: spoon or pipe a small dollop of buttercream onto the underside of a meringue, and smoosh another meringue of similar size to it.
Bam. Done. Let them dry completely, and don't store in an air-tight container, a plate works best.




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