Meringues are light crispy "cookies" that are really delicate and kind of taste like ice cream. They pretty much take on the flavor of any extract you use. You can use jam or cooked down fruit as well. They're fairly easy to make, you just have to fight the humidity. I'm making a "bouquet" for Mothers Day today.
What you'll need to make your own is:
- 10 large egg whites
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of butter extract
- 1 teaspoon of marshmallow extract
- 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 1 recipe of buttercream icing, (using shortening in place of the butter, so it will harden a little.)
- Melted white chocolate
For the base you'll need:
- 1 clean, never used flower pot
- Florists foam
- Tissue paper for covering the florists foam
First separate all of your eggs.
Preheat the oven to 200°.
Add in your extracts and cream of tartar.
Using a mixer, whip the egg whites on high, for 4 or 5 minutes. It will start to incorporate air and double, then triple in size.
Once it has tripled, add in the powdered sugar, a half cup at a time. It will start to get shiny, almost iridescent. Continue whipping for a few minutes more. Until peaks start to form.
Fill up a pastry bag with the whipped egg whites.
Pipe out circles onto a greased and floured baking sheet. I use foil, because I'm lazy basically. You could also use parchment paper.
Put the meringues into an oven, that's been preheated to 200° for 2 and a half to 3 hours. Leave the oven door propped open with a wooden spoon, so the oven doesn't get too hot. You are cooking the egg whites and drying out the cookies.
While the meringues are drying, make the icing for the center's. You can find the recipe I used here. I used vegetable shortening instead of butter, because it hardens a bit more than using butter. I also added 4 drops of fushia food coloring.
To make the base, carve the florists foam into a rounded shape.
Cover the foam with a piece of tissue paper and insert it tightly into the case.
Once the meringues have cooled, use a pastry bag to apply icing to the smooth side.
Place the straw in the icing.
Then apply some of the melted chocolate over the straw. It will hold the straw in place once it cools.
Place a 2nd cookie over the top and gently press them together.
Once they've all been assembled, set them aside for about 20 minutes to set up. I used a chopstick to push through the foam then insert the straw. You can decorate the with sprinkles or whatever you may have on hand.