Day 3 of our 12 Days of Gluten Free Cookies is here!! Get ready for some lip smacking, gluten free goodies to show up here over the next few weeks. I have a few things you should know about the recipes in advance:
1. All of the recipes in this series are gluten free and vegetarian, some are vegan, and some are dairy free too. If you have a dietary restriction some of the recipes may just be a simple substitution away from fitting into your diet. So, please check the recipes before deciding that a cookie is not for you and if you have questions leave me a comment. I am here for you!!
2. I used King Arthur Flour – gluten free multi-purpose flour for all of the cookies in this series. Why? First, I am not affiliated with King Arthur Flour in any way, I simply wanted to make sure that all of the ingredients I used for these cookies were easy to find. Second, I know that custom blending flours can be intimidating so for now we are going to stick with something easy. The holiday’s are stressful enough without making cookies complicated.
Let’s talk about meringue kisses today shall we?!
I have been known to whip up a pavlova or two from time to time and when I do I always pipe a few meringue kisses onto the sheet pan so I can much on them later. I love their wispy white peaks and when the crunchy outer shell gives way to their marshmallow center I literally swoon a bit.
Usually the subtle sweetness of a homemade meringue kiss is enough for me, but since we are talking holiday cookies here I decided to flavor this batch 2 ways. Half of the batch received a delicious speckled effect from fresh vanilla beans while I mixed peppermint extract into the other half and topped them with finely crushed candy canes. The candy cane topping melted into the meringues as they bake creating almost a splatter effect that I just can’t get enough of.
- 8 (300ml) large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
For the vanilla meringue kisses
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
For the peppermint meringue kisses
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 tablespoons finely crushed candy canes
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Place the room temperature egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time whisking until thoroughly incorporated before adding the next tablespoon of sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added whisk for another 5-8 minutes or until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Scrape down the side of the bowl, add the vinegar and whisk for another 2 minutes until thoroughly combined.
- Scoop half of the meringue into a separate mixing bowl and add the peppermint extract. Fold to incorporate. To the other half of the meringue add the vanilla beans and fold to incorporate.
- Place each mixture into it’s own piping bag fitted with a 2 cm plain nozzle. Pipe small circles onto each prepared baking tray about the size of a Hershey kiss.
- For the peppermint kisses, sprinkle each kiss with a light dusting of candy cane dust.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the meringues are crisp to the touch. If they are still tacky bake for a few minutes longer and check. When the meringues are crisp turn the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
If you do not have a piping bag simply transfer the meringue to a gallon size plastic bag and snip a small hole from one of the corners.
Adapted from Donna Hay