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. 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. I also love Vanilla Extract from King Arthur Baking Company. Their Vanilla Extract is great quality and is a pantry staple that you can use time and time again in recipes.
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.
Vanilla Bean & Peppermint Meringue Kisses
- Yield: 10-12 1x
- 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
- ⅛ 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