The 12 days of Christmas: peppermint meringues

With every holiday/special occasion/festive time of year, I tend to stress out attempting to make every recipe I see in blogs and magazines.  By the time summer has come and gone, I feel guilty that I missed my window to use those beautiful, local cranberry beans in a salad I read about, or I was too busy scarfing my raspberries on the way home from the market to make a proper fruit tart at home.  Thanksgiving is tough because (thankfully?) I don’t have to host (yet), but I see so many delicious variations of the classics that I would love to try.  When this December’s Bon Appetit arrived however, I was certain I would make the peppermint meringues on the cover.

My grandmother used to make chocolate chip meringues for every holiday.  She never strayed from her standard white meringues with chocolate chips, but with her love for Brigham’s peppermint stick ice cream, I’m sure she would appreciate these as well.  Actually, I like a bit of crunch in meringues, and plan to make these again using white chocolate chips.

Peppermint meringues (from Bon Appetit, December 2011)

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

12 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 200°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until white and foamy, about 1 minute.  With mixer running, gradually add sugar in 3 additions beating for 2 minutes between each addition.  Beat until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes longer.  Add powdered sugar and peppermint extract;  beat to blend, about 1 minute.

Dot coloring over surface of meringue; do not stir (the coloring will form swirls when piped).  Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ tip.  Twist top; pipe 1″ rounds onto prepared sheet,  spacing 1″ apart [note: I forewent the pastry bag and instead spooned the meringue onto the baking sheet in decorative pillows].

Bake meringues until dry, about 2 1/2 hours.  Let cool completely, about 1 hour (meringues will crisp as they cool).  Can be made 2 days ahead.  Store airtight at room temperature between sheets of parchment or waxed paper.

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