Making meringue is a breeze I would say, its so easy, needs very few ingredients, but bit tricky and time consuming. If you get your meringue mix right and if you set the perfect oven temperature, then you've nailed this one. Ofcourse, you definitely need enough time and patience to watch over the meringues while baking. Pack these as edible gifts along with your fruit cakes, macaroons, cookies and other edible treats either for Christmas or New year and share some love. When we think of Christmas, we can't definitely forget the Christmas tree and Christmas star props that we set in our houses along with the cribs, so symbolizing these in your edible gifts will make the season even more merrier and feel Christmas already!
INGREDIENTSPreparation Time - 20 to 30 minutes
Baking Time - 60 to 105 minutes (depends on size of meringues)
Makes nearly 4 dozens of mini Christmas trees
- Egg Whites - From 2 eggs (weighed 75 grams)
- Powdered sugar / Icing Sugar - 125 grams (Nearly 25 teaspoons)
- Vanilla essence / Vanilla extract - 1/4 teaspoon
- Any food color - I used pink and green.
- Star shaped sprinkles - As needed (Optional)
- Separate egg yolk from egg whites. The best and safe method is to use your hands as shown in the pic. You can use a yolk separator too. (Set aside egg yolks for some other purpose, you wont need it here)
- Now beat egg whites using an electric beater on medium speed until it forms soft peaks. (It will take 3 to 4 minutes)
- Whilst still beating the egg whites add the powdered sugar (I powdered normal granulated white sugar and used it. You can use icing sugar too) slowly into the mixture tablespoon by tablespoon. (If you use a stand mixer it will be more easy and convenient)
- After adding all of the powdered sugar, add vanilla extract / essence and continue beating the mixture.
- Take some meringue mix and rub it between your fingers. If it is gritty, i.e. if you feel the sugar then you have to continue beating the mixture. If your mix is smooth, then your meringue mix is ready. It will be glossy to look and will form stiff peaks.
- Now separate the mix into 3 parts, to one portion add green food color and to the other add pink food color. (Add color little by little, until you achieve the color you want, I used 2 drops of pink gel color and 2 pinches of powder green food color) I did not color one part, I wanted it to remain white. Beat the mixture again so that the color gets mixed evenly. See that you wipe off the meringue mix sticking to your beater whisk heads after using it in one portion, so that the colors do not mix up with the other.
- Preheat an Oven to 95°C (or 100°C) for 15 minutes; Line a baking tray using parchment paper and set aside.
- Now take a piping bag, (I used a plastic disposable piping bag) cut 1/2 inch at the end of the bag and insert any icing nozzle of your choice, I used a small star tip nozzle and a plain tip nozzle.
- Using a spatula or spoon, add the meringue mix into the bag and pipe out any shapes on a the lined baking sheet, with 1 inch space between them. Make any shapes of your choice I made a Christmas tree shape (almost :P) Use a large star tip nozzle and using swirl motions (like icing a cupcake) you will get beautiful trees. Then place a star sprinkle on the tip very carefully on each meringues.
- Then slide the tray into the center rack of the oven and bake the meringues for 1½ to 1¾ hours (90 minutes to 105 minutes). Sometimes it may even take 2 hours on a humid day, also the baking time depends on the size of the meringues and also the temperature set. Check in between after 30 to 40 minutes to see if they are done.
- The meringues are ready when they are crisp to touch and comes off easily from the parchment paper.
- Now switch off the oven and wait for 10 to 15 minutes, do not remove the meringues immediately from the oven.
- Now remove the meringues from the oven and immediately transfer it into an airtight container.
- These meringues stay well and crisp for couple of weeks when stored in an airtight container.
- Serve or gift pack them as Christmas treats!!
TIP 1: I used two different colors, pink gel food color and green kesari food color. Both worked fine in this recipe. If you can't afford or get gel colors, you can opt for kesari colors that you get in powder form.
TIP 2: If you do not beat the egg whites well enough you will not get the shapes. Also if your sugar has not dissolved properly your meringues will collapse when you bake it.
TIP 3: Bake these meringues on a lower temperature for a longer time, it may take more than 90 minutes on a humid day. If you set higher temperature, there are chances that your meringues will not get baked on the inside. Also it might cause a color change in your meringues. So be keen to set the lower temperature and wait patiently for a best outcome.
TIP 4: Avoid making Meringues on a humid day, it may need extra baking time and also the meringues will absorb moisture easy and will become sticky soon.
TIP 5: Once the meringues cools down, immediately transfer them to an airtight container, do not leave it outside, it will turn sticky. If it turns so, place in the oven again and bake for some, 30 more minutes to make them crisp again.
Beautiful and colorful edible Christmas trees are now ready!! Serve or gift pack them to your beloved ones!!