I am in a slump. I don’t feel like working, cleaning, baking, packing my bags to go on a trip to see people I really want to see or anything else remotely productive. As I was flipping through the radio stations in my car yesterday, I heard DJs talking, ironically, about slumps.
Their conversation centered around how the suggestions given to someone in a slump often involve the idea to just push through it. The DJs were convinced this is terrible advice. They believed sometimes you’ve just got to sit in it and let it pass. On to cookies.
My third attempt at meringues were a charm. This recipe for candy cane meringues came from one of the prettiest cookbooks I have ever seen, Masala Farm. Its pages were full of color and the short stories were endearing.
If you want a more seasonally diverse meringue, the original recipe suggested adding one teaspoon of pulverized dried lavender in place peppermint. Perhaps I’ll try that version for my fourth attempt. Enjoy!
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cram of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons crushed peppermint
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- In the bowl of stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
- Add the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt to the egg whites and increase speed to high.
- Beat until soft peaks form, then add in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. (If you fail to add the sugar slowly, you will end up with a very grainy cookie.)
- When the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks, use a rubber spatula to very gently fold in the peppermint and chocolate chips.
- Place dollops of meringue onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake at 250 F until the tops begin to crack, about 45 to 50 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on wire racks.
To make red meringues, I suggest adding food coloring along with the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Folding it in with the crushed peppermint and chocolate chips tends to deflate the egg whites that were beautifully whipped into shape just seconds earlier.