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Triple Vanilla Goodness

13 Jan

The first time I made meringues, I made an epic mess. Filling a pastry bag with sticky, oozy batter was a recipe for disaster, and my piping skills left a lot to be desired. Thankfully, Andy’s never been picky about how food looks, only about how it tastes. And because I’m stubborn persistent, I didn’t let that first experience slow me down.

I invested in an icing gun and started practicing my piping skills. And then, for the final piece of the puzzle, I bought an ice cream maker. (This is the part of the story where you’re sure that I’m mixing up my metaphors, or at least my recipes, right? Stay with me – I promise I’m going somewhere with this.) 

I make a lot of ice cream, and ice cream calls for a lot of egg yolks. Which means that I have a freezer full of egg whites, just waiting for greatness. Some of the egg whites end up in my favorite frosting, but it’s been a while since I’ve made cake. And since I’m on a mission to clear out some space in the freezer, I knew I’d need to do something with these egg whites.

The solution = meringues. They’re relatively easy cookies, and they’re completely hands-off once you get them in the oven. They do take at least 2 hours to bake, and I ended up shutting off the oven and leaving them in the oven overnight.

I made these cookies for a bachelorette party for a friend. Normally, I made cake (or cheesecake) for parties, but I needed the dessert to be both gluten and dairy-free. I used vanilla sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds for three times the vanilla flavor. I was happy with the way they turned out, and everyone loved them.

TripleVanillaMeringues

Triple Vanilla Meringues 

5 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups vanilla sugar*
pinch of cream of tartar
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 175 degrees.

Place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl of an electric stand mixer. Set the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is warm. (This takes me about 5 minutes.) 

Remove the bowl from the pan and place on the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture until stiff, glossy peaks form. Be sure to begin on a low speed and gradually increase the mixer speed as you go. Add in the vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla extract.

Transfer the batter to a piping bag (or icing gun!) fitted with a large star tip. Pipe batter into 1 1/2″ swirls about 1/2″ apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake until cookies are dry and can be easily lifted from the baking sheets, about 2 hours. Store in a single layer in an airtight container.

*To make vanilla sugar, place a split, scraped vanilla bean pod in an airtight container with granulated sugar. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes – longer is better – I let mine sit all day. 

Makes about 60 cookies, depending on how large you pipe them.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies

Click here for a printable version.

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Cookies, Dessert

 

Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “Triple Vanilla Goodness

  1. themondaybox

    January 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I have never made piped meringues, just blopped-on-the-pan-with-a-spoon meringues. They always taste good but don’t look picture perfect like yours! You have obviously become a piping pro! 🙂 I will have to give it a try because anything triple vanilla is my kind of treat!

     
  2. Grandma Baldwin

    December 9, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    I am so proud of your cooking Beth but I will never attempt to make those meringues. They are beautiful too pretty to eat. Your great grandma Baldwin would have loved you. You are so talented. Love you.

     

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