Why hello Thursday, I didn't see you there! I've been up to my eyeballs in a web project that, once finished will be hugely satisfying, but is currently a hideous, snaggletoothed monster I want to club to death. Most projects worth their salt tend to be the kind you have to really sweat over. Throw your back into it! Use a little elbow grease! Mush, MUSH!
The recipe below is no such task, and for that, I am thankful. With meringues, the outcome far outweighs the effort. I made a batch of these set-and-forget style meringue cookies this weekend, and they were so divine, so quick to prepare, and dare I say so healthy, (It's JUST egg white- practically an omelet!) that my fella and I shamelessly devoured about two dozen in two days. Really though, break it down, its only six meringues per person, per day. EGG WHITES!!! It's like eating a cloud. How many calories are in a cloud? I think I've made my point.
I made three flavors of meringue: chocolate chip, toasted macadamia nut, and pulverized candy cane. All three were incredibly delicious, and I would encourage you to try additional add-ins.
6 egg whites
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I'd use small chips, or chop up the regular ones)
1 cup toasted, and chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup candy cane shavings
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. Place nuts in a dry pan over high heat and roast evenly for about a minute, stirring constantly. Then chop in food processor and set aside. Pulverize about five mini candy canes, or one and a half regular sized canes in food processor, and set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer, or electric hand-held, beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Fold in the vanilla. In three separate bowls, carefully divide the mixture and fold the chocolate chips into one, macadamia nuts in another, and in the third bowl add the pulverized candy cane. Spoon, or pipe onto the prepared cookie sheets.
4.Place the cookies into the preheated oven, shut the door and turn off the oven immediately. Let cookies sit in the turned off oven for 5 to 6 hours.
I had read that on rainy and damp days, meringues may have trouble drying completely, and this seemed to be the case with mine. After three hours they still felt very sticky, so with the meringues still in the oven, I set it to 200 F, let it reach temperature, and then shut it off again, leaving the meringues alone for another several hours. When we tried them, they were heavenly! An easy-to-make, light and airy treat. A perfectly satisfying sweet, without a lot of weight. A lot of WAIT, but not weight. Hope you enjoy. We sure did.