Here’s a light little “puff” of lemony sweetness for you – perfect for a summer dessert. Reminiscent of cotton candy, it disappears in your mouth the second you bite into it…surprising and addicting. One is definitely not enough! Making these won’t heat up your kitchen and they can be as simple or creative as you like.
I began by piping roses and butterflies, but then (curse this lack of stick-to-itiveness) I took the easy route and used a scoop for the remaining batter, sprinkling them with nonpareils.
You can see by the photo that the butterflies were a little overcooked. They’re thinner than the other options, and I should have compensated for that. If you decide to make butterflies, only bake them for 25 minutes before turning off the oven.
Meringues are very versatile. In the past I’ve added pecans, cocoa powder, chopped chocolate and cherries. The important thing is to limit the amount of added goodies, and fold additions in gently so the egg whites stay fluffy. And I have to say, sometimes they’re better without all the bells and whistles. These just have lemon extract in them, and they’re light and refreshing.
Here’s the recipe. I’ll explain how to make the different shapes below.
|Lemon Meringue Roses|| |
- 4 egg whites (at room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- a few drops of yellow food coloring
- Heat oven to 250 F.
- Prepare two baking sheets by spraying with cooking spray containing flour, or by using parchment.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium high speed until they hold a soft peak.
- Add the sugar, a little at a time, beating with each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture holds a stiff peak.
- Mix in the lemon extract and food color. The extract will thin the egg mixture. Beat on high until it holds stiff peaks again.
- Pipe or drop onto prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 35 minutes, then (without opening the oven door) turn off the oven and allow the cookies to sit for one hour. If you make these at night, just leave them in the oven to cool overnight.
- Store in an airtight container.
See? How easy is THAT? Now let’s jazz ’em up.
If you’ve ever made frosting roses, you already know how to do these. Put a 2″x2″ square of parchment on a flower nail using a little meringue to make the paper stick firmly. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue and, using a rose tip, make a cone shape in the middle.
Squeeze the pastry bag firmly to make nice, fat, petals, going around two or three times.
Carefully slide the parchment and rose onto a baking sheet. Repeat until you get tired of it, then scoop. Hahaha, oh yeah, that’s me. I’m sure you’ll diligently pipe all of the roses.
I made my butterflies using just two colors, but you could definitely go a little wild here. Add a little food coloring to small bowls of meringue, stirring gently, and put each color in a plastic zipper bag, snipping a tip off for piping.
If you’re the artistic type, go ahead and freehand your butterflies. Mine would have probably looked like vultures or something if I’d tried that, so I printed out a butterfly shape I liked from the internet and put a square of parchment over it. I could see the shape clearly through the parchment and simply outlined the wings with my darker color, added a couple of designs, then filled in with my lighter color. You may want to paint the “body” with chocolate after the cookie cools, but I kept it simple.
Don’t forget to cut your baking time back to 25 minutes to avoid browning.
And…easiest of all, the cookie scoop method. Line the baking sheet with parchment and just scoop them on there. Sprinkle with nonpareils if you like – I think they look really festive that way.
Don’t forget to store them in an airtight container – that is, IF there are any left. Just a suggestion: dump out a box of some ghastly cereal that no one likes (something with “bran” in the name is good) and hide them in there. It works well for me! My lips are sealed.