So with me getting sick it has pushed me back dramatically in the 12 days completion. On top of that My actually Holiday orders week is finally here and leaves me with very little time to get caught back up! So in light of that I am going to make Day 6 a repeat of a cookie I made last year but never blogged about.
Now I don't know about you, but since my journey though culinary school, I've developed a liking to a lot of things I didn't normally like ( raisins, bananas, pumpkin flavored things, the list is pretty long). In this case it would be Meringue! Growing up I never liked it on pie, Didn't like any aspect of it really. It wasn't until we made a torte in school that had a disk of meringue with ground hazelnuts and almonds folded into it did I finally turn around and give it another try. Whats so nice about meringues is the simplicity of them. The break down is fairly simple, very minimal ingredients ( egg whites, water and sugar), and can be modified into some of the most amazing flavors. in this case it was peppermint with a touch of chocolate.
Few things to remember while making:
1.If the double boiler method isn't your thing, you can whip your egg whites room temperature ( they will whip at their best at room temp), with a pinch of cream of tartar and slowly add your sugar. But It might not come out as shiny as you'd like in the finished product and has potential to have sugar granulates still in the final product.
2. Easy on the extract! Egg whites are very delicate. I used Loreann peppermint oil ( can normally be found in candy making isles in your local baking supply store) which wasn't as harsh when it came time to adding the flavoring.
Now to the recipe!
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Cookies & The Busty Baker
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Red gel-paste food coloring
1 cup chopped chocolate pieces
1 tablespoon shortening
¼ peppermint extract
1 cup crushed peppermint candies
1. 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 (such as Ateco #22). Set aside.
2. 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.
3. Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Mix in peppermint extract.
4. 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.
5. Bake cookies until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
6. When meringues are completely cooled, prepare chocolate dip: Spread crushed peppermint candies in a shallow dish. Set aside. In a small saucepan , combine chocolate and shortening. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint extract.
7. Dip the bottom of meringues in chocolate, then dip in candy. Place on waxed paper and let stand until chocolate is set.
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