This all started way back in March… when there was this little thing called March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament, and of course related bracket challenges.
There was one bracket in particular for the bridal party of the wedding I was in this past July. The Best-Man surprised the bride and groom by putting an unknown gift from their registry as the prize.
I usually participate in multiple brackets most of which end in me losing big due to my unfailing hope in the underdog. Not this time. I actually WON the bracket challenge, by picking the favored winner.
What was this prize you ask?!?
That’s right, an egg separator. I was stoked. Yeah yeah, I can use the eggshell to separate but that doesn’t make me nearly as happy.
You know all those books from childhood. If you give a mouse a cookie, if you give a pig a pancake, if you give a moose a muffin. The list goes on and on (and on).
So this? This is what happens when you give a cook a smiley egg separator…
Ok, let me re-phrase…. this is what happens when you give an amateur baker an egg separator and said amateur decides to make meringues for the first time.
When I initially attempted the meringues myself… it failed miserably, as evidenced above. I’ve never felt more of a failure in the kitchen when my meringues didn’t turn out not just once but twice!
So, I knew it would be the perfect thing to try when I was in Denver during our phase 2 of the 1st annual Cook/Bake-a-thon.
With a little hand-holding, guidance from a more experienced meringue maker and a new recipe… IT WORKED!
Oh-so-glossy and ready for the oven.
But, stiff peaks are no easy achievement. It’s a lot of concern and questioning, “Is that stiff peaks?… Well, maybe… let’s give it 2 more minutes….” And then the cycle repeats 2 minutes later.
Then you just have to make the game-time decision and get them on the sheet and ready to bake.
For guidance on what a stiff-peak looks like… I recommend google images or the Kitchn has a great tutorial. Also highly recommended, find someone else who knows what they are doing.
… And then after a little/long time in the oven… it’s magic. Meringue magic and success!
Here’s How to Do It:
Lemon Infused Meringues
Adapted from Betty Crocker
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
Pinch of Salt
Heat oven to 275ºF. Line cookie sheet with heavy brown paper or aluminum foil.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Add in the vanilla and lemon zest and beat to combine.
Drop meringue by 1/3 cupfuls onto cookie sheet. Shape into about 3-inch circles, building up sides. Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven with door closed 1 1/2 hours. Finish cooling at room temperature.