Monday, December 24, 2012

Lemon Meringue Meringues

This is for F.G., who might be the last person on earth who even READS this blog o'mine. You say you don't need more sweets, but these were pretty dang tasty. A few years ago I took an old recipe and turned it into Christmas magic: Candy Cane Meringues. Christmas is upon us once again, but the night we were going to do some holiday baking my daughter was feeling under the weather. I decided meringues were the perfect project, both fast and festive. My son, however, was less than pleased. He's not a mint fan, not at all. A quick look through the pantry and I had a solution. With a couple easy substitutions we soon whipped up Lemon Meringue Meringues while the peppermint variety were in the oven. Two batches of cookies and hardly any clean up required. Nice. I'll post the whole recipe here, but it is nearly identical to the original.

For all you lemon meringue pie fans, you might want to give this one a try!

Lemon Meringue Meringues

In a very clean stainless steel bowl, whip
2 egg whites
with an electric mixer until frothy.

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Continue beating and slowly add
2/3 cup sugar
until egg whites are stiff and glossy.

Gently fold in
3 tablespoons fine cracker crumbs (like saltines or Hai Tai crackers) 
zest of one lemon
but don't over-stir or you'll deflate the mixture!

Use two teaspoons to drop puffs of meringue mixture onto a greased or silicon mat-lined cookie sheet, and bake for 18-20 minutes, until peaks just begin to brown. If you bake two sheets at once, rotate their position (from top to bottom) once during baking. If you are using a small oven you can bake these in small batches, but the mixture will begin to deflate and the meringues will be a bit flatter. Store baked meringues in an airtight container; if left out they will become sticky in a humid environment, but they tend to disappear before then. I'm in Arizona now, so that's not a problem. But still. This is the Wonton Woman. ;-)