Meringues are something people rarely think of making, but they’re actually a quite simple, no-fat way to satisfy a sweet tooth. The flavor is similar to marshmallows, but you get that fun, crunchy texture. Best of all, they’re a blank canvas, which makes them perfect for Halloween. You can add food coloring for a festive mood: orange and black (which you can also do for your next San Francisco Giants party) or purple and black and shaped as witches’ hats. You can also leave them white and make little ghosts by adding chocolate chip or candy eyes. The ghosts look adorable as a centerpiece on a glass cake stand layered with candy corn or Good & Plenty (fun trivia: Good & Plenty is the oldest branded candy in the United States, first made in Hershey, Penn. in 1893).
Boo-tiful Ghostly Meringues
Makes approximately 24 ghosts
- 4 large organic egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup superfine sugar (or put sugar in food processor for 30 seconds)
- ½ teaspoon pure white
- vanilla extract
- Miniature chocolate chips or edible confetti (for the eyes)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use nonstick cooking spray). Prepare a pastry bag with large round tip.
In a mixing bowl using the whisk attachment of a mixer, beat egg whites on low–medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla extract. Add sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until meringue holds very stiff peaks, is glossy, and no longer feels gritty from the sugar.
Transfer meringue to pastry bag. Holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe 2-inch high mounds of meringue. Carefully press miniature chocolate chips or edible confetti into each meringue ghost using two for the eyes and a third for the mouth.
Bake meringues for approximately 1¼–1½ hours or until dry and crisp to the touch, and they separate easily from the parchment paper. Turn off oven, open door slightly, and leave meringues in oven to finish drying several hours, or even better, overnight.