1/22/09

Homemade Meringue Kisses

This morning as I sip my coffee I have a 'few' internet windows open as I surf for Valentine Day gift and food idea's. Looking over my files I saw my copy of this recipe and thought; "Perfect for Valentines Day!" and decided to share. Unlike some of Martha's recipes this one is completely simple and yet beautiful. I'd dip in chocolate for my family but for me? I'd dip the edge in melted white almond bark or maybe some pastel shimmering sugars. I found them online at her website about a year ago.

Meringue Kisses

4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pink food coloring
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil or pure vegetable shortening



Preheat oven to 200 degrees with two racks centered. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a medium saucepan 1/4 full with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer.

In a heatproof or metal bowl, combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar, and place over the saucepan of simmering water. If you don't have a hand held electric mixer, whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes and then transfer your mixing bowl to your stand mixer and with the whisk attachment, beat about 5 minutes until high stiff peaks form. If you do have a hand held, you can start on low speed over the simmering water and gradually increasing to high, until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and just a few drops of food coloring; beat to combine, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip with the meringue. Pipe tiny little 1 inch drops onto prepared baking sheet; after each drop is piped by squeezing the bag, release from squeezing, and pull straight up with the bag to create the very fine curled tip on each drop. Bake until drops are hard to the touch but not browned, about 1 1/2 hours. Repeat to use all meringue. Meringue drops may be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Stir in the oil or shortening until well combined. Dip the bottom of each cooled meringue drop into the melted chocolate; stick two together if desired. Turn upside down on a cooling rack, and let chocolate harden -- this can take up to 50 minutes at room temperature -- or just freeze on parchment paper for 5 minutes. Serve.



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