Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Meringue Swirl Cookies

The theme for this month in my mind anyway, is Mother's and Color's.  That being said, I wanted to give you a cookie that would be colorful, bright, and delicious, and double as a great gift for your Mom on Mother's Day.  Done up in a darling package with all the ribbons and bows to go along with it and you could do it!  Sounds easy enough right?

Well I know giving food as gifts is one of my most favorite things to give because I can package it super cute.  It's also one of my favorite gifts to receive.  It always means a lot to me when someone has taken time from their busy schedule and made me a treat to enjoy.  I just think that is so thoughtful.  It's like getting dinner from a friend, it's so nice, unexpected, and means so much to my heart.

Okay, so this cookie is a cookie that I saw in my Living Magazine this month.  I saw it, made it, and about died at how easy and delicious it truly was.  So now I am giving the recipe to all of you, so you can enjoy it as much as I did!

3 Large Egg Whites, room temp.
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract or the seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
Large Pinch of Salt
Large Pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 tsp. freshly ground orange zest
Gel-Paste Food Coloring in Orange or Yellow

Preheat oven to 200 degrees

Combine egge whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl.  Add Vanilla.  Set bowl over a pot of simmering water, and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm.  About 3 minutes.  Add salt and cream or tartar.

Remove from heat and beat with an electric hand mixer until stiff, glossy, peaks form and the meringue is mostly cooled.  About 7 minutes.  Beat in zest.

Using a small paint brush, brush 3 strokes of the gel paste food coloring lengthwise in a pastry bag.  Have the pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip (I use Ateco #805).  Fill the bag with meringue and pipe in a circular motion until 1 3/4 inch circular shapes.  Pipe them on cookie sheets lined with pastry paper 2 inches a part.  To finish the swirl, apply less pressure and swirl the tip in a circular motion.

Bake meringues until crisp on the outside but still soft and moist in the middle, about 1 hour and 15 min.  Remove from oven and immediately place on a cooling rack.  Don't package until completely cooled.

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