Baked Sunday Mornings: Meringues

I can't believe this day is actually here -- I've finally reached the final recipe in Baked Explorations! The last recipe on the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule is the Mississippi Mud Pie (A), aka Coffee Ice Cream Tart -- but I already made the tart a while ago, at the same time I made the coffee ice cream recipe. However, even though I've faithfully followed the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule for two and a half years, there was one recipe that managed to slip by. Namely, I have made the Stump de Noël (more than once, actually), but I never made the meringue mushroom garnish. So it's meringues this week for me!

Of course, since I wasn't using the meringues as garnish, I didn't see the need to go to the trouble of making them into mushroom shapes. The recipe is easy. You whisk together egg whites and sugar in a double boiler until they reach 140 degrees, beat them until stiff, and then add cream of tartar and almond extract. You pipe out the meringue, bake it a low temperature for 90 minutes, and then turn off the oven, crack open the door, and leave the meringues in the oven overnight.
I happened to make the meringues when we were having a spell of very hot and humid weather here in D.C., and the finished meringues were slightly tacky to the touch. I had to put them in individual paper candy cups so that they wouldn't stick to each other. But stickiness aside, the meringues were fantastic. Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, light as air, and the strong almond flavor was delicious. The fact that they're fat free made it possible to eat them with abandon and still feel guilt free.

I also made a batch with coffee extract instead of almond extract. (The picture above shows the coffee-flavored meringues; they were ecru because of the dark-colored coffee extract, while the almond meringues were a bright lily white.) The coffee versions were also tasty (and they were not sticky like the almond ones), but I preferred the almond. I'm sure other flavors would be delicious as well.

What a wonderful high note to close out Baked Explorations. Being a part of the Baked Sunday Mornings group has been an incredibly fun experience, and I'm glad it's not over yet -- we're still baking our way through Baked Elements. Baked Explorations might be the first cookbook I've baked through in its entirety, but I'm glad it won't be my last!

Recipe: "Meringue Mushrooms, or Shandi's Candies" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Previous Post: "Baked Sunday Mornings: Coffee Ice Cream (and Tart!)," August 28, 2011.


Candy said…
Looks wonderful! I made meringues the other day (different recipe) to make mini pavlovas with fresh strawberries. So yummy!
The meringues looks beautiful! Congrats on completing all the recipes. That's incredible.
Chelly said…
Those are beautiful looking meringues! Congratulations on completing the entire book!! Good for you!
Glimmermama said…
Yummy!!! Those look beautiful!
Anonymous said…
Beautiful job on the meringues! I am *so* impressed that you made it through all the recipes-- congrats and nice work!! :)
Anonymous said…
Way to make it through the book! Meringues are a sweet that I don't "get," but they are fun to make!