Sweet, cute and you don’t want to ever see them go, these cotton candy meringues are for my pop-pop.
Special equipment: to get the swirly colors, I used a pastry bag with a star tip. You can buy a disposable but invest in a good one – it will last you for years if you take care of it. You also need a hand or stand mixer – or you can try a whisk but don’t come complaining to me when you can’t move your arm the next day!!
Cotton Candy Meringues
Yields about 70 meringues
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
4+ drops pink food coloring
2 drops teal food coloring
1. Pre heat oven to 225 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with foil and then spray with no-stick cooking spray.
2. Beat egg whites in large bowl with mixer on medium until frothy (like the foam onto top of your latte).
3. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form (a soft peak means that when you lift the mixer out the mixture picks itself up and falls back down almost in slow motion with a slight shape).
4. Add sugar, 1 TB at a time. beating on medium-high until all the mixture is dissolved and stiff peaks form (literally you will see peaks – like peaks in a mountain – in the mixture when you pull the mixer out).
5. Beat in extracts and pink food coloring. You can omit the food coloring or add a bunch of blue for all I care – you can get away with about 10+ drops before you will actually taste in the end product.
6A. (optional and somewhat of a bitch to do – I’m not gonna lie!) You can use a pastry bag with a star tip to get the swirly magic shown here. Simply hold the bag sideways and drop 2-4 drops on teal or blue coloring on one side. Then while keeping the bag sideways, turn slowly, letting the food coloring roll around, almost in a spiral motion. Then fill the bag with your mixture. You can use a glass to fold over the sides and secure…like I was going to do until I realized that I lost my old pastry bag and my new one is way too freaking narrow…I digress. Pipe mixture onto prepared baking sheets.
6B. If you don’t go by way of the pastry bag (smart, very smart, LOL), spoon teaspoon sized mounds onto prepared baking sheets.
7. Bake both sheets at the same time for 45 minutes. Then turn off oven but let meringues cool INSIDE the oven for 1 hour. Attention all you cookie monsters out there – you can totally steal one to taste after the first 45 minutes and the insides will be mushy; however, if you pull the whole sheet out, your meringues will sink, crumble and fall apart. Taste one and then shut that damn door and wait the hour!!!