Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Food Blogger Cookie Swap | Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies



Each fall I sign up for the Food Blogger Cookie swap (hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil + Julie of the Little Kitchen) and then I promptly forget about. Then December rolls around and my first box of cookies is delivered and I immediately go into panic mode: "Oh shit, what am I going to bake?!" 



This year I totally had my act together though! I put deadlines on my editorial calendar and had a recipe written and ready before November. And then I never got around to actually running the recipe before I needed to send out the cookies. This is recipe development's form  of Murphy's law: If you are certain something will work and you never test it before you actually need it, it will fail. 

And fail that recipe did - like my two year old wouldn't even eat a cookie failed. There was some cursing. There may have been a few tears too; Because here I was on the weekend before I was required ship out my cookies and between hosting Thanksgiving and trimming the tree there really wasn't time to start over again. 

After I trashed the failed cookies, cleaned up the kitchen, and pulled myself together, I inventoried the fridge and pantry. The challenge was now to make cookies with only ingredients that were already on hand. I had wasted 3 pounds of butter on those failed cookies and there was none left in the house. There were, however, a bunch of leftover egg whites (the failures called for yolks only) and a few Meyer lemons I bought for cocktails


These Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies may be the result of a failed butter cookie, but they are now my new favorite holiday cookie. They are light and delicate. You can eat a handful and not feel guilty. They're also a wonderful alternative to the heavy treats that we are surrounded with this time of year. 


These meringues would be lovely without the Meyer lemon zest or with another citrus zest. The trick is to add the zest at the end of mixing, so that the meringue can gain as much volume while mixing as possible. I'm looking forward to making a few variations on these cookies before the holidays are over. 

Oh, and my first boxes of cookies came from The Pint Sized Baker and Shake Bake and Party on the same day and my last box came from Sweet Treats and More. Be sure to stop by their blogs today to check out their cookie recipes! 

Meyer Lemon Meringues Cookies (adapted from Martha Stewart) 
makes about 120 dimes sized cookies 

3 large egg whites at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon finely grated meyer lemon zest
Yellow gel-paste food coloring - optional 



Heat the oven to 200 degrees F. Bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium high heat. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

Combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer. Add vanilla bean seeds. Set the bowl over the pot of simmering water, and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Add the salt and cream of tartar.

Whip the egg white mixture with the mixer on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue is mostly cooled, about 7 minutes. Stir in the meyer lemon zest.



For yellow meringues: Add a small amount of yellow food coloring to the meringue and stir gently until well combined. 



For striped meringues: Paint 3 vertical stripes of food coloring inside a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. 


Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip  with meringue, and pipe dime sized dots (they don't need to be perfect rounds) 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. As you finish piping each dot, apply less pressure to pastry bag, and swirl the tip off in a circular motion.

Bake meringues until crisp on the outside but still soft inside, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 


9 comments:

  1. Wow - First of all, these look delightful (per usual). Secondly, you packaged them so sweetly! Who wouldn't want to receive them?! Missed you guys on Saturday!

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  2. They really are so lovely to look at! I can only imagine how yummy they are. Great save!

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  3. Can I just say that I don't think I'm going to miss your cookie fail because these meringues are delightful! I had to hide them away because I was eating them like popcorn. I can't wait to try the homemade vanilla too, I've never made mine with bourbon before but it sounds right up my alley. Thanks for such a lovely package!

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  4. Gurlll!!! Those are killer!. Can I get some swap to my address.. I send you some Bourbon in return.

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  5. These were so awesome! I too had TWO failed cookie attempts before finally sending out my hail mary recipe. Total baking disaster this year. Thanks for the delish vanilla extract too. I'm hooked! Happy Holidays!

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. These look amazing! I guess when life gives you lemons, you make lemon meringue cookies

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