Thursday, July 3, 2008

It's a cookie, not a dance.

Well, I made ice cream again. Don't get too excited, because I was too full of sushi last night to eat any, so I didn't take any pictures, which means if you want to see pretty pictures of ice cream, you'll have to go look at this one here and drool over that instead of my plain-jane but delicious vanilla. Phew! Holy run-on sentence, batman. Anyway, I couldn't have given you the recipe anyway, because I used (exactly) David Lebovitz's recipe from Perfect Scoop, which I suggest you go out and get immediately, if you're into home made ice cream. So what's the point of this post, exactly?

Ta-da! Not bad as far as leftover transformation, I think. I had egg whites leftover from the custard base for the ice cream, so I put them in a baggie in the fridge for a couple of days until I had a chance to make meringues. So I'm not blown away by the "cookies" themselves, but I had a lot of fun making them. Who knew beating egg whites could be so satisfying? Maybe since it's something I've never done before... also I have three more egg whites in a baggie in the freezer (the ice cream recipe calls for SIX! egg yolks!) so there may be an angel food cake or something in my future. (BTW, where did this sweet tooth come from? I've always been a savor-favorer.) I don't even think they were so bad in the humidity, though I do wonder about that little pebble effect on the surface. They taste like marshmallows, sort of. They're chewy. Your dentist will be mad at you for eating too many of these.

Moving on. What are you going to do with all those silly little cookies, Bruno? I'll be bringing them to Maine with me this weekend, where they will, I'm sure, pale in comparison with the feast Mama Bruno has prepared. I'll be back in a few days to share the details of the spread with you. If you need some interesting reading in the meantime, Mark Bittman put together quite a list of simple picnic food ideas. I like it because it's so vague... heh heh. Happy Fourth of July, people.

Meringue "cookies"
more or less adapted from the internet and its many, many meringue variations

egg whites (I used three)
sugar (1/4 cup per egg white used)
cream of tartar (just a bit, to stabilize the whites - I used 1/8 tsp)
AP flour for dusting the pans

Preheat oven to 200 F

1. Line a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper, dust with flour and shake off the excess.
2. Start with extremely clean beaters and bowl - a trace of fat will deflate your whites, defeating you before you even get anywhere.
3. Start on low speed, beat the egg whites until frothy and then soft peaks will start to form.
4. Up the speed to medium, slowly add sugar a little bit it a a time, beating until the whites are shiny/glossy and stiff peaks hold. (This means when you pull the beaters up out of the whites, the resulting peaks don't bend over at all).
5. Using two spoons, plop little piles of the whites on prepared cookie sheets. (Apparently you can pipe these using a pastry bag, but I like the ramshackle look of free-form meringues.)
6. Stick the pans in your pre-heated oven for an hour. After an hour, turn off the oven and LEAVE THEM IN THERE for at least another hour or up to overnight.

YES, overnight. I opened up my oven after a couple of hours and tasted the little buggers, but still left them there overnight because I'm lazy. And it was late. I took the photos above the next morning.

P.S. What's with that title? Ever time I read the word MERINGUE I also think MERENGUE, which is one letter off, but vastly different. Although, now that I think of it, you could probably come up with some sort of metaphor about dancing proteins. I'll leave that to Alton Brown.

No comments:

Post a Comment