It has been unusually dry here (and cold!) here this spring, absolutely perfect weather conditions to make meringues. Meringues take time but they are worth it! They cost pennies to make and have zero fat. I turned to the tome of recipe Bon Appetit Desserts for their version of vanilla meringues. Then I added some of my own touches to the recipe.
You begin with two room temperature egg whites. I like to separate my whites and yolks individually with two bowls just in case the yolk breaks. If it breaks and even the smallest amount of yolk gets in there, the eggs will not whip. In a very clean and dry bowl add the egg whites and 1/16 tsp of cream of tartar. Using a stand or a hand mixer, begin beating together.
Beat until firm peaks form. This will take a while but be patient, it is worth it!
Now according to the recipe you are supposed to add 7 tbsp of superfine sugar 1 tbsp at a time. I personally do not have superfine sugar so I used icing sugar instead. Icing sugar contains a little cornstarch which I wanted in my meringues. Cornstarch makes meringues crispy and melty when you eat them, without cornstarch they can get hard as a rock. I added an additional pinch of cornstarch after adding the icing sugar, just to be sure there was enough.
Following the recipe I added the 1/4 tsp of vanilla but I also added some maple extract to the meringues.
You beat everything together including a pinch of salt. See the texture and form in this photo? That is what you are looking for. The meringues need structure.
I love the combination of maple and pecans so I folded some roughly chopped pecans into the egg whites.
The book says to either drop level tablespoonfuls of meringue on a parchment-lined baking sheet with space in between them or use a piping bag to make 1 1/2″ diameter round meringues. Me? I used on ice cream scoop. Yes, they look a little weird but who cares? Bake in a preheated 200F oven for three hours. Cool completely on sheet for 30 minutes and then lift off parchment.
These were gorgeous! So delicious and fabulous! Made my way, they tasted like a campfire-kissed marshmallows with pecan crunch. They even get a beautiful toasted colour to them! Reg did not like the addition of the pecans but I did. I enjoyed that little bit of crunch. You could always substitute the pecans with Skor bits, I bet that would be out of this world.
I give these meringues five out of five wooden spoons. Light as air, beautifully golden and delicious, not super-bad for you… They are the perfect treat.
Another great looking meringue to add to my queue! I like the idea of the nuts too
Debra She Who Seeks says
Your meringues look heavenly! I’ve never had a meringue with nuts or indeed, anything in them except perhaps shredded coconut. Good tip about the cornstarch!
They do look heavenly, the only problem with meringues is they are super addictive. I cannot just eat one..or two..or three…LOL. I think the combination of the maple syrup and pecans is once again genius my super foodie friend.
I love meringues but never take the time to make them. That a great flavor your made.
Suzie Ridler says
Thanks Mamashack! Yes, you can add whatever treat you like, even chocolate chips. Debra, the cornstarch makes all the difference. Ava, I know, these were gone is seconds! When my friends came over they had to share one meringue, all the rest were gone. Thanks so much! I went with my gut it and it turned out, thank godness. Helene, the only real time is spent with them in the oven and they’re totally worth it.
LOVE, love meringues! Those look great, definitely going to try these soon. First time I ever made them was your little Halloween ghostie meringues and they were a big hit too.
~ Lyndsay The Kitchen Witch says
They look beautiful! And sound even better 🙂 Was thinking they would be a nice light finish to a dinner I’m hosting soon.
Suzie Ridler says
Your ghost meringues were perfect Dawn! So cute. 🙂 Lyndsay, if you make them for a dinner you may want to get out the old pastry bag to make them fancy instead of free form but I think they would be perfect!
they are so mouth watering !! what a great idea !! thanks for sharing
just made these, had been excited to try all weekend!
added the skor bar instead of the pecans, and it turned out AMAZING. thanks a ton!
Suzie Ridler says
I am so glad to hear that Bonnie, thank you! Comments like yours keep me going. So glad they turned out. Wonderful news!