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Meringue Snowmen

Meringue is easy to form when wet but holds its shape after baking, so it's ideal for creating pastries in fanciful shapes. Chef Michel Richard, of Citronelle in Washington, D.C., uses meringue to build these charming snowmen, which are filled with chocolate mousse and decorated with marzipan hats and scarves.

  • yield: Makes 8

Ingredients

  • 8 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar, plus more for decorating
  • Pearl sugar, for sprinkling
  • Red food coloring
  • 13 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 11 ounces almond paste

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 200 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and salt, slowly adding 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Continue to whisk until mixture is stiff. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer meringue to a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch round tip. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, pipe a 3-inch mound of meringue to form a snowman's body. To form the arms, pipe meringue on top of the body in the shape of sideways C (with the curve at the snowman's back). For the head, pipe a 1 1/2-inch mound of meringue on top of the center of the body, inside the curve of the arms. Repeat to form seven more snowmen. Sprinkle snowmen with pearl sugar.

  3. Step 3

    In a small bowl, combine remaining meringue and a few drops of red food coloring. Transfer to a parchment cone or a small pastry bag fitted with a #2 tip, and pipe a red nose onto each snowman.

  4. Step 4

    Bake snowmen until the outside is set but the inside is still soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool. When cool, pick up the snowmen one by one, and scoop out the insides of the body with a spoon; discard. Return hollow snowmen to oven, and bake until firm, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Watch the snowmen to be sure they remain white; once they are firm (or if they begin to color), remove them from the oven, and set aside to cool.

  5. Step 5

    Meanwhile, roll 7 ounces of almond paste to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a 3/4-inch-diameter cutter, cut out 8 circles for hats. With a toothpick, pick up each circle, and dip it into melted chocolate. Transfer circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Swirl them slightly as they hit the parchment, spreading the dripping chocolate around to form a brim for each hat. Repeat with remaining hats, and let cool completely. Reserve 1/4 cup of the melted chocolate for decorating.

  6. Step 6

    In a large bowl, make mousse filling by combining remaining chocolate and heavy cream. Transfer chocolate mousse to a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch round tip. Pick up the cooled snowmen, and fill the bodies with mousse. Carefully replace filled snowmen onto parchment.

  7. Step 7

    Add a few drops of red food coloring to remaining 4 ounces of almond paste; knead until completely combined. Roll to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into eight 8-by-1/2-inch strips to form scarves.

  8. Step 8

    Place scarves around snowmen's necks, and top heads with cooled hats. Transfer reserved chocolate to a small parchment cone or pastry bag fitted with a #1 tip; pipe eyes, mouths, and buttons on each snowman. Serve immediately.

Source
Martha Stewart Living Television, December 2000

Reviews (29)

  • 4 Dec, 2013

    I taped this episode on my VCR in 2000. I made these adoraable Meringue Snowmen for two different dinner parties (followed the recipe) and I received RAVE reviews from my guests. Thank you! My friends call me "Martha Stewart of the South" because of my themed parties. Until I discovered my gift for oil painting, my creative energies went toward my food and parties. I was a charter subscriber to MS Living and have each magazine filed by month for easy party reference. I LOVE YOU, MARTHA! :)

  • 19 Jan, 2011

    I made these, they were super adorable, but I used Wilton's meringue powder, rather than the fresh eggs. I believe lots of bakeries use this instead. It is very stable and dependable. Also, for a cheaper way to do hats, take tootsie rolls and shape into little stove pipe tops, take a toothpick, dip into chocolate, set onto wax paper and swirl around to make a brim. Once they set up, peel off paper, and you have a hat. I used red fruit roll ups for scarves, marzipan dries out too much.

  • 19 Jan, 2011

    I made these, they were super adorable, but I used Wilton's meringue powder, rather than the fresh eggs. I believe lots of bakeries use this instead. It is very stable and dependable. Also, for a cheaper way to do hats, take tootsie rolls and shape into little stove pipe tops, take a toothpick, dip into chocolate, set onto wax paper and swirl around to make a brim. Once they set up, peel off paper, and you have a hat. I used red fruit roll ups for scarves, marzipan dries out too much.

  • 8 Dec, 2010

    for folks having trouble: add 1.5 tsp cream of tartar. do not store meringe in the fridge, it makes it 'weep' moisture. also, if you are not going to fill the snowmen, then you need to bake them around 1 hr, then turn off the heat and let them sit a while in the hot oven as it cools to harden all the way through. Also, making meringes in a high humidity area is harder.

  • 7 Dec, 2009

    how to make hats:

    roll a rope out of marzipan and cut into sections - depends on how tall you want the hats - dip into chocolate - smear the chocolate dipped sections in a circle to make the brim - dry and attach

  • 29 Dec, 2008

    I think these directions are wrong. I remember the two cups of sugar being added all at once...not just 1/4th cup and the rest folded in later. And the instructions for the hat are incomplete, it only tells how to make the bottom disk for the hat and not the top.

  • 27 Dec, 2008

    I made them as directed, but it was a total disaster! They never set, they were very sticky like marshmallows. I don't know what could have happened. My kiddies were so sad that i couldn't make them. So i made them some yummy snowmen sugar cookies instead. If anyone can tell me what the trick is to make them, i would really appreciate it!

  • 25 Dec, 2008

    I was so excited to try these snowmen! They looked easy and fun to make. Complete melted snowmen disaster! My mother had to rescue my Christmas dessert with cherry pies. They never set-up. I was so dissapointed. My husband even tried humor by telling me they just looked like spring time snowmen! I am going to try them again with some cream of tarter. Wish me luck!

  • 18 Dec, 2008

    Thank You so much Null,I'm going to try to make them tonight for my Twin girls.
    Happy Holidays...

  • 18 Dec, 2008

    Thank You Null,so much I'm going to try and make them tonight for my twins.
    Happy Holidays.

  • 17 Dec, 2008

    Seasons Greeting....
    I wanted to know how do I make "Almond Paste"?

  • 15 Dec, 2008

    how exactly do you make the hats

  • 15 Dec, 2008

    how exactly do you make the hats? the directions are a little confusing.

    does anyone have a better way of explaining aha?

  • 10 Dec, 2008

    It is usually 1 tsp of cream of tarter per 4 egg whiites to all who are wondering! It is really most necissary in areas that have a relatively higher humidity. If you are in a dry climate you may not find it necissary.

  • 9 Dec, 2008

    Mena, how much cream of tartar did you add? I'd like to try and make these this weekend, they look like fun. Thanks!

  • 7 Dec, 2008

    Tried these a couple of years ago and they were a disaster. They never "set up". I mentioned it to an experienced baker and she told me that there really should be Cream of Tarter added to the meringe. I tried it and Voila! Perfection. Would also like a larger picture of them to aid in the decorating

  • 6 Dec, 2008

    Manonmunchies, you must have been watching the same episode! we're excited to try these this year

  • 6 Dec, 2008

    I am super excited to try these snowmen! I am going to give them to my grandparents and other family members as gifts in little cute boxes! I will tell you how the recipe goes!

  • 23 Dec, 2007

    I saw this show and thought the snowmen looked cute. I love meringue kisses so wanted to give these a try. My mistake was not hollowing out the bases as directed. The snowmen never really set up inside - they stayed spongey and a gooey sugary substance oozed out of the base. Pretty much had to scrap the whole thing - 2.5 hrs of my life wasted. And actually I like her Pavlova recipe better.

  • 23 Dec, 2007

    Since the address won't appear in its entirety, search for "Santa Bread." However, I'll try again: http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.fc77a0dbc44dd1611...

  • 23 Dec, 2007

    For Deigert: I remember the Santa Breads. I searched the site for Michel Richard and discovered that they are currently storing his recipe for Santa Bread at this location:

    http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.fc77a0dbc44dd1611...

  • 19 Dec, 2007

    We made these two years ago. They really weren't that much work. The humidity in the refrigerator will make them a little 'sticky' if you keep them there. We put them in a dry room covered tightly. They weren't too hard to make either, and everyone LOVED them!

  • 19 Dec, 2007

    I saw Martha with Michel 2 or more years ago making Santa Breads. Can anyone tell me where to find the recipe??? I have looked and cannot find it. I would very much appreciate if someone reads this and can tell me.

  • 18 Dec, 2007

    Does anyone know how long these will keep in the fridge? I would like yo make them in advance.

  • 18 Dec, 2007

    Pearl Sugar is usually called decorator's sugar. It is very course.

  • 18 Dec, 2007

    What is pearl sugar? Where can this be purchased?

  • 13 Dec, 2007

    Seems like alot of work. But you need alot practice in making these cute little guys.

  • 11 Dec, 2007

    I would like to see nutritional information included in your recipes: calories, total fat, and fiber content per serving.

  • 30 Nov, 2007

    can't see them in the picture - need a close up of the items