Pillowy Meringue Hearts
Brown-sugar meringue cookies are guaranteed to please. Pink food coloring causes one (marked with a ribbon) to blush. Heart-shape cutters provide adoring curves. Half of the meringues are flavored with orange zest; the other half are tinted pink and flavored with grapefruit zest.
Martha Stewart Living, February 2006
Yield Makes about 1 Dozen
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit zest
- Pink gel-paste food coloring
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Put egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar into the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water.Whisk until mixture is warm and sugar has dissolved.
- Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
- Transfer half the meringue to another bowl. Using a rubber spatula, stir orange zest into 1 bowl of meringue. Stir grapefruit zest and pink food coloring into remaining meringue.
- Place a 3 1/4-by-3 1/2-inch heart-shape cutter in one corner of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a small spatula, fill heart with meringue; swirl. Push down edges of meringue with the spatula, and lift up cutter. Repeat, spacing meringue hearts 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
- Bake until meringues are firm and can be removed easily from parchment paper, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Meringues can be stored between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
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