Oh, the anticipation. The glorious sugar rush.
My parents used to put together the best Easter baskets: technicolor jelly beans, malt ball eggs, a chocolate bunny, fluffy grass, Cadbury eggs and of course peeps.
We would come bounding down the stairs on Easter morning and be greeted with a cornucopia of candy.
We’d have a piece of candy each, followed by church, and then pancakes cooked by my dad back at home.
Somehow, it’s just not the same making an Easter basket for yourself: buying your candy at Lucky’s, fluffing your own grass and then knowing exactly how many laps around the track you need run to burn off all the sugary goodness.
It’s time to spice up my basket.
Let’s be real. I’m still including the classics in my Easter morning bounty. It’s the only time I can eat sugar-coated marshmallows in the shape of farm animals.
But, it’s more fun to make your own confections. Especially meringues.
Light and airy, sugary and pastel… these little cookies are exactly what springtime had in mind. If your dexterous skills are better than mine, you can even make them into peep or bunny shapes. But, if you’re like me and you’ve lost your piping tip and need to pack for a camping trip and get lazy after making six swirly-poop shaped meringues, a spoon dollop will work just as well. Your basket will never look better.
Adapted from Allrecipes.com. 24-36 servings, depending on the size of the meringue.
- 3 large egg whites
- ¾ cup of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- dash of cream of tartar
- dash of salt
- food coloring (optional)
If you’re new to meringues, please read these helpful hints before starting. One thing that they didn’t mention (but I adhere to) is never using a plastic bowl. Also, I swab out my glass bowl and whisk with vinegar and a paper towel to make sure there is absolutely no oil on anything.
1. Separate egg whites from yolks into a clean glass or metal bowl. Let the eggs come to room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 185 degrees. Place parchment paper on two baking sheets.
3. In your bowl, whip egg whites until foamy using an electric mixer. Add a dash of salt and cream of tartar, if desired.
4. When whites start to become a little more substantial, add a little sugar at a time, whipping at medium speed.
5. Once egg whites start to look like marshmallow fluff, add vanilla bean paste and food coloring (if using).
6. When egg whites become stiff and shiny, stop mixing and transfer to a pastry bag (if using) and pipe out meringue onto your baking sheet. I lost my attachment for my piping bag so used a ziplock bag for some cookies and a spoon for the rest.
7. Place baking sheets in oven and bake for 2-3 hours depending on the size of your meringues. Rotate your pans every once in a while. You can tell they’re done when cookies are completely dry and can be easily removed from the pan without sticking.
8. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight container (or Easter basket).