Though these are totally appropriate Passover fare, I can honestly say that meringue cookies are treats I love to serve all year long. Easy, versatile and seemingly loved by all, meringues are a go-to time and time again.
My only complaint is their overwhelming (even for me) sweetness. Because at base they are only sugar and egg whites, you get mostly just a hit of sweet – with nothing to offset it. Which is why you will often see meringues flavored with things like cocoa powder, coffee or chocolate chips.
I went fruity this time, with a quick compote that takes advantage of those little bits of fruit you probably have sitting in your freezer right now.
Not only does the fruit add the loveliest swirl of color, but the bright tart flavor gives those meringues just the lift they need.
And for those of you with “meringue-phobia” (there are SO many of you!), I’ve got a clear, easy, step-by-step below. But truly, the only 2 things you need to remember are to get those egg whites to room temperature, and to beat them slowly at the beginning, to build a strong base (and a super-sturdy meringue).
This recipe makes a bunch so it’s perfect for a crowd, and the free-form shape means you can’t mess them up!
1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries or chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen; no need to thaw)
1 tablespoon + 1 cup sugar, divided
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Make the fruit swirl: Bring the fruit and 1 tablespoon of sugar to a boil in a small saucepan; simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, strain (discard the solids) and cool completely.
Make the meringue cookies: Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees; line 2 baking sheets with Silpats or greased parchment paper (yes, you need to grease the parchment. The fruit will make the cookies stick to the paper, making them almost impossible to remove cleanly).
Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed till frothy, and the surface is completely covered in tiny bubbles (don’t rush this step). Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium. When tracks begin to form add the remaining 1 cup of sugar, a little at a time, then increase the speed to high. Beat till mixture is stiff and glossy.
Using a spoon, dollop mounds of meringue onto your prepared baking sheets. Spoon a bit (about 1/2 teaspoon) of puree on top of each and gently swirl with a toothpick. Bake for 2 hours, rotating the pans from top to bottom halfway through. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for one hour. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely; store in an airtight container till ready to use.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver