Sweet and light cookie-like desserts, meringue recipes are first found in a French cookbook by Massialot, published in 1692. Although my meringues might not be as authentic, they're still airy, delicious, and a family favorite. After making a school project about them, I decided to upload my recipe here as well :)
EDIT: Wow, thanks so much for all the favorites & the feature, guys! Means a lot ~
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Step 1: Ingredients & Tools
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cookie sheets
Cup & small plastic plate (for separating egg whites)
Measuring cups/tools (3/4 cup & 1/4 tsp)
Step 2: Preparation
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees (Fahrenheit) and line the 2 cookie sheets with tin foil.
Step 3: Beat Egg Whites
Put all 3 egg whites in the large bowl. Beat the egg whites for about 5 minutes. At first they seem really small and thin, and clear. As you beat them, they'll get aerated and become larger, stiffer, and more opaque. When you take your mixer out of the batter, it should form small peaks. If it doesn't, mix them for a little longer and try again.
To separate my egg whites from the yolks, I cracked each egg on a small plate, and put a cup over it. Then I lifted the cup up slightly while over the bowl, holding the cup just enough above the plate to allow white to escape, while trapping the yolk. I'm sure there are other methods as well, though.
Step 4: Sugar, Cream-of-tartar and Vanilla, Oh My!
Continue mixing the egg whites with the egg beater, and gradually add in the sugar. Once all the sugar is added, the batter will look very shiny and candy-like.
Continue mixing as you add in the cream of tartar and vanilla.
The vanilla gives the meringues a bit more flavor and their cream color -- though, if you prefer a different color, at this step feel free to add in a bit of food coloring.
Mix the batter for about 5 more minutes. It should form medium-sized, stiff peaks when you remove the mixer.
If it doesn't, mix for a little longer and try again.
Step 5: Making the Meringues
Using a large spoon, take scoopfuls of the batter and put it onto the cookie sheets. You have to be a little forceful to get it off the spoon; give it a sharp jerk downwards.
You can decide if you want to make a few large meringues or lots of smaller ones. Just make sure that there's about 1/2 inch of space between the meringues.
Step 6: Baking
Bake the meringues in the oven for an hour.
Turn off the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes, and then let them cool out of the oven for 10 more.
Step 7: Enjoy!
All done! Enjoy your meringues on your own, or share them with friends and family.
Just a warning -- they disappear quickly!