everyday food made simple

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A few weeks ago, I crossed one more thing off of my culinary bucket list: homemade pastry cream. I made some Boston cream pie cupcakes for a coworker’s birthday, and I was surprised at how easy it actually was to make pastry cream from scratch.

After it was all said and done, I was left with four egg whites sitting in a bowl on my kitchen counter. I had an internal conversation with myself regarding what to do with them: tossing them down the drain was out of the question. Maybe an egg white scramble for breakfast? Orrrrr…. I could make meringue cookies.

Yes! Meringue cookies. Now the big question: what kind of meringue cookies? Since Memorial Day is around the corner and summer is soon approaching, how about something that screams “summer”? That’s when I remembered that little bottle of root beer extract I bought last year, tucked all the way in the back of my “extracts” bin (yes, I have a bin just for extracts).

ROOT BEER MERINGUE COOKIES, you guys!

…Sorry, I’m yelling. But seriously, it can’t be any fancier and cooler than that, can it?

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You know how there are certain things and smells that remind you of something? Well, as these babies were baking in the oven, my entire house smelled like root beer, which totally reminded me of sipping on an ice cold glass of root beer on a hot summer day and how much I wish it was 85 degrees and sunny outside at the time.

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If you’re not familiar with making meringue cookies, I have a few tips that I’ve learned based on past personal experiences that I talk about here. And in case you’re not familiar with meringue cookies, they’re not the kind of “cookie” that comes to mind; instead, they’re light, slightly crunchy, and melt right in your mouth as soon as you bite into it. Think of it like a fancy cookie that fancy people eat, except it’s not at all difficult to make whatsoever.

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Make these for your family and friends to impress them – each batch easily makes at least 60-80 of these cookies so there will be plenty to pass around, plus I swear you can never just eat one!

root beer meringue cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  2. 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 1 cup granulated sugar
  5. 2 teaspoons root beer extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt starting on medium speed for a few seconds, then gradually increasing the speed to medium high. Beat for 1-2 minutes or until soft peaks form*.
  3. Turn your mixer to high and add in the granulated sugar into the egg white mixture, one spoonful at a time (about 1 tablespoon) until gone. Beat the mixture for 5 minutes until stiff peaks form**. Add in the root beer extract and beat until combined.
  4. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag with a large open star. Pipe meringues about 1" apart and bake for 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the meringues stand in the closed oven overnight. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. *Soft peaks = tips curl when you lift the whisk straight up
  2. **Stiff peaks = tips stand straight up when you lift the whisk straight up
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

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Ever since I was little, I hated sharing food. This doesn’t mean I don’t like sharing food that I make (it’s quite the opposite, actually); I just simply hated sharing whatever food I had on my plate. If it’s on my plate, more often than not I would really prefer not to share it.

Let me give you an example: Back in elementary school, whenever my dad would take us to McDonald’s as a rare treat, he would always finish his meal first and patient watch us eat. Occasionally he would reach across the table and steal a few fries off my tray. Me being the selfish potato-loving child as I was, would always whine and tell him that it was mine and he wasn’t allowed to eat my fries. My poor father, who is always so accommodating and patient with us, would always just laugh and apologize, despite the fact he just spent his hard-earned money to take us out for a treat.

I can always laugh about it and refer back to a particular FRIENDS episode, which coincidentally also involved french fries.

I knew Joey had always been my favorite for a reason……

One good thing about these meringue cookies is that it makes so many that you won’t feel bad about sharing them!

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After failing three miserable times trying to make meringue cookies in the past, I have finally picked up a few tips and tricks:

  1. Don’t cut corners. You may think using just egg whites is a waste of egg yolks, and decide to buy some “egg whites in a carton” at the store – DON’T. This may or may not have happened during one of my failed attempts…
  2. Be patient. Let the egg whites thoroughly come to room temperature. Find something to distract yourself, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, cleaning, running errands, or enjoying the nice weather outside.
  3. Warm your mixing bowl and whisk right before you start beating the egg whites. I actually turned on our fireplace and stuck the mixing bowl right in front of it until it was warm to the touch – it worked really well!
  4. If you’re adding things to your meringue batter (in this case, mini chocolate chips), make sure the mix-ins are small enough to go through your decorative piping tips. I initially had the perfect idea of using the star tip for these to make them into cute little pretty shapes, but realized that the chocolate chips were clogging the tips and had to dump all my batter out, switch tips on my piping bag, and then start all over..

Bake these babies low and slow in the oven. Once the cooking time is up, turn the oven off and let the meringue cookies sit in the oven to cool overnight. They’ll turn nice and melt-in-your-mouth-crispy the next morning. Another thing I learned was to store these in a cool, dry place – if the temperature is too warm, they actually start to get a little sticky.

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So go make a batch of these! They’re simple to make, but they look (and sound) fancy, and your friends will think you’re amazing for making these yummy delicate treats. And there will be more than plenty to go around for everyone :)

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mint chocolate chip meringue cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  2. 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1/8 teaspoon mint extract
  6. ~7 drops of green food coloring (more or less depending on how green you want your meringues to be)
  7. 1/3 cups mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Let egg whites come to room temperature and make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are just slightly warmer than room temperature (I placed mine in front of the fireplace for a few minutes).
  2. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed until soft peaks form*.
  4. Add in the sugar, about one tablespoon at a time, beating continuously until stiff peaks form**.
  5. Beat in the mint extract and green food coloring. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag with a large round open tip. Pipe meringues about 1" apart and bake for 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the meringues stand in the closed oven overnight. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Notes
  1. *Soft peaks = tips curl when you lift the whisk straight up
  2. **Stiff peaks = tips stand straight up when you lift the whisk straight up
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter