Sunday, July 1, 2012

White~Toasted Almond Meringues

It was kind of a "no-brainer" to create meringues for the White treat; first, because I had leftover egg whites from yesterday's cookies and secondly, it's one of the few desserts that can be made which comes closest to a white color (as oppose to cream!) when baked.

Today, which for our neighbors to the north--is Happy Canada Day, I made big, pillowy clouds of meringues and topped then with toasted almond bits, but easily I could have made "Kisses" and put two together with a lemon curd filling to add another dimension.  Both almond and lemon were two of my mother's favorite flavors, chocolate being the other, and honoring her today for all the memories of our picnics was my intention.

A few basic ingredients and techniques and you have perfect Meringues that can be served alone or with a berry compote for your picnic treats.

Toasted Almond Meringues
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
1/2 to 3/4 cup toasted sliced almonds, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees and spread the almonds on a small baking pan.  Toast for 5 to 7 minutes until a golden brown.
Lower the oven temperature to 200F-degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment.  Chop the almonds when cooled.
In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium until foamy, about 1 minute.  The cream of tartar is important to help "stabilize" the egg whites.
Increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat the eggs whites until they are firm.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. 
While the mixer is running, slowly add the sugar mixture to the stiffened egg whites. Add the extract and continue beating on high for 3 to 5 minutes or until the eggs whites have become shiny and glossy.

They should easily hold shape when you life up on the whisk attachment!  You could spoon mounds onto the baking sheets, but I choose to pipe mine, using a pastry bag just for "egg white" recipes and a #808 tip.
Once you've piped a pan of meringues, sprinkle the tops with the chopped almonds.
I used two pans, to allow for spacing and it's very important to bake the meringues immediately after making them!
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, rotating the pans half way through the baking time.  Turn off the oven and let the meringues set for 1 hour (2 hours if you are experiencing a high humidity day.)

Cool the meringues completely to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container.

If you don't like almond, there are so many substitutions you can make.
1.  Sprinkle some of the strawberry powder from the freeze-dried strawberries into the meringue before baking.
2. Add 1 tsp. Vanilla extract and 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped instead of the almond extract.
3.  Espresso powder or cocoa powder can be added--probably 1 tsp. espresso, 2 to 3 T cocoa.

These little meringues are perfect for your dessert table--crunchy shell with a fluffy middle!
The best thing is that this is a dessert that is gluten-free--something that is important to consider when planning a gathering.  Enjoy!


  1. Those look perfect - a crisp outside and a squidgy centre. Your baking always looks so dainty and attractive - it looks as good as it must taste. Much love x

    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful, Scarlet, if the Sisterhood could one day get together and have a tea party! These remind me of my other favorite English dessert--Pavlova!
      Love you, XOXO

  2. Well, I can honestly say I've never had a meringues. I know, I crime in the world of sweets. I watched a "sweets" show last week and they visited a bakery that made the strawberry version using the dried strawberry powder (as you did yesterday) and as you mention today. Great minds! :) I've never seen the inside of a meringues...Just might have to give these a try. And, a great 'tip' on the egg whites only pastry bag. See, learned something new...Have a wondeful week! XO, me

    1. The egg whites only pastry bag is a must if you make meringues or macarons! You do not want oils or butter to penetrate from other recipes and ruin your creation.
      I had to get these stored right away because they're so light and airy that I probably could have eaten the whole lot of them! XOXO

  3. You have definitely exceeded my expectations!!! These little meringues look delectable! Hugs, Barb

  4. Mmmmm... When I get an abundance of eggs again this would be great to try! I think Meringues they are fairly low in calories too. :)
    We have 3 pet chickens (1 rooster, 2 hens) so I usually have a pretty good supply of eggs!

  5. oh my goodness gracious (did i already say that last time?) susan, i don't know how you resist eating them all, i want to eat my computer. you are the best baker i know. why don't you have your own cooking show? :)

  6. Oh, Susan....your meringues filled with lemon curd would be a perfect one for me. I love scones with clotted cream and lemon curd. In fact, I love anything with lemon! Thank you so much for your birthday wishes today...

    1. The next time I make preserve some lemon curd, you're on my list for a jar! I still have something else for you if I ever get a minute to get it finished. Life goes by so quickly! Have a wonderful day and I will gladly come and help you pack!! XOXO

  7. How lovely your meringues look! The only meringue I have made is the softer version used for pie--So lovely and light. White they are for your red, white, and blue theme. xoxo
    Martha Ellen

  8. These look so yummy. They remind me of Pavlova, one of my favorite desserts!

  9. Susan, they could easily be like little miniature Pavlovas, especially with some summer berries over of my favorites too! XOXO

  10. What a pretty dessert! I've never made meringues before...need to try!

  11. I Love Pavlova so I would be certain to love these. I will try them with the lemon curd you mentioned. I love anything lemon .I have to stop reading your blog posts late at makes me hungry!
    Tonight is the offical end to our Canada Day weekend festivities ! Enjoy your upcoming 4th of July celebration.
    Tracy P