- 1a. I gave my hair and make-up team the weekend off so please excuse my baby Simba lion cub I-am-in-the-awkward-growing-out-of-the-bang-phase hair situation. They had really been overworked these days. Growing out bangs is no joke. Major hard work.
- 1b. The cupcakes were amazing! Make them if you are ever in the market for menu ideas for your next tea party. They have flowers inside – which makes them extra cool – but mostly they are just tasty cupcakes.
2. Today is Wednesday, April 25 and is the second to last day to vote on Saveur’s Best Food Blog Awards. Have you voted yet? Yes? Oh wow! You are awesome! No? No worries! You have until tomorrow at 11:59 (ET).
3. Creamsicles are pretty much all I want to eat in the summer so I’m just going to go ahead and fast forward spring and focus right on summer.
You with me?
In my baking repertoire the meringue is an underutilized cookie. Each time I make them I realize I should be making them more often, and not letting a lone egg white slip down the sink. Not only are they perfect crumbled over ice cream with fresh berries, they are the ying where eggs yolks are the yang. Perhaps you are making grapefruit curd for your next tea party and you need three egg yolks for the curd. Save those egg whites and you are 1/6 of the way to making these cookies.
Heat the egg whites, sugar and a vanilla bean in a bowl set over barely simmering water until the sugar dissolves.
Whip it up until it looks like an angel cloud…
…then add pretty orange zest.
Kitchen tip: I dab a little bit of the meringue in each corner of my baking sheet then press the parchment down on top. This helps to keep the paper from sliding around as the cookies are being piped out. Do it!
Now things get a little intense. A mini paint brush? A pastry bag? I spent a good portion of life being scared of anything involving a pastry bag. But then I realized it does all the work for you AND makes everything look super pretty. Now? I’m sold.
Paint three stripes of food coloring on the inside of the bag. Use lemon zest and yellow food coloring! Or pink grapefruit and pink food coloring! Choices!
Pipe them out and bake them for what will seem like a waaaay long time but you want slow and low heat to dry out the cookies and make them crunchy delicious.
Swirled Creamsicle Meringues
Make 2 dozen cookies
3 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup (160 grams) sugar
half a vanilla bean, seeds scraped
large pinch of salt
large pinch of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon orange zest
Preheat oven to 200 and line two baking sheets with parchment. Combine egg whites, sugar and vanilla bean in a medium heatproof bowl, then set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water for 3 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally to make sure the sugar is dissolved.
Carefully remove the bowl (I set mine on a dish cloth to absorb any water that might be hanging on the outside) and add salt and cream of tartar. Beat on high for 7 minutes, until soft, glossy peaks form and the mixture has slightly cooled. Add the orange zest and beat until combined.
Using a small clean paintbrush, paint three stripes of food coloring on the inside of a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Dab a tiny bit of the meringue on each corner of the baking sheet to make sure that the parchment stays in place when you are forming your little cookies of beauty.
Fill the bag with meringue and pipe small swirls on the baking sheet. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes or until the outside of the cookies are crisp.
Let cool for several minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
As if you needed an idea on how to enjoy these – my favorite is to crumble them over creamsicle sherbet. Double creamsicle!