Baking During Holiday Break: Santa hat meringues
Yield: 4 servings (4 dozen meringues)
4 large egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dry milk solids
red food coloring gel, as needed
2 cups white chocolate baking chips
2 cups unsweetened coconut
Method of Preparation
1. Heat oven to 200 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites, cream of tartar and 1/4 cup of sugar on high speed until soft peak.
3. While the mixer is still running, slowly sprinkle in ¼ cup of sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form and mixture looks glossy. Do not stop and start the mixer as this will cause meringue to fall.
4. Once the meringue holds stiff peaks, fold in the remaining sugar mixed with the dry milk solids.
5. Transfer 1/3 cup of the plain meringue to a small piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Return remaining meringue to the mixer and add the food coloring. Tint to desired color.
6. Transfer the colored mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe Santa hats onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Using the plain meringue, pipe a dot on top of the Santa hats.
7. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the hats no longer feel tacky but still slightly soft, about a 60-90 minutes. Let cool completely on the sheet. Test one meringue hat after an hour to check for doneness. Meringue should be dry all the way through. If hats are still chewy in the center leave them in the oven for additional time.
8. Once cool, melt the white chocolate in microwave. Dip the bottom of each Santa hat into the melted chocolate, shaking off any excess, then immediately dip into the coconut. Repeat with the ball on top of the hats. Transfer back to the parchment-lined baking sheets and let set.