Love is in the air, spring is around the corner, and today I’m getting married. But before I head off, let me share my favorite meringue cookies with you. Rose scented. They are good for Valentine’s Day gifts, too!
Rose water can be a tricky ingredient. Just the right amount is heavenly. Too much and it becomes perfume. Or, as my friend J.R. once told me a few years ago after making my first batch of rose-cardamom Turkish Delight, “It tastes like make up.” We all need honest friends.
Meringues can also be a little fussy. The technique is easy, but there are a few things to watch for. First, your eggs whites should be room temperature. I find separating eggs much simpler when they are cold. But egg whites like to stiffen at room temperature. So, trying separating your eggs and either microwave the whites for 5 seconds, or leave them on your counter for 30 minutes.
The second fussbudget with meringues is to not get a speck of yolk in your whites or have any fat or oil-based ingredient in your mixing bowl, beaters or whisk. Eggs whites will not stiffen when fat is present.
Finally, adding sugar must be done very slowly — one spoonful at a time to let it dissolve and not weigh down the egg whites. It’s a bit tedious, but really, it only takes a couple of minutes to spoon in the sugar.
Give these a try. Just be patient and follow the instructions carefully to ensure success. Then you, too, will have magic love potion cookies. Ok, enough of that… “I’m going to the chapel, and I’m going to get married.” (Try getting that song out of your head now!)
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Rose Water Meringues
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon rose water (or another extract of your choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Enough drops of food coloring to reach desired color (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 225F (107C)
- Double check that all your equipment is extra clean and free from any grease (bowl, beaters, whisk)
- Separate eggs. Let whites reach room temperature (about 30 minutes). Cover and refrigerate yolks for another use as they are not needed for this recipe
- Place egg whites, cream of tartar and pinch of salt in mixing bowl
- Beat at low-speed for 1 minute to break up the whites. Then, increase speed to medium high
- When you reach the soft peak stage (floppy peak), begin slowly adding the sugar, one spoon at a time
- When you reach the stiff peak stage (no flop, no movement), add the rose water, vanilla and food coloring (if using) and beat until just combined
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper or foil
- Either fill a piping bag to pipe cookies, or use two spoons to free-form drop cookies about 1 inch in diameter and 1 inch apart
- Bake both trays at the same time for 60 minutes. Turn off oven, do not open the door, and let cool inside the oven completely (2-3 hours). Place in air tight containers. Cookies should be crisp and dried through. Even days later, if they become chewy due to a humid environment, you can reheat them in the oven at 225F (107C) for 30 minutes and repeat the cooling process