Have you ever tried making meringues at home? They are made by adding sugar to whipped egg whites and often piped in traditional kiss shapes and baked. Pretty easy, but you guys know I can’t resist a twist on sweet treats. So … Here come some bunnies in perfectly pastel colors for spring.
The recipe I use calls for superfine sugar or caster sugar and heating it in the oven for a few minutes to make it easier to dissolve when incorporating into the egg whites. This brand is from India Tree and I have found it at Fresh Market in the past.
Making meringues is relatively easy and a great recipe to know for last minute, two-ingredient treats. Basically you whip egg whites, add sugar and whip until stiff peaks form, pipe them and bake (more specifics in the recipe below) but that’s the super quick overview.
Stiff meringue. This is what you are looking for and if you turn your whisk upside down, it should stay put without falling off.
Now for meringue bunnies. Let’s hop to it.
I tinted the meringue batter with a drop or two of food coloring to tint it pink and yellow.
Always start small and add additional drops if needed to achieve a darker shade.
To pipe traditional kisses, hold your piping bag straight up and down, starting with more pressure and then less pressure as you pull away and release.
For these bunnies, the approach is a little different. Start with the ears and pipe at an angle close to the baking sheet. Use more pressure when you start and slightly less pressure as you pull down and away against the baking sheet. This will give the ears a slightly tapered look.
Look at the bunnies on the left… the ripples in the meringue are because I did not do a great job of maintaining even pressure as I piped and released. The bunny on the right is much smoother. It just takes practice and getting comfortable with piping.
Once the ears are piped, overlap the ears with more meringue holding it straight up and down or slightly angled. Pipe until you have a nice round ball of meringue that covers a good portion of the bottom part of the ears. Too little of an overlap and the ears will break apart due to not enough support.
The consistence of the meringue makes it difficult to pull the piping bag away without forming a pointed tip every time. To remove for smoother bunnies, take a toothpick and very gently on just the surface of the meringue, swirl any points until they disappear.
They’ll bake up almost exactly as they are piped.
You can leave them like this or decorate them. Here’s how I did it.
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Pink heart sprinkles made perfect little noses. I attached them with a dot of melted candy coating.
Then I used a black edible ink writing pen to make eyes and mouths.
This is the first time I’ve used this Nomeca brand of pens and I love the tapered tip and how nicely it functioned almost like a paintbrush with thicks and thins on the porous surface of the meringue.
You can stop here or add a few more details.
Let’s use the pink pen.
Draw on a few whiskers if you like.
And then outline the ears for even more character. Too cute!
- 300 g superfine sugar (1-1/2 cups)
- 150 grams egg whites (from about 5 eggs)
Optional items for decorating
- Food coloring (like Americolor or Wilton Color right)
- heart sprinkles
- black and pink edible ink writing pens
- Ateco 804 decorating tip
- piping bags
- very small amount of candy coating, melted
- Measure ingredients using a scale. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, pour in sugar and bake for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the edges just begin to melt.
- Meanwhile, pour egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer (make sure it’s clean) fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on low allowing bubbles to form, increase to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form and you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.
- Remove the sugar from the oven and begin whisking egg whites again at high speed. Add one big spoonful of sugar at a time, ensuring that the egg whites come back to stiff peaks after each addition.
- Once all the sugar is added, continue to whisk for 5-7 minutes. You should be able to rub the mixture between your fingers and not feel any grit from the sugar. You know it’s ready to use when it forms a smooth shiny peak on the tip of your finger.
- Decrease oven temperature to 200 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a dab of meringue on four corners of pan and press parchment paper on top to hold it down flat.
- For pastel bunnies, tint meringue with a drop or two of food coloring. Very gently fold the color into the meringue until incorporated, and without over mixing.
- To make bunnies, fit a piping bag with an Ateco 804 tip or similar and fill with meringue. Hold decorating bag at an angle and pipe a pair of lines about 2 inches long, pull towards you with even pressure, tapering off as you release. Then pipe a larger circular shape of meringue so it overlaps the bottom of the ears. Make sure enough meringue overlaps the ears to offer support when baked. Too little overlap and the ears will break apart.
- When piping meringue, small peaks can form when you pull the piping bag away and release. Use a toothpick just on the surface of the meringue to gently swirl the peak away until it disappears.
- Bake at 200 degrees for 30-40 minutes until the meringues can easily be lifted off the parchment paper with bases in tact. To be safe, I usually remove or peel the paper away from the bottom. This will also help avoid breakage of the ears that can be more delicate. Let cool completely.
- To decorate, add a heart sprinkle nose using a dot of melted candy coating. Draw on eyes, ears, mouths and whiskers using an edible ink writing pen. (Nomeco Brand worked really well.)
- Meringues stored in an airtight container will keep for up to two weeks.
Source: Adapted from The Meringue Girls Cookbook, 2014 published by Chronicle Books
Hope you enjoy and wishing you a Happy Hoppy Easter!
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