peppermint meringues

I've skipped right over Thanksgiving and into Christmas.

While I normally am eager to make the switch, I feel more aggressive than normal. My excuse for decorating in November used to be that I was taking advantage of having Veteran's Day off from work.  However this year, I'm just plain aggressive. I had my outdoor decor all set up a week for about a week before I turned on the lights.

In the spirit of being extremely ready for the Christmas season, I also took care of my Christmas Cookie Swap. My friend Becca of The Salted Cookie runs a swap each year. Last year I made these matcha cookies. They were good but not really amazing. I am terrible at melting chocolate... and then the subsequent dipping of cookies into the chocolate felt clumsy. 

I can't remember where I saw this initial recipe but the person talked about how irresistible these little meringues were - and they were right. They are just sweet enough and just peppermint-y enough and just the right size... you can't resist popping a couple of these into your mouth. I challenged myself to use a piping bag for this and it was quite messy in my kitchen. I'd absolutely like to get better at piping since it would be a nice addition to my cake and macaron skills. 
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, peppermint, and salt with a mixer on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time beating on high. Beat well after each addition. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Place a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip inside a large cup and fold excess over top of the cup. This will help hold the pastry bag in place making it easier to paint the stripes and fill with meringue. If desired, using a small paintbrush paint small stripes up the sides of the pastry bag. Carefully spoon the meringue into the bag. Pipe 1" diameter cookies onto prepared baking sheet about 1" apart.
  4. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until meringues appear dry and firm when lightly touched. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
Shopping List
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Red food coloring (the gel kind works best)

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