Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Meringue ghosts

The Setting: Reaching awkwardly over the sleeping baby on my lap to the laptop perched atop a large cookbook on the kicked-out leg of the loveseat recliner on which I sit. Did that make sense at all?

The Soundtrack: Glee on Hulu.

Steaming up the Oven (the real one this time!): Meringue ghosts.

The Scenario: Bringing a little Halloween cheer to a favorite handed-down recipe dear.

I did make it to the Halloween party with a few of the homemade butterfingers, but let's just say I had to supplement them a little.

Enter Meringue Ghosts.

My recipe for Meringue Kisses, written in sky blue on a folded and worn piece of paper from an Oak Hill School notepad, was given to me by my friend Suzanne's mom in elementary school and remains my favorite light and airy alternative to traditional chocolate-chip cookies.

Here, big chocolate chips throughout are swapped out for mini-chocolate chip eyes, and a piping bag streamlines the shaping.

Meringue Ghosts:
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup granulated sugar
mini semisweet chocolate chips, for eyes

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla till semi-stiff peaks form.

3. Add sugar, 1 T at a time, continuing to beat during and after each addition.

4. Carefully transfer meringue to a disposable piping bag. Snip off end of bag so that the opening is about 1/2 inch in width.

5. Pipe ghosts onto prepared baking sheet and gently press two chocolate chips into the "head" of each. Ghosts will not spread much, but will puff a little, so space at least 1/2 inch apart.

6. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until ghosts will easily separate from the parchment paper. The meringues should be crispy on the outside and slightly marshmallow-y in the center. Yum!

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