French Meringue Kisses

I’m not a huge fan of meringues, but I think they’re beautiful to look at. These French Meringue Kisses are particularly pretty. They kind of remind me of cotton candy – airy, sweet and not much else. But other love them and I love pleasing others with their favorite foods.

To Make Meringue

Crack a couple of eggs and gently transfer the egg yolk of each between eggshell halves letting the gloppy whites fall into a bowl below. Save the yolks for another purpose – cream anglaise or a French custard base. Let them sit for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

Beat either by hand with a whisk if you have stamina, a good arm and wrist action; or use a hand beater,  portable beater, or electric mixer with a whisk attachment. The translucent whites begin to foam. That’s good. They begin to rise, that’s good, too. Keep on beating – harder and faster – if you’re doing this by hand, wipe your brow and keep beating.

Once the egg whites are foamy and high, it’s time to add flavor, such as vanilla extract, and stabilize the foam with sugar. Tip the measuring cup filled with sugar and let a thin stream flow continuously as you beat. For those of you beating by hand, a helper is needed for 30 seconds or add in small batches between beatings.

Watch the transformation as the foam stiffens and rises to a silky white mountain. The meringue is done once the foam stands high and straight, called the stiff peak stage, when you pull your whisk or beater straight up.  The meringue is ready to be piped or spooned onto a parchment-lined tray at this point or fold in additional ingredients, such as chopped chocolate or nuts.

Pipe or spoon onto the baking and bake at low-heat (200ºF) for one and one-half hours. The meringue sets during this time but needs extra hours in the oven with no heat to dry throughout.

A properly cooked meringue is feathery light. Slice one open and the interior is porous. Pop one in your mouth and it dissolves instantly. Store in an airtight container; meringues quickly absorb any moisture in the air, which softens them.

Piped Meringue Kisses

Decorated Piped Meringue Kisses

Plated Meringue Kisses

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