swirled creamsicle meringues

April 25, 2012

1. Ahh! Look at this short video from the time this weekend that I made lemon buttermilk cupcakes with foraged violets with Vanessa from krrb.com! The violets are a product of “urban foraging” which is a fancy way of saying that I live in a city and don’t know what plants are. Oh you mean I can’t get them at Duane Reade?

  • 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

Adapted from Martha Stewart 

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!

print this recipe
 

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie April 25, 2012 at 8:59 am

Love it!

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erin April 25, 2012 at 10:26 am

these look amazing! i love egg-whitey type desserts. and yet i find myself constantly overlooking them when it comes to actually baking something. my reluctance may or may not have to do with the fact that i need to look up the proper spelling for both meringues and macaroons (yes, the coconut kind) each time i bake them. #embarrassing

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Lillie April 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Omg! If only google shared my searching info with the world; you’d know I’m in the same boat. I had to check the spelling of both creamsicle and meringue multiple times! :)

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

Oh my! These sound so fabulous! Awesome idea.

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Eric April 25, 2012 at 10:49 am

Yes! Need these now!

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Rebecca April 25, 2012 at 11:38 am

Love!! These are gorgeous.

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Dana April 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

How adorable! You are just too good Lillie!

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Jeanne April 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Lil these are SO CUTE. Awesome trick!!

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Eileen April 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

That food coloring in the pastry bag is a genius idea. Genius, I tell you! It might even get me to actually use a pastry bag one of these days. :)

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Lillie April 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Yes! Do it! The disposable ones are cheap and easy to use too!

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sidra April 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm

holy creamsicle this is the best yet!! Love it!! xo

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thelittleloaf April 26, 2012 at 2:29 am

So pretty! What an awesome idea :-)

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shelly April 26, 2012 at 10:40 am

hi. just found your blog and it’s been bookmarked…
i’m wondering, though, why you heat the egg white mixture? when i make meringues (after which i always come to the same conclusion- that i should make them more often) i just whip up a storm w/ my kitchenaid till the sugar has dissolved completely. a little salt, cream of tartar, or even vinegar (grandma’s secret) for stability, and that’s it…. and those orange stripes – inspired !

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Lillie April 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I’m so happy you found me! Great question! The technique you see above is known as Swiss meringue and heating the mixture helps to ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved into the egg whites. If it doesn’t completely dissolve, the sugar may attract unwanted moisture to the egg whites, thus the problem of “sweating” or tiny beads of moisture that may appear on the surface. Heat, acid (such as cream of tartar, lemon juice, or white vinegar [yay grandma!]) and sugar all help to stabilize the egg whites so they will whip up into fluffy pillows of meringue. Letting the egg whites come to room temperature also helps the proteins in the eggs relax and will give more structure to your angel clouds when they are heated and whipped up to perfection!

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Sarah April 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

Hey, those are lovely. Can you really do all the cookies with one stripe of food coloring, or do you have to add more as you go?

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Lillie April 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Yes, I used a large disposable pastry bag and the whole batch fit perfectly.The stripes weren’t quite as vibrant at the end, but still had very distinct color. If you used a smaller bag, I’d pipe them in two separate batches, and use a new bag each time.

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Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies May 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Wow, these are gorgeous! I resisted the pastry bag too, until I used it once or twice. You’re right, it does the hard work for you!

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