Sunday, December 12, 2010

Little Lemon Meringue "Cookies"

I admit, I have a bit of a hard time calling meringues cookies.  But, especially when you're dealing with lemon meringues, you have to call them something (otherwise, someone might be fooled into thinking this was a recipe for pie, right?).  Anyway, whatever you call these, I thought they would make a lovely (and surprisingly simple!) addition to a cookie exchange.  It's nice to have something that's light and guilt-free (about five calories a pop!) but still a little sweet in the midst of so many holiday treats.

Little Lemon Meringue "Cookies"
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon peel, finely grated

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper (silicone baking mats would be lovely as well--maybe someday I'll have some of those! sigh).
In a medium bowl with mixer on high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form.  With mixer still running, sprinkle in sugar gradually (about 2 tablespoons at a time) beating until peaks are stiff and glossy when beaters are lifted.  Gently fold in lemon peel.
Spoon egg white mixture into a decorating bag (or a quart sized ziploc bag with a tiny corner snipped off) fitted with a star shaped decorating bag.  Pipe meringue into small stars about a 1/2 inch apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake meringues about 1 1/2 hours until crisp but not browned.  Turn off oven and allow meringues to stand in hour 1 hour longer to dry.  Cool completely.
Peel from sheets and store in an air tight container.

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