When snow covers the ground, the world takes a quiet, solemn mood. Though my ground only contains slick, wet ice and sleet, my mood would match that of the white dusted houses and blanketed stillness. When one’s soul is quiet or yearns to be quiet, a cup of tea matches it perfectly.
To join in the white puffs of snow, I wanted to bake Meringue cookies. The outside crunch resembling the crunch of fresh snow under your foot. The inside softness being the warm cozy chair next to the fire place.
2 egg whites
⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ – ¾ cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 185 degrees. In a clean mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites for a couple of seconds until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Beat the egg whites on medium high speed, gradually adding the sugar and vanilla, until thick, glossy, and stiff peaks. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. From the meringues one of two ways. 1) fill a bag fitted with a piping tip, and pipe the meringues. 2) Using two spoons, drop dollops of meringue in desired shapes. Bake the meringues for 3 hours without opening the oven door.
* The quaint way to cook these is with the door cracked open with a wooden spoon; however, my oven, like many modern ovens, has a preset stopping place that makes it difficult to leave the door cracked.
For a more “authentic” meringue, go to here. This recipe does not use cream of tartar which stabilizes the egg whites. Since I was coming up with my own recipe and did not want lack of sugar to mess the stabilization up, I used cream of tartar.