Pink Meringue Drops
Happy Healthy Holidays!
This recipe makes up a nice big batch of pretty meringues shaped into kisses and colored a pretty pink.
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
Pinch cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pink food coloring
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons pure vegetable shortening
Heat oven to 200 degrees with two racks centered. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a medium saucepan one-quarter full with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer.
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar, and place over the saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3-1/2 minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers.
Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; whip, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and just a few drops of food coloring; beat to combine, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip with the meringue. Pipe 3/4- to 1-inch kisses onto prepared baking sheet; after each kiss is piped by squeezing the bag, release from squeezing, and pull straight up with the bag to create the very fine curled tip on each kiss. Bake until kisses are hard to the touch but not browned, about 1 1/2 hours. Repeat to use all meringue. Meringue kisses may be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Stir in the oil or shortening until well combined. Dip the bottom of each cooled meringue kiss into the melted chocolate; stick two together if desired. Turn upside down on a cooling rack, and let chocolate harden?this can take up to 50 minutes at room temperature or just freeze on parchment paper for five minutes. Serve.
Yield: 16 dozen.