I know I haven't updated the blog in quite a few days but it's not because I haven't been cooking/baking. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I've been so busy in the kitchen I haven't had time to update with everything I've made. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll be able to get all of the delicious goodies posted.
I made these peppermint meringues a few weeks ago. They were more of a novelty than anything else. I didn't really have a desire to eat them so much as a desire to see if I could achieve the stripes on the meringues. It actually ended up being much easier to accomplish than I expected! My stripes aren't dark (and this picture is a very poor depiction of what they actually looked like) but they were there. These reminded me of the mints you sometimes get at restaurants. They were crunchy/firm on the outside but the inside was soft and melted in your mouth. The original recipe added chocolate ganache and sandwiched two of the meringues together, and while I skipped it, I've included that part of the recipe below.
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Red gel-paste food coloring
For the Ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; secure corners with masking tape. Fit a pastry bag with a small open-star tip. Set aside.
Make meringues: Put egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir gently until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Mix in peppermint extract.
Using a new small paintbrush, paint 2 or 3 stripes of red food coloring inside the pastry bag. Fill bag with 1 to 2 cups meringue. Pipe small (3/4-inch-high) star shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Refill bag as necessary, adding food coloring each time.
Bake cookies until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
Meanwhile, make ganache: Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until just simmering. Pour over chocolate in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let ganache cool at room temperature, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes, until thick enough to hold its shape, about 45 minutes. (If ganache sets before using, reheat in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; repeat the cooling process.)
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip with ganache. Pipe a small amount onto bottom of 1 meringue. Sandwich with another. Repeat with remaining ganache and meringues. Transfer to wire racks; let set 30 minutes. Cookies can be stored in a single layer in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.