Meringue mushrooms and Christmas tree

5:54 AM


Its 12 in the night and am trying to soak up the silence around me. Its been long that I could sit quietly and think or listen to nothing. The silence around me speaks a thousand words but today I choose to ignore, I choose to abosrb the peace, the tranquility of this moment.

The last few weeks have been hectic, have been very very disturbing. with Hubby being away, maa being hospitalised suddenly and my fragile health condition i found it difficult to cope up with. But with God's grace things are improving, we are able to see the beauty of life again. 

So today when the kiddo is safely tucked in the bed with his father I sat down to empty my thoughts to relieve my mind and to prepare myself for the coming days. 

Today's post is going to be a very short one but very very sweet none the less. With all my baking plans shelved for the year I could only manage to make these easy, quick but scrumptious meringue cookies for the little one. His eyes glistened with joy and I got thousand sloppy kisses as a reward. What else a mother could have asked for. 

So if you had not baked anything this Christmas, trust me you have enough time. Take out your mixer and bake a batch of this within an hour and see your loved ones eyes twinkle while these colourful meringue figures melt in their mouth.

Before I start the recipe Thanks a bunch to Debjani for introducing me to these cookies. 

Meringue Mushrooms and Christmas Trees
(makes a dozen mushrooms and 6-8 trees)
from Joy of baking

Ingredients:
Egg whites: from 2 large eggs (room temperature)
Sugar: 1/3 cup (I used granulated suagr which I powdered in the mixer later)
Cream of tartar: 1/4 tsp (you can omit but it helps in holding the shape)
vanilla essence: 1/3 tsp

Chocolate: 1/4 cup
coco powder: 1 tsp
Green food colour: few drops
Star sprinkle

Method:
Pre heat the oven at 120C and line two baking sheets with parchment or butter paper.

Take a very clean and completely dry bowl.
Separate the egg whites (be careful not to break the egg yolks) and place in the bowl. With a very clean and dry hand mixer or stand mixer start beating it on low. 

Once the egg whites are frothy (10-20 seconds) add the cream of tartar if using. 

Beat on medium till very soft peaks form and then start adding the powdered sugar little at a time. and continue beating in between so that the sugar is incorporated in the egg mix.

Check at regular interval by taking a little mix between your fingers and rubbing if there is unmixed sugar. Gritty meringues are the worst. 

Once all the sugar is mixed continue beating on high till stiff peaks form. Just switch off the beater and take out the beater whisk. If the peaks hold on their own, you know you are done.

Just beat in the vanilla extract and halve the egg mix in two separate bowls.

With a clean toothpick take out little bit of gel food colour and mix in one bowl. mix till you get your desired shade.

Place the white batter in a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle (I used my coupler attachment). You can also use a ziplock bag. Place the batter in it and cut a small hole at the corner.

To pipe the mushroom tops hold the piping bag upright and just little above from the surface squeez the batter in one place to make a small round. release the pressure and take off. to smooth the top use damp fingers to clear any point the piping might have left. 

To pipe the stems again hold the piping bag upright and press out the batter. Release pressure as you go up and finish with a pointy top. You can pipe different size of caps and stems.

To pipe the Christmas tree fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Hold the bag upright and start pressing the meringue. Release pressure as you go up to shape them as cones. You can also use a round motion to make rounded cones.

Make sure to pipe everything at least an inch apart as they will spread while baking.

its a great idea to pipe more stems than caps as the height of the stems make it difficult for the meringue to hold shape and they might fall while baking.

Bake for an hour and then switch off the oven. Keep the oven door half open for the meringues to crisp up.

Once they are cool take them out carefully and place on a wire rack to cool completely.


Melt the chocolate (chop them first) in microwave for 20-30 seconds or in a double boiler. Once the cookies have cooled smother little of the melted chocolate on the back side of the mushroom caps. With a sharp knife cut the pointy top of the stems and attach it to he cap. Let it cool down and it will harden further.

With a drop of melted chocolate attach star sprinkle on the top of meringue trees.

Finally dust the mushrooms with little coco powder.

Serve to your family as is with some hot chocolate or place them on a traditional Buche de noel/yule log or any other cake that you might have made.

These make everything look delicious and festive. 

Wish you and your family a very happy Christmas. Hope you had been nice the whole year and got all your desired gifts. 

Events:

Sending this to KFB Baking Palooza.

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