Are you looking for an easy treat to make for your kids’ classroom, but you’re not wanting to put a lot of effort into it because, life, but you’re wanting to look like you put in the effort and make that PTA mom kind of jealous because she ALWAYS makes the best treats? Well, Helen, (can I call you Helen?) I got a recipe for you. AND they’re gluten free, dairy free, and nut free. Get ready to pat yourself on the back.
We recently made a whole crap ton (that’s the technical unit of measurement) of creme brûlée recently, and I have a whole 3/4 of a gallon of egg whites left over. OMELETS ANYONE?! Or pavlova’s for the whole American army. It’s insane guys. Aaaanyhoo, I needed an excuse to start to try to use these. Enter in the class of my 7 year old son.
Meringues look and sound intimidating, but let me assure you, I have been making these since I was 8 years old, by myself. My son can make these basically by himself. They have all the style and class of a fancy cookie, without barely any work. They also happen to be my oldest son's favorite cookie. That and Madelines… And macarons. But these are the easiest.
With the ones we made, we used a star tipped piping bag, but if that’s not your jam, you can literally plop these on a cookie sheet with a spoon for a more rustic feel. You can shape them into a heart with a spoon if you wish. But we wanted to use a piping bag. I needed to work on my piping skills, and Jeremiah thought he was a big hot shot.
But I will forewarn you. Somehow these things can get shaped into a more Rated- R figure… I don’t want to ruin anything for you, but I’m just saying Jeremiah needs to work a little bit more on his heart shapes. If your 7 year old (or 5 or 6) is helping you, maayybe just help guide their hands into a shape, or give them an outline to draw. Nobody wants to get a call from the principles office asking why they might’ve gotten a bachelorette’s order instead…
Usually you see meringues in their classic white color, but we decided to jazz it up a bit and added the stereotypical Valentine’s Day pink. Add in the food coloring at the beginning so you don’t mess with the fluffiness of the egg whites.
The recipe says 20 minutes and that's not a typo. You want the sugar granules to be completely dissolved. This helps with the structure, and also it prevents them from cracking. Once the sugar is in the egg white mixture, it is hard to over whip the egg whites.
In the winter months with the humidity low in our house, I left these out on the counter overnight so they didn’t get tacky in a container. You can also leave them in a completely cooled oven, so not extra moisture gets to them. If you are storing them in a container, make sure it’s an air tight container, and that they are 100% completely cooled. Keep stored in a dry place. No refrigerator, no warm cupboard!
You’ll do great, and the kids will love them. They’re basically like marshmallow cookies. YUM!
Easy Valentine's Day Treat
4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
Food coloring, if desired
You can also add in vanilla or almond extract for an extra pizzazz. A 1/2- 1 tsp oughta do it.
Preheat oven to 225˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or sil-pat. Set aside.
Add in egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, and food coloring into kitchen aid mixer, or bowl for an electric mixer. With a whisk attachment, whisk until soft peaks form on medium high speed.
Add in sugar 1 TBSP at a time, with the mixer on medium high speed. Once all the sugar is added, increase speed to high and continue mixing for 20 minutes. Most if not all the sugar must be dissolved.
Scoop all mixture into a piping bag with a big star tip. Shape into heart shapes on the parchment lined baking sheet. Or shape free hand with a spoon. Use what you got! They’ll be delicious no matter what.
Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Once the time is up, DO NOT PULL THE COOKIES OUT. Instead, turn off the oven, and open the door a slit, holding open with a wooden spatula or spoon. Wait until they are mostly cooled, and then you can pull them out.
Store when they are completely cooled in an air tight container. It’s slightly tricky to store them depending on the humidity level in the environment. If they get slightly tacky, that’s ok.