Meringue Bones

I have big plans for Halloween. Hoo yeah.

I’m gonna dress up a stressed-out student locked in a tiny apartment. I’ve got all details of my costume already worked out — no make-up, a ponytail, ratty sweatshirt, leggings, and flip-flops for when I need to leave my room and go pay the pizza guy.

And, when I’m not digging out loonies from my laundry fund to give to the pizza guy, I’m hatching big plans for Halloween… they involve cupcakes, but they start with meringue bones…

Firstly, I did a lot of reading about meringues before attempting to make meringue cookies.

Here are some key things I learned that you need to remember: egg whites can be very finicky and difficult to work with if you don’t get everything exactly right.

1) Step one on the road to getting it exactly right: all of your equipment needs to be 100% clean and free of grease. Just to be on the safe side, I gave my bowls and utensils a good rub down with white vinegar.

2) Egg whites won’t whip up properly if there’s any fat in the whites, so you need to be careful when separating them from the yolks. If you break a yolk into your whites, you’ll have to start again. I recommend separating eggs while the eggs are cold, and then waiting 30 minutes to warm the whites to room temperature — 3) especially because egg whites need to be at room temperature, too.

Oh — and, unless you’re a machine, 4) you’ll definitely need a stand-mixer and a pastry bag with a 1cm round tip to make these.

Meringue Bones

*adapted from Joy of Baking online

Ingredients

     

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup super fine (berry/caster) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon extract (any flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  •  

Directions

Preheat your oven to 200°F (or 105°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Separate your eggs while cold. Let them sit for 30 minutes to warm up.

Using the whisk attachment on a stand-mixer, start to whip the whites on medium-low speed. Add in your flavoured extract and vinegar, then crank the mixer speed up to maximum.

Whisk on maximum speed until “soft peaks” form — this should take about 5 minutes, and the meringue will look light and foamy. Without stopping the mixer, slowly add your sugar to the meringue and continue beating for another 5 minutes, or until you get “stiff peaks” and the meringue is thick, shiny, and creamy.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe the meringue onto the prepared baking sheets. I experimented a bit to see what sort of piping would give me the best bone shape — in the end, I went with doing one side of a bone at a time.

I piped a strip like this: ] (one vertical side of the bone) and then made another strip like this: [ on the other side, overlapping the meringue piping in the column of the bone (giving me a shape sorta like this: ][ ).

Once you’re done piping, place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 100 to 120 minutes. Yes, seriously.

In fact, if it’s humid and raining out, you might want to give it the full 2 hours of baking time. Check on your cookies and rotate the trays after an hour, making sure that the corners and bottoms of the cookies aren’t turning brown — if they are, then turn your oven down 25°F and continue baking.

These light and airy cookies will keep for nearly a week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Of course these treats are sweet and crunchy and good to eat on their own, but I’m saving mine to garnish some special Halloween-themed cupcakes. I can’t wait to put them to good use! Yum!

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7 thoughts on “Meringue Bones

  1. Nadia says:

    how cute! did your dog try the meringues too? i would love to see the cupcakes you made too, i’m sure they would look so cute with the meringues perched on top!

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Nadia. 🙂

      I’m making the cupcakes tomorrow night, so I should have a recipe and photos up by Friday! And I did end up giving my dog a meringue cookie, just because it’s so hard to resist how cute he looks when he begs! lol

  2. Najeeha says:

    So I’m definitely trying this recipe for Halloween, but a few questions first…

    What did you mean by “I piped a strip like this: ] and then made another strip like this: [ on the other side (giving me this: ][ for a nice, even meringue bone).” I didn’t really understand that?

    Also I’m not sure what type of airtight container to use? Sorry I’m a rookie, so it’ll be great if you could help me out.

    And can these bones be eaten by itself or is a cupcake crucial to the recipe???

    All in all this is a great recipe and I can”t wait to try it!! 🙂

    • Najeeha says:

      Oh and I noticed you didn’t use cream of tartar but in most recipes i’ve read, cream of tartar is very important, especially in meringue dishes. So how does that work? Can we substitute one of your ingredients for cream of tartar instead?

      • Christine says:

        Hi Najeeha,

        These bones are deliciously airy and sweet, just on their own, too (I know, since I ate bunch with coffee for breakfast one morning)!

        Okay, so I didn’t have any cream of tartar on hand, but when you whip egg whites you can use a couple things to substitute: lemon juice (1/2 teaspoon), white vinegar, (1/2 teaspoon), or a pinch of salt. For whatever reason, these just give the egg whites more volume and make them fluffier! Of course, if you DO have cream of tartar, use that instead (just a 1/4 teaspoon)!

        As for the piping… uhm… it’s hard to explain, I guess. Basically I piped one side of the bone with one stroke of my piping bag, then piped the opposite side in the exact same way. If you cut a straight line through the bone vertically, what I mean to say is that I just did one vertical side at a time and overlapped the meringue piping in the middle.

        Does that help? Hopefully it does! 🙂

      • Christine says:

        Oops — also, an “airtight” container is basically just any sort of food storage container with a lid. Keeping things like cake, cookies, breads, etc, in an airtight container prevents them from being exposed to moving air that would make them dry out too quickly and get stale and lose flavour.

  3. Najeeha says:

    THANK YOU!!! Yes that was very helpful and helped me a lot. I just put the bones in the oven. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll turn out okay.

    Thanks again!

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