Monday, December 19, 2011

Peppermint Bark Meringues

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The Setting: My mommy's house.

The Soundtrack: The holiday playlist on my mom's iPod.

Steaming up the Oven: Peppermint Bark Meringues.

The Scenario: Baking for two parties, and, well, just for fun.

Did I tell you I am obsessed with using peppermint bark as an ingredient right now?

I also have limited time and a bag of leftover (and scraggly looking) peppermint bark to which I'd like to give new life, so the path is clear: Peppermint Bark Meringues.

Meringues are spectacular in their versatility (i.e. meringue ghosts) and simplicity--well, they can be kind of complicated (Italian and Swiss), but the way I do it (French) is a cinch.

Also they are fat free--before you start adding chocolate, anyway--which is definitely a welcome bonus around the holidays.

These Peppermint Bark Meringues are crisp on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside, with a burst of melting chocolate and mint crunch.

So without further ado....

Peppermint Bark Meringues
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup crushed peppermint bark (place peppermint bark in a gallon-sized zip-top bag, place over a large cutting board, and use a wooden mallet to crush the bark into small pieces)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or brown paper (a new use for any paper grocery bags you may have hanging around).

With an electric mixer on med-high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla just till stiff peaks form.

With the mixer still on, add sugar 1 T at a time, allowing it to be beaten into the mixture after each addition. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the crushed peppermint bark.

Transfer meringue to a pastry bag and pipe little "kisses" onto the parchment or brown paper, spacing about 1/4-inch apart.

Each cookie should contain about 2 T of the meringue mixture.

Bake at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes. Larger meringues may require more time, while smaller meringues will require less. Allow to cool completely before carefully removing from the paper--in some spots the chocolate or peppermint may want to stick to the paper, so not every cookie will remove cleanly, but you should be able to maintain the structure of the cookie.

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1 comment:

morgan crumm said...

P.S. If you wish to make your meringues larger or smaller, adjust cooking time accordingly. The tips will brown slightly and the exterior will be just firm to the touch when done!