“Grown Up” Mac and Cheese

 

I don’t know about you, but I have always loved macaroni and cheese.  My mom never made “box” mac and cheese, so when I grew up and had a family of my own, I always made homemade too.  I always think of this dish as the classic comfort food.  I am going to be honest here.  I used to cut up hot dogs, stir them in and bake it in the oven.  Offer up a little side salad, and that was dinner.  It was always very busy in our household.  When my kids were young, I was working as a preschool teacher and teaching aerobics at a local gym 3-5 days a week.  We had after school sports (practice, games etc.).  I’m sure this sounds all too familiar to so many!!

Flash forward, and I still love this delicious comfort food.  I love adding tomatoes or cooked broccoli (whatever veggie you like).  This mac and cheese is a twist on my classic recipe.  I added scallions, olive oil, water, and lemon juice.  Also, I use shredded cheddar instead of gruyere.  Let’s get started:)!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of your favorite pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (28 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (18 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (27 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions, white part only
  • 1/4 cup water (59 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar gruyere cheese (110 grams)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Cook pasta and set aside while you make the (roux) bechamel sauce.

Melt the butter over a medium/high heat in a small saucepan.  Add the flour and whisk to make a paste.  Continue to cook for about a minute, stirring constantly, until the raw flour aroma is gone.  Take the roux off the heat and set aside.

Add the olive oil and scallions to a large skillet and cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes until the scallions have softened.  Increase the temperature and add the water and milk to the olive oil/scallion mixture.  Bring to a simmer and whisk in the roux.  Continue to cook until the bechamel becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Take mixture off the heat and add the cheese, lemon juice and season (to taste).

Add the cheese mixture to the cooked pasta and stir to coat.

I added sliced cherry tomatoes and sprinkled seasoned panko bread crumbs on top.  This is optional, but I highly recommend it!  Enjoy!!

I hope you make this delicious “grown up” mac and cheese.  If you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I’d love to hear from you and see your photos!

 

Granola Butter Bread (Topped With Avocado)

I know, I know, you’re saying to yourself, “Another avocado toast recipe?!!”.  Hear me out.  The granola butter bread that the creamy avocado is nestled on is so good!  It’s loaded with flavor, but it isn’t loaded with carbs and sugar!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour (25 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds (15 grams)
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole flaxseeds to sprinkle on top (this is optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1- 10 oz. jar granola butter (284 grams)
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk, room temperature (62 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.  Spray an 8″x 4″ loaf pan with baking spray.

Sift dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside while you mix the granola butter and egg yolks with a stand or handheld mixer for one minute.  Add the almond milk and vinegar and mix until combined.  Stir in the coconut flour mixture.  In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Add the egg whites into the granola butter mixture and fold in until the egg whites are fully incorporated.

Place the batter in prepared loaf pan and top with the whole flaxseeds (optional).  *Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Cut into 10-12 slices.  Enjoy!!

Leftover bread can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

*All ovens are different.  Check for doneness at 40 minutes.  Baking time can take up to 50 minutes.

I topped mine with avocados, but the possibilities are endless!  This bread would be delicious topped with any nut butter of your choice, sliced bananas, and drizzled with honey.  Yummm!!  You could toast and butter it too, or just eat it all by itself…it’s that good!

I hope you make this delicious bread, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your pictures:)!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honey Graham Crackers

Our granddaughter, Evangeline, loves graham crackers.  As a matter of fact, they were the first “cookie” she had at our house.  She would watch me get them from the box in the bottom drawer in the kitchen, and eventually, she would go and get one on her own:).

I have been wanting to make homemade graham crackers for a while now. My DIL Missy asked me the other day if I had a recipe for graham crackers.  She got a message from a friend that lives in France, and she can’t buy them where she lives.  This was pretty much the kick in the pants I needed to make these yummy crackers.

There are a LOT of recipes out there for these crispy treats.  They are traditionally made with Graham flour, but it’s very difficult to find, so I made mine with King Arthur whole wheat flour.  I am very happy with this recipe, and I know you will be happy too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups wheat flour (314 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (170 grams)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (61 grams)
  • 1/3 cup honey (110 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Line 2 baking sheets with silicone pads or parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer cream the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the mixture starts to look like coarse sand.
  • Mix the milk, honey and vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup until combined.
  • With your mixer on low speed, slowly add the liquid mixture until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it in half and flatten each piece into a round disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Before you start rolling the dough, heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator (leave the other dough disc in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it) and roll out on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough into a 10″X10″ square (approximately).  Keep moving the dough so it doesn’t stick to the surface.  Add flour, a little at a time, as needed.  I like to roll the dough very thin.  This helps the cracker keep it’s iconic “snap!”.

  • Cut your crackers into desired shape.  I made a rectangle template with cardboard from an empty cereal box (2 1/2″X5″),  and cut the dough with a pizza cutter.  You can score a line down the center of each cookie and use a fork to prick holes down each side (see pictures for reference). This isn’t necessary, but I think it adds to their authenticity (plus it makes smaller crackers for little fingers).  Each disc will give you 8-10 full size crackers (2 1/2″X5″). *see note below
  • Carefully transfer the cut dough to prepared baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. This will help the cracker hold its shape.

  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until they are lightly browned.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.  The crackers will crisp up as they cool.  Enjoy!!

Crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week.

*You can use any cutter or shape you desire.  I made a batch and cut them into heart shapes…so cute!

Use these crackers to make crusts for cheesecakes, s’mores, or just for a snack….Yum!!

I hope you make these childhood treats, and if you do, tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your photos:)!

 

 

Japanese Souffle Pancakes

These pancakes are so light and fluffy!  There are so many recipes and techniques for these tasty little pillows of lusciousness, but this recipe is pretty easy (and tasty!!).

Although they can be made freehand, I chose to make mine using the English muffin molds I purchased last year.  I put two heaping tablespoons of the batter in the mold.  You want to fill the mold 3/4 full.  When you put the water in the pan and cover it, the pancakes are going to rise and get very puffy (that’s a good thing).  Carefully flip the pancakes.  I like to gently grip the mold with tongs while sliding the spatula underneath the pancake.  It might feel a little awkward at first, but it gets easier after flipping a few:).

The pancake will be a golden brown.  After you flip the pancake, allow it to cook on the other side for about 2 minutes (I left the lid off this time).

I topped mine with fresh blueberries, butter and maple syrup, but the possibilities for crowning these gems are endless!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (209 grams)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (60 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (310 grams)
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil (54 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions:

  1. Sift the flour, confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg yolk, buttermilk, coconut oil and vanilla together in a small bowl.
  3. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl.  Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until combined.  Don’t  overmix or the egg whites will deflate, and your pancakes will not be as fluffy:).
  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over low heat*.  Place 2-3 of the round molds in the skillet and spray with a nonstick spray.  Make sure to spray the insides of the molds as well as the bottom of the pan.
  7. Fill each mold with the batter.  Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover with the lid.  Cook for 4-5 minutes.  Remove the lid, flip pancakes (leaving them in the rings).  Cook for another 2-3 minutes (with the lid off).
  8. Remove pancakes from the skillet and place on platter.  Remove molds.  Place platter in a warm oven while you’re making the other pancakes (this recipe makes 8 pancakes).
  9. Plate your pancakes and top with your desired topping.  Enjoy!!

*It’s very important to cook these over a low heat.  The low temperature and steaming process make them so silky and creamy….Oh Yum!!!!

I hope you make these clouds of goodness, and if you do, tag me @goodeatsbymimi on Instagram.  I would love to hear from your and see your pictures!!

Smooth and Creamy Chocolate Mousse

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I found these colorful and beautiful milk glass dessert cups at a little antique store called “Unique Finds”, in Lewes, Delaware. I absolutely love scouring for food photography props, and when I came across these beautiful treasures, my mind immediately started to envision all the mouthwatering confections I would be preparing…bread pudding, rice pudding, chocolate pudding (you get the idea). Then I thought a delectible chocolate mousse would not only look beautiful nestled in these colorful cups, but I knew it was going to taste delicious too!!

Although this recipe is easy (and yummy), it does take some time to make. Most of the time is the 2 hours of refrigeration it takes to cool, but trust me, it is soooo worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 8 oz. Guiradelli chocolate, chopped (227 grams)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (590 grams)

Instructions:

  1. Beat egg yolks in small bowl with electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar.
  2. Heat 1 cup whipping cream in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until hot. Gradually stir at least half of the hot whipping cream into egg yolk mixture; stir back into hot cream in saucepan. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (do not boil). Stir in chocolate until melted. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled.
  3. Beat 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream in a chilled mixing bowl on high speed until stiff.  Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Pipe (or spoon) mixture into serving bowls. Refrigerate until serving.  Top with whipped cream and chocolate curls (optional). Enjoy!!

Suggested tips:

  • Stirring half of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture then returning it all to the saucepan to finish cooking prevents the yolks from being scrambled in the hot liquid. Also, the yolks act as a thickener for the sauce.
  • The folding motion for incorporating the whipped cream is easiest using a rubber spatula. Spoon a large dollop of the cream into the center of the chilled chocolate (which will be thick and slightly firm). Dip the spatula down into the cream and pull it down and around into the chocolate mixture. The key is not to stir vigorously, but in a deliberate cutting down and pulling around motion until all the cream is mixed in without knocking out the air that was beaten into it.
  • It is easiest to whip cream when it’s very cold, so it’s imperative that you not only use cold cream, but that you whip it in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters. I like to put the cream in the bowl that I’m going to whip it in, then I place it (along with the beaters) in the refrigerator while the chocolate mixture is chilling.

I hope that you make this delicious and decadent treat, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi. I would love to hear from you and see your photos!

Hot Chocolate Bombs

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These treats have been all over the internet for a while now, and I knew I wanted to make a “how to” video with my son David.  We have made a few videos in the past, and we always have so much fun being together in the kitchen.

My kids always tease me because when they were little and would come into the kitchen and ask to help, I would tell them they could help me by staying out of the kitchen…ouch!!  Wow!! This actually makes me pretty sad.  Don’t get me wrong, we used bake and decorate cookies (Christmas, Easter, Halloween).  I used to make cakes as a side business, and I feel like I was always in the kitchen baking and decorating cakes all hours of the night.

Being a grandmother (Mimi, as I’m known by my precious grandchildren) is truly a wonderful chapter in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved being a Mom to my amazing children.  I always loved playing with them, riding bikes, small day or weekend trips to Lancaster, Pa., attending after school activities and plays and activities in school.  But, it’s definitely different being a Mimi.  All my grandchildren loved being in the kitchen with me when they were little, but as they get bigger, they have other interests when they come over.  My granddaughter Evangeline (she is also my youngest) loves to be in the kitchen with me ALL the time, and I couldn’t be happier.  She loves to bake and cook everything from cookies to making homemade guacamole.  We are trying to perfect Auntie Missy’s recipe (or Missy Missy, as Evie Calls her).  So, long story short, I love having my adult children in the kitchen with me too, and when my son and I hang out in the kitchen making these fun “how to” videos, I enjoy every single second:)!!

This is all you need to make these scrumptious treats:

Silicone mold

Chocolate melts

Hot Chocolate Mix

Marshmallows

Sprinkles

I used my kitchen torch to heat the back of a small baking sheet to smoothe the half sphere.  If you don’t have a torch, you should totally get one because they are super cool and fun to use:) hahaha!!  But seriously, you can still do this by warming a small plate in the microwave.  It’s not as much fun, but it gets the job done (wink, wink!!).

You can fill your chocolate bomb with whatever you like (David shows us how we can add candy too….yum!!).  Get creative!!

Now, go check out our amusing (and informative)you tube video!

I hope you make these enjoyable treats, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your photos!

 

 

 

Eggnog Frosted Snickerdoodles

 

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I have been waiting to share this recipe to celebrate the New Year!  I don’t need to tell you that 2020 has been a strange and difficult year (to say the least!!!!).

I also wanted to share that I have been working very hard on creating a cookbook.  It will be filled with some of my favorite recipes.  Recipes that my husband, children, grandchildren, family and friends love, and I know you will love them too!  It will also have tricks and tips that have worked for me over the years.

Many of you know I love being in my kitchen!  I love to bake and cook for my family and friends.  It is my love language:).

These cookies were inspired by Tieghan Gerard @halfbakedharvest.  My daughter Melissa loves snickerdoodles.  These are not your every day, run of the mill snickerdoodles.  They are sliced and baked, and then frosted with a luscious eggnog frosting, then sprinkled with more cinnamon sugar.  Do I have your attention?!!

If you are not a fan of eggnog (or you just don’t have any on hand),  you can use heavy cream and pure vanilla extract.  Vanilla bean extract would taste amazing too!!

Let’s do this and bring in the New Year on a “sweeter” note!!

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (340 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (252 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (628 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cinnamon for coating cookies:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Frosting for cookies:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 2 cups confectoners’ sugar, sifted (240 grams)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of your favorite eggnog, room temperature

Instructions for making the rolled cookies:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes until smoothe and creamy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape the sides of mixing bowl and paddle as needed.  Add the vanilla* and mix until incorporated.IMG_3751
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Add all at once to the butter mixture.  Gently turn the mixer on low.  Start to incorporate the flour mixture and increase the speed just until the flour is mixed in and forms a large ball of dough.  Divide the dough into two equal balls.  Place each ball on a piece of parchment and form into a 10″ log.
  3. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together.  Sprinkle over the logs and roll them back and forth over the sugar until they are completely covered.  Put any extra cinnamon sugar back in the bowl and save for later.
  4. Wrap each log tightly in the wax paper and then a piece of plastic.  Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to three days.
  5. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone pads.
  6. Unwrap the dough and slice log crosswise into 1/4″ cookies (you will get between 20-24 cookies per log).  Place the cut rounds on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are set on the edges.
  7. Let the cookies cool in the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
  8. Make the eggnog frosting while the cookies are cooling.  Beat the butter until creamy (about 2 minutes).  Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until combined.  Add the eggnog 1 tablespoon at a time.  Mix until desired icing consistency.IMG_0592
  9. Frost each cookie with a small offset spatula, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.  Enjoy!!

*Vanilla feeds Tomorrow

I saw this story on Hoda & Jenna about a young man (William Cabaniss), who started making his own vanilla to help raise money for a food bank.  Please take the time to click on the link and read about this incredible 9th grader from Knoxville, Tennessee!

I hope you make these delicious treats, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your pictures:).

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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If you are a fan of brownies, you are going to love these cookies!  They are so soft and fudgy, and they’re covered in sugar….umm yes, please!!!! 

Although you usually see these cookies on the internet around the holidays, these gems can certainly be eaten any time of the year:).  Even though they weren’t the first cookies I made in my holiday baking this year, they are definitely one of my favorites!!  Oh, who am I kidding, they’re all my favorite….wink, wink!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (120 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar (for coating)

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix (using a stand or handheld mixer) just until the dough comes together (the dough will be thick).  Roll dough into balls using a tablespoon sized scoop.  This recipe will make about 20 small cookies.  Cover rolled cookie dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° F.  Remove rolled cookies from the refrigerator.

Add the confectioners’ sugar to a small bowl.  Generously and evenly coat each ball of dough in confectioners’ sugar and place onto prepared cookie sheets (at least two inches apart). Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will be soft when removed from the oven and will firm up as they cool. Please, do not over bake your cookies or they will not have the delicious fudgy texture you want.

Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!!!

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I hope you make these fudgy powdered bites of heaven, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your photos!

Italian Christmas Cookies Zuccarini

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My first teaching position was at a private preschool in a nearby resort town.  One year, one of the moms brought these amazing Italian cookies in to share with us.  Oh my goodness, they were about one of the best cookies I had ever eaten.  I asked if she would share the recipe with me, and she did!

I love the taste of anise, and these cookies are loaded with anise flavor!  They are so light and buttery.  They are one of my hubby’s favorites:).  From the buttery cookie to the sprinkles on top (please don’t forget the sprinkles), these are sure to please!!   

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour (489 grams)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of fine kosher salt

Icing:

  • 2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (or anise)
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • sprinkles

Instructions:

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set  aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.  Scrape sides of mixing bowl and paddle.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Refrigerate for one hour.

Scoop or cut off a small amount of dough and roll on floured surface into 6 inch strips.

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Roll into shape and place on greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (the bottom should be lightly browned but the tops should remain light).

Remove cookies to wire rack and cool completely before glazing.

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Add the icing ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth.  You want it more thick than thin, but still runny.

Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the glaze, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cookie.  Top with sprinkles while the icing is still wet.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to set (about an hour).  Enjoy with your hot beverage of choice (mine is a nice cup of hot black coffee…yum!).

I hope you make these, and if you do, I am sure they will be one of your favorites.  Maybe they already are your favorite and you misplaced your recipe (it could happen).  Either way, tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your photos!

Meringue Kisses (and Trees)

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These little meringues are the perfect treat!  You can add them to cookie trays, charcuterie boards, or dessert tables.  The possibilites are endless:).  With just a few simple steps (and ingredients), you will have a dainty delicacy that will please everyone!!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (superfine if possible) (200 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract 

Instructions:

Line baking sheets with nonstick parchment (set aside).

Preheat oven to 220 degrees F.

Beat the egg whites on low until slightly frothy.  Increase mixer speed to medium and add the cream of tartar.  Beat until soft peaks form.  With mixer on high speed, begin adding sugar one tablespoon at a time.  Don’t rush this process.  It’s should take between 8-10 minutes. 

After mixing in all the sugar, rub a small amount between your fingers to make sure the sugar has fully desolved.  Add extracts and beat until stiff peaks have formed.

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Using a small brush and red gel food coloring, stripe a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.  Fill the bag with meringue and with gentle pressure, squeeze the bag and pull up.  Continue until the bag is empty.

You can divide the meringue and use half to make trees.  Simply add the meringue (colored with green food gel) to a piping bag fitted with a large circle.  Squeeze with pressure and decrease as you get closer to the top of the tree.

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Add sprinkles!

Bake in 220 degree F oven for 90 minutes.  After the meringues have baked, turn the oven off and leave them in the oven with the door propped open (I use a wooden spoon).

Remove from oven and cool completely.

I like to dip the bottom of the trees in melted chocolate (optional).  Enjoy!!

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I hope you make these cute and tasty delights.  If you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbmimi.  I would like to hear from you and see your photos!