The holidays are just around the corner, and there is 1 special project I’m super excited to tell you about. You may have seen sneak peaks on social media of some fabulous holiday projects with the hashtag #MerryMag. Well the big reveal is almost here! Come back tomorrow when we launch a special holiday magazine packed with inspiration from 15 of my most talented blogger friends. I have seen some of the projects, and I can promise you that you won’t want to miss this! I am just in awe of the talent that is out there in Canadian blog land.
(UPDATE: It’s here! It’s here! Check out Merry – A Hand Made Holiday Guide for 100 pages of blogger awesomeness! I guarantee you will be inspired to create something fab yourself!)
One of the desserts featured in the magazine is a cluster of these little meringue trees I made recently with my daughter. Adorable, n’est-ce pas?
Meringues are one of the easiest and most versatile desserts. You just whip up some egg whites and sugar, and bake them until they’re dry and crisp. I discovered years ago how easy they were to shape, and I usually make some heart-shaped meringues for my girls each Valentines day.
This time, I couldn’t resist turning some into sweet little Christmas trees. They look adorable clustered together on a pretty plate, and they’re an easy way to add a festive touch to your table. Top with some pretty sprinkles, and you’re done. These are much faster than cookies, and perfect for little hands if you want to make something the kids can help with.
I used a piping bag with an Ateco Size 9 pastry tip to make these trees. I filled the bag and pushed out the meringue with 3 little squeezes, just like they do with the soft serve at Dairy Queen. These are tiny, bite-sized trees, but you can make them any size you like. I kept the decorating simple, just using some sprinkles, but feel free to experiment. How about drizzling with chocolate, or colouring some of the meringue and swirling the colours together? The sky’s the limit!
My family likes to eat these as-is. But you can also serve meringues with berries or other fruit, whipped cream, lemon curd, ice cream, or vanilla cream. A touch of raspberry coulis is nice way to add some holiday red. Or maybe some chocolate ganache for dipping? They can really be fancied up to make a special dessert for your holiday table. And the best part is, you can make them ahead since they keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. This is a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for the Christmas season.
Aren’t they sweet?
Little Meringue Trees
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 225 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until white and foamy. Add sugar and cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue looks glossy. Beat in vanilla.
Place meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a Ateco size 9 round pastry tip, and pipe into the shape of trees on to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Place at least 2 inches apart. Top with coloured sugar, sprinkles, or silver dragees. Bake until meringues are firm and can be removed easily from the parchment paper, at least 2½ to 3 hours.
Safety Note: These meringues are made with raw egg whites. Most sources say that egg whites need to be heated to over 160 F to be considered safe. These are baked for an extended period of time at 225 F, however if you want to be sure, you can heat the egg white and sugar mixture over a double boiler while whisking constantly, until the mixture reads 160 F on an instant-read thermometer.
And don’t forget to check out the beautifully inspirational Merry magazine. Here’s a sneak peak of some of the fab projects you’ll find!