Vanilla Meringues

Meringues are classic cookies that first popped up in France during the latter part of the 17th century. Although their exact discovery is contested, the first time meringue appeared in print was in 1962 in François Massialot's cookbook. Their dreamy, whimsical appearance makes them the perfect accompaniment for a lovely afternoon tea or a special treat for a certain doe-eyed toddler. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart's definitive how-to guide for the homemade hostess, Entertaining. I have adapted it to suit my tastes.

After the recipe, you will find instructions for how to package the meringues as I have above. These simple little bags make perfect favors for a family Easter party or friendly gifts to distribute to family and neighbors.

Vanilla Meringues

6 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 225°F. Beat the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer on high until they begin to look foamy. Add the cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. Continue beating on high for one minute. Turn the mixer speed down to medium and add 1/8 cup of sugar. Without turning the machine off, wait 30 seconds and then add the next 1/8 cup of sugar. Wait another 30 seconds and then continue this pattern until all of the sugar is in the mixture. Once all of the sugar is in, turn the mixer up to medium-high for an additional 6 minutes. The egg whites should be very stiff and glossy.

Put the meringue mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the meringues onto foil-lined baking sheets, leaving about a 1/4- 1/2 inch space between each piece. Turn the oven down to 200°F and bake the meringues for 90-120 minutes or until the meringues are dry to the touch and easily lift off the foil. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container in a cool place.

Meringue will be stiff and glossy once completed

Piped onto prepared trays

This recipe makes plenty of meringues for your family and friends

To package the meringues as I have, you will need the following materials:

  • crinkle paper or Easter grass

  • cellophane bags

  • ribbon

  • gift tags and kitchen twine (optional)

Place a bit of crinkle paper into the bottom of a glassine bag. Arrange 6 or so meringues on top of the crinkle paper. Tie a bow with the ribbon around the top of the bag. Attach a gift tag with some kitchen twine if desired.

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