Saturday, December 10, 2005
Peppermint Meringues, Attempt #2
The second time around my meringues turned out much better. I still used a warm water method, but used a thermometer to measure the temperature as it heated, not my finger. Other changes I made from the first try: started with all the ingredients at room temperature, as instructed by the Joy of Cooking. Added a 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar. Mixed some of the decorating gel with regular red food coloring to form more of paste.
See my first try: Peppermint Meringues, attempt #1
The meringues, while still not the perfect Martha stars, were much more kiss-like in shape. I think I need to practice piping, and perhaps need a bigger pastry bag (or need to not fill it so full). I still made a god-awful mess as you can see, and when the meringue again started to come out of the top of the bag, not just the bottom, I lost my concentration and from then on was just racing around trying to keep my hands (and the floor, my jeans, my hair, the cats' water dish, etc) semi-clean and finishing piping all the kisses before my meringue batter lost its staying power. This happened a bit anyway, and the last few looked more like the discs of my first attempt, albeit with more red.
Now, the reality part: for all of that work, yes, they look nifty, but I don't think they're worth it. The taste is okay, but I'd rather have a really good chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. I thought about making one more batch to further practice the piping, but have decided I'd rather try something else (like all of the holiday cookies in the latest Gourmet and from the cookie swap!)