Last night I was in the mood for copious amounts of sugar, so I decided to try a lovey-dovey Martha Stewart recipe I’ve been eyeing up for some time. It’s super-simple-easy. Prep time is less than 15 minutes, and the fruits of your labour will be crispy, sweet and delicious – the perfect little Valentine’s Day cookie!
To get started you will need 3 large egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, a large pinch of salt, and a large pinch of cream of tartar. Set your oven to 200F and dig out your elextric mixer – or a whisk and your strong baking arm! You’ll also need some pipping tools or a little plastic baggie.
This is a classic meringue recipe, but instead of making mini meringue cookies, you’ll be pipping out sweet words and hearts, a great way to woo your valentine! You can find Martha’s original recipe here. I doubled her recipe, as I also wanted to make a meringue cake topper for later in the week.
I love to use old, vintage baking tools when I cook. I admit, it’s an odd hobby / collection. Our drawers in the kitchen filled with vintage baking goodies, and I am always on the lookout for a recipe that calls for one of my favorite kitchen toys. This was the perfect project for my vintage decorator set, as the recipe calls for a bit of pipping.
As mentioned, you will also need some sugar. Measure it out into a cup and put it aside, along with your cream of tartar, salt. and eggs.
Next, you’ll have to separate the eggs yolks from the whites. This takes some practice. Crack your egg in half, and then pass the yolk back and fourth between the two shells. Ideally the whites will drip down into the bowl, and the yolk can then be set aside.Collet all of the whites in a big bowl. Be sure that your bowl is a sturdy metal or a good ceramic or glass – something that can withstand heat.
I always feel bad throwing the yolks away, so I try to save them for B, who then makes a killer fried rice. Win-win!Once you have your big bowl of egg whites, add the sugar.Set a little sauce pan of water on to boil. Once your water is nice and bubbly, reduce the heat to a simmer and place your bowl with the egg whites and sugar on top. If you have a double boiler, this will also do the job.Now, it’s time to stir. And stir and stir and stir. If you stop, the whites will start to cook like a fried egg and you don’t want little chunky egg pieces in your cookies (eww)! Stir for three minutes, or until all of the sugar has disolved.Now add your salt and cream of tartar. Remove your meringue from the boiler, plug in your mixer, and get mixin’!It will first be frothy, but after a few minutes, it will start to transform into a beautiful, glossy fluff. Mix for 5-7 minutes, or until little white peaks and vallies form in your bowl. Unplug your mixer and pop out the beaters. Lick one and then repeat with the second. Heaven.Transfer your meringue into your pipping tools. I started out with my vintage pipping set, but the mixture was a bit too thin, so I switched over to a plastic bag. Lay out baking trays, and cover them with wax paper. Then, pipe out romantic words, hearts, and other shapes onto the wax paper.
I went with “Be Mine” and “Love” – pretty cliche Valentine words!I also made a frilly heart, just for fun. Once you’re happy with your decorations, slide them into the oven to bake.
They’ll need 45 minutes to an hour in the oven, or until they are perfectly crispy on the outside and still gooey on the inside. When they’re done, take them out, let them cool, and admire your handy work!Once they’ve cooled, you can gently remove your letters and shapes from the baking tray.I drizzled my letters with a bit of dark chocolate before serving them for dessert with some fresh strawberries. MmmmMm. We devoured the cookies in minutes. They literally melt in your mouth!! B had fun with the “B”, making it lowercase in just one nibble.
Your cookies can be stored in an airtight container for another day or two. You can use the letters and mini hearts to decorate a cake, cupcakes, or just eat them as-is! It’s a fun and delicious way to say “I love you” on Valentine’s Day!