Crunchy-chewy meringues are not only gluten-free and dairy-free, but soooo yummy to eat and easy to make for a get-together. Using a pastry bag, you can easily form them into little ghosts. Just pop a couple of mini chocolate chips in for eyes (and a third for a ghoulish mouth if you like) and voila. A few hours in the oven and you are ready for a party. With a lot of cute ghosts. Boo!
Here are some tips for making perfect meringues:
- Use fresh eggs; don’t purchase pasteurized egg whites as they won’t whip up into light-as-air meringue.
- Separate cold eggs straight from the refrigerator; room temperature yolks have a tendency to burst into your whites.
- Make sure to keep your whites pristine, meaning no yolk, not even a little speck, or it won’t whip up into frothy goodness (this means also no other fats like oil, so make sure your hands, mixing bowl, and whip are all clean).
- Warm egg whites whip up more readily, so ideally let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off.
- Save your yolks! You can use them to make scrumptious lemon curd or an ice cream custard base (such as this Meyer Lemon Ice Cream, my favorite ice cream in the universe).
Recipe: Ghost Meringue Cookies
Makes about 30 ghosts
- 4 large egg whites
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- Mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325F; position the rack in the center of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25cm) plain tip.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until they start to get foamy. Slowly add the sugar, beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Sift the cornstarch over the mixture and add the vanilla and vinegar. Beat just until incorporated. Do not overbeat.
- Dap a tiny bit of meringue on the underside of each corner of parchment, to hold it down. Scoop the meringue into the pastry bag. Holding the bag straight up and down over the prepared baking sheet, pipe 2-inch high mounds of meringue, making sure the base is nice and fat and the top is smaller with a curled end. Press mini chocolate chips into each meringue to create eyes (and a third for a mouth if you like!).
- Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 250F. Bake until crisp, about 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the ghost meringues in the oven to cool completely, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Boo!