Thursday, December 26, 2013

Triplemint Meringues

Now that the bulk of the holiday insanity is over, I'm sure I'm not alone in saying phew! We made it through another year's festivities, are still here to gripe tell the tale, and it's long enough until the next holiday season that we can forget just how irritating Frosty and Jingle Bells can be. 

Like with all major cook-fests for special occasions, our home after the holidays is filled with leftovers upon leftovers. Our collection is not only cooked food remnants from my mom's spectacular meals, but bits and pieces of ingredients that weren't all quite used up. We have cartons of heavy cream, half blocks of cheese, various juices, part bottles of wine, and lots of egg whites. The bulk of our egg whites actually come from the manufacture of my mom's shortbreads (which use only an egg yolk), but we have the Challah and Brioche to think of as well, plus whatever cooking gets done for Christmas Eve. Luckily, mom usually just gives me the extra food to play with - a huge benefit since I don't usually buy eggs or much dairy for myself!

To use up this year's batch of egg whites, I modified a recipe I found in The 250 Best Cookie Recipes by Esther Brody when I was writing my review. I wanted to keep with the classic "Wintry" theme, but have a light little nibble to ease the family back down from the gluttony of the rich holiday fare. So, to add a bit of extra flavour to the plain meringues (notorious for tasting just sweet), I used a minty trifecta: dried peppermint, peppermint extract and mint chocolate chips! Whether you're having some after-Christmas guests or just want something to do with your leftovers, it's definitely going to be a holiday staple around here.

Triplemint Meringues

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Triplemint Meringues
Makes 24
½ cup vanilla sugar
pinch salt
3 tbsp potato starch
½ tsp dried peppermint leaves, crumbled
3 egg whites, at room temperature
4 drops green food colouring
½ tsp peppermint extract
1 cup mint chocolate chips

(if you need to be dairy free, use a chopped vegan mint chocolate bar)
  1. Preheat the oven to 250F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, salt, potato starch and mint in a small bowl, set aside.
  3.  In a metal or ceramic (not plastic) bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
  4.  Slowly beat in the sugar mixture and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  5.  Add the food colouring (if using) and extract and beat until incorporated.
  6.  By hand, fold in the mint chocolate chips.
  7.  Dollop spoonfuls onto the parchment for “rustic” (i.e. no-fuss) cookies, or transfer the meringue to a piping bag and pipe round blobs onto the sheet.
  8.  Bake for 75 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven. 
  9.  Turn off the oven, leaving the cookies inside, and leave for 3-4 hours before removing.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 69.7
Total Fat: 2.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 7.5 mg
Total Carbs: 12.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Protein: 1.1 g