Peppermint Merengue Cookies

We made it to the end of 2020. While it was a bad year for everyone in general, there were some good highlights for us.
The most important was Isabelle joining our family. I'm so grateful the delivery went smoothly, and she is healthy. She is such a curious baby who loves eating, babbling, and crawling (but hates sleeping). Both our parents are so excited to be grandparents and luckily have been able to meet her, although most of her socialization has been via Ipad and Zoom due to COVID19.
We moved cross country to the most beautiful place I've been to - Seattle, Washington. As an avid photographer and hiker, I'm always in awe of how beautiful nature here can be. The national / state parks, the mountains, the waterfalls, and the islands are just stunning.
We got a new car - Toyota Rav4 (which we named Hiro the Hybrid, since the car was made in Japan). This is the first big purchase that B and I made. We desperately needed a new car as our 13 year old two door Honda Civic couldn't even fit Isabelle's carseat and we wanted a safer car for snow, rain, and uneven roads in the mountains. While finances are tight right now, we were able to make it work; we're so happy to have an SUV for our weekend hikes (and more importantly, our grocery trips).
I started the last part of my training - hematology oncology fellowship. I learned a lot so far in the past 6 months and look forward to figuring out what I want to do in my career and research.

And finally, Obsessive Cooking Disorder turned 10 years old! My baking and photography has come a long way from the start. This food blog is a big reason for my improvement in photography, and it's been awesome sticking with something for 10 years.

Happy new year and looking onward to 2021! Peppermint Merengue Cookies adapted from Spun Sugar Run.

Peppermint Merengue Cookies

Ingredients
MERENGUE
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup superfine white sugar (you can food process regular sugar)
few drops peppermint extract, to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
red food coloring

DECORATION
3-6 tablespoons cold heavy whipping cream 
1/2 cup finely chopped chocolate
4-6 candy canes, crushed

Directions
MERENGUE: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer until they hold soft peaks. Start adding the sugar slowly and continue to beat, on high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff and shiny peaks. (the meringue should feel smooth, not gritty, when the sugar is fully dissolved). Beat in the vanilla extract. Sprinkle the lemon juice and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold in. 

Fit a large disposable piping bag with a large tip, and transfer meringue to piping bag. Add a few drops of red food coloring on the sides intermittently as you're filling the bag with the merengue to get the red striped pattern. Pipe onto prepared cookie sheet.

Bake on 250F for 50-55 min. Turn off the oven and allow cookies to cool completely in the oven before removing.

DECORATION: Melt the chocolate and heavy whipping cream in a bowl in a microwave, using 15 second increments to not burn the chocolate (if you overheat it, the chocolate will "seize" and the fat and chocolate separate - you need the chocolate ganache to be smooth). Using a fork to hold the merengue, dip the bottom of the cooled merengue cookies into the chocolate, then lift it up (if you use your hands to pick it up from the top, you might crush your delicate merengue cookies). Carefully sprinkle your crushed peppermint on the bottom. Let it cool on parchment paper. Enjoy!

No comments