If jolly old St. Nick where to really pop down chimneys in a flash each Christmas Eve, he'd surely request the sweetest treat a Santa could imagine: Snow-Covered Cranberry Kiss Meringues.
Irresistibly sweet and perfectly pink, these delicate meringues melt in your mouth like spun sugar. And with a gentle kiss of cranberry, these puffs of whimsy and delight are so tempting, even Santa couldn't resist taking two.
With an airy hint of cranberry derived from a touch of cranberry-flavored gelatin, these meringues will remain firm and easy to work with while both piping and baking---just be sure they don't start to brown in the oven or the flavor can quickly become "off." With few ingredients needed and just a bit of piping power, you can be enjoying these Snow-Covered Cranberry Kiss Meringues in no time at all!
Snow-Covered Cranberry Kiss Meringues
inspired by Better Homes & Gardens® Christmas Cooking from the Heart, 2005
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 of a 3-ounce package of cranberry-flavored gelatin (about 3 tablespoons)
- sifted powdered sugar for dusting
After carefully separating the egg whites, allow whites to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes in a mixing bowl (make sure your mixing bowl is clean & grease or oil free, I prefer metal). While the eggs whites come to room temperature, line a baking sheet (a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan works wonderfully) with parchment paper or foil; set aside. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
After 30 minutes, add white vinegar and salt to the egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Turn mixer to low speed, gradually add sugar and dry gelatin, then beat again on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight and remain upright).
Spoon prepared meringue mixture into a pastry bag that has a large, star-shaped tip attached (a 1/2-inch opening at minimum). Pipe stars, beginning with tip firmly on the parchment paper or foil, then lift and pipe slowly, spreading stars outward just slightly. Stars should be uniform in size to ensure proper baking times, about 1-inch wide and 1-inch tall. Bake meringue stars in a preheated 300 degree F oven for about 18-20 minutes, depending on the accuracy of your oven temperature; bake until meringues appear dry, but not browned. Turn off oven and allow meringues to dry in oven for another 12-15 minutes.
After baking, carefully peel meringues from parchment or foil and transfer to wire racks for cooling. As meringues cool, sprinkle powdered sugar over their tops to create snowy peaks. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.