I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season and got to spend lots of quality time with their loved ones 🙂 Sorry for my absence, but after an insane week where I was baking in almost every spare moment that I had, I took some time off the blog to spend it with my family as we’ve all been so busy over the past year that we’ve had very little quality family time.
All you christmas food-basket giving types will know what I mean when I say the time leading up to the silly season is a mad rush to bake – creating a short-list of goodies to be made, weighing up in what order they can be made and how long they’ll stay good for, shopping for ingredients as well as paper, ribbons and cellophane for the wrapping process – all in all, it’s a production line which is time and effort-consuming.
Gold-dusted Meringue Cookie Recipe
Though all is made up for it when your grateful recipients call you excitedly to let you know that they received the goodies and think they taste marvellous.
This year, I took a bit of a gamble and tried some recipes that I’d never made before, keeping fingers crossed as I churned out batches, closing my eyes and feeling my heart beat as I made the initial taste test that would determine whether I could use them, or whether the entire tray would be destined for the scrap heap.
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(Only one batch of cookies ended up in the bin, but that was due to an idiot move on my part. Bet you’ve all heard of the silly woman who baked with salt instead of sugar, right? I actually did it – a kilo of dough for my sables had to be tossed after I tasted one from the first tray that came out of the oven – salty butter cookies, anyone??)
Thankfully the rest of the recipes turned out well, and I’d say that the meringues recipe I made were easily vying for number 1 position on my list of favourite baked goodies! The recipe was from The Cook’s Book, from the ‘Desserts’ chapter by Pierre Hermé, and I must thank him for his contribution as these meringues recipe turned out perfectly and were loved by all!
Gold Meringue Cookie Recipe
(adapted from The Cook’s Book)
Ingredients (makes approx 50-60 kisses)
- 4 egg whites
- 250g caster sugar
- seeds from 1-2 vanilla pods (or 1 tsp vanilla paste)
- 2 scant tbsp pure icing sugar
- 1/8 tsp edible gold powder
How to Make Meringue Cookies Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 120 degrees C.
2. Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk on medium speed, gradually adding half the caster sugar and all the vanilla.
3. Continue whisking till the egg whites are shiny, smooth and very firm.
4. Gradually fold in the remaining caster sugar sugar with a rubber spatula, lifting the egg whites and working them as little as possible.
5. Fit a piping bag with a star tip and pipe the meringue into little mounds – a bit bigger than a Hershey’s Kiss. If that means nothing to you, then they should be about 2cm in diameter and 1.5 – 2cm high.
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6. Mix the pure icing sugar with the gold powder till it is well combined. Using a fine sieve, dust the gold icing sugar mix over the piped meringues. Bake for 30-35 minutes, then turn the oven off, prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon and leave to ‘dry’ for at least 8 hours or overnight.
After the initial crunch, these little treats seem to dissolve away into your mouth and you’ll find yourself reaching for more! I’ll get some different coloured edible shimmer dusts from my baking goods supplier and next time have these in the colour of rainbows!
Though you might think that the drying time is excessive, it’s actually not too bad if you make them before going to bed – from beginning to end the process of making them takes no more than an hour, then you can turn the oven off and when you awake in the morning you’ll have tray after tray of these little golden morsels!