Growing up I thought meringues were the neatest things. They were easy enough that I was able to make them by myself, and had that wonderful crispy cloudlike melt-in-your-mouth sweetness. Not much has changed – I still think they are awesome little treats.
I made these miniature raspberry meringues for our wedding, as a simple gluten-free dessert option. I might be partial, for wedding nostalgia reasons, but these are some of the best meringues I’ve ever had. Because the egg white mixture is heated while you whisk away, it’s nice and thick and you don’t get that deflated chewy middle that sometimes happens with meringues. They’re solid, yet airy, all the way through. The original recipe calls for rosewater, which is really good with raspberries and almost tastes like grown-up cotton candy when the two are combined. I’ve also made these with vanilla and almond extracts, and can promise you that no matter which one you use, these are going to be delicious.
Raspberry Meringue Kisses – makes about 50
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 1/3 c. sugar
3 T. ground freeze dried raspberries (use a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, or food processor)
1 t. extract (vanilla, almond, rosewater are just a few ideas)
Preheat your oven to 215 degrees. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt. Add the sugar and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Beat on high speed until the mixture is white and glossy and all the sugar has dissolved (you can taste it or rub it between fingertips to feel for sugar grains).
Remove from the heat, mix in the extract, and beat on high for an additional 5 minutes. Gently fold in the raspberry powder.
Put the meringue into a piping bag and pipe 1″ kisses onto parchment lined baking sheets. They won’t really rise, so you can put them quite close together. Bake for 1 hour, but don’t pull them out of the oven when the time is up. Leave the oven closed and let the meringues continue to dry out as the oven cools. Once everything has cooled completely, you can take the meringues out and either eat them right away (I dare you not to), or store them in an airtight container.