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Meringue Swirls

Food editor Kristina Kurek mixed fresh vanilla bean seeds and citrus zest into a meringue cookie. The result -- a sweet, swirly cloud that tastes as good as it looks.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 25
Meringue Swirls

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2012

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Large pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
  • Gel-paste food coloring, in orange

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Add vanilla bean seeds. Set bowl over a pot of simmering water, and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Add salt and cream of tartar.

  2. Beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue is mostly cooled, about 7 minutes. Beat in zest.

  3. Using a small paintbrush, paint 3 vertical stripes of food coloring inside a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip (Ateco #805). Fill bag with meringue, and pipe 1 3/4-inch circular shapes (they don't need to be perfect rounds) 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. As you finish piping each shape, apply less pressure to pastry bag, and swirl the tip off in a circular motion.

  4. Bake meringues until crisp on the outside but still soft inside, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Variations

On "Martha Bakes," Martha used one whole vanilla bean and eliminated the orange zest. You may use any color of gel-paste food coloring you like.

Cook's Notes

Clear flush-lid Amac box, 4" by 5 1/6", containerstore.com.

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