|from top to bottom: Chocolate Toffee,|
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar OR 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (6 ounces, about 6) large egg whites, preferably room temperature
2 pints fresh or frozen berries
1/4 cup sugar
Whipped Cream for topping
Method1 Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 275°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the vanilla and vinegar (if using) into a small cup. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.
2 In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites, cream of tartar (if using) and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
4 Pipe or spoon the meringue into 8-10 large round mounds that are 3 inches wide on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked.
5 Place baking sheet in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp, dry to the touch on the outside, and white -- not tan-colored or cracked. The interiors should have a marshmallow-like consistency. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around.
6 Gently lift from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, or individually wrapped, for up to a week if your house is not humid.
7 Served topped with your favorite filling - lemon curd, raspberry or blueberry sauce, and freshly whipped cream.
Sauce or Filling Directions
If you want to make a berry sauce, heat a couple pints of fresh or frozen berries in a medium saucepan with about a quarter cup of sugar. Heat on medium heat, stirring once or twice, for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much the berries are falling apart. Remove from heat and let cool.
- add a whole pecan to the top of each meringue before baking
- 1/2 C. each finely chopped pecans and chopped chocolate (folded in after step 3), after baking time is up, turn off oven and leave overnight. This version is called "Forgotten Cookies".
- sift 2 Tbsp cocoa powder over meringue, and fold until barely any streaks remain (after step 3)
- 1/2 C. finely chopped heath bar folded in (after step 3)
- different flavorings can be substituted for the vanilla or added. Try adding 1 tsp butter flavoring with the vanilla and pecans, or replace the vanilla for peppermint with the chocolate version.