Forgotten Feast Friday: Wintergreen Meringues
It's so cold today! But being cooped up to stay out of the snow has put me in the mood for warming up the house with the aroma of baking cookies. Yum! Since this last Wildcraft Wednesday I wrote about the health benefits of Wintergreen, I thought it would be appropriate to incorporate delicious Wintergreen berries into this week's recipe, and what better way than to whip 'em up into little minty tree cookies?! Now, of course, these sugary little meringues are definitely a treat, not a health-conscious recipe! But it's great to know that Wintergreen berries are high in Vitamin C and contain a chemical compound similar to aspirin that can reduce muscle tension, so if you're snacking on them raw while you bake, you'll get the health benefits of the raw berry and a rewarding treat in the end!
4 chilled egg whites (no yolks!)
1 cup of white sugar
1/8 cup of wintergreen berries, finely chopped
green food coloring
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line two cookie trays with parchment paper and fit piping/frostin bag with a round tip, or cut the corner off of a resealable bag. In a bowl, with a standing mixer (at medium high) or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites for 2-3 minutes, or until foamy and light. Continuing to mix more slowly, gradually add the sugar.
Once the sugar is fully incorporated, mix again at high speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and forms stiff peaks. At a medium speed, add your food coloring, and then fold your chopped wintergreen berries into the mix. Pour your meringue mixture into your piping bag to pipe into about 48 trees, each about an inch in diameter. You can decorate your little trees with sprinkles or sugar pearls now, or you can wait until after they are done baking before decorating them with fondants or chocolates.
Bake your cookies for 2 hours, turning the pan 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. If there is any sign of browning, reduce the oven temperature to 175 degrees. When your trees are crispy and easy to remove from the tray, they're done! Best eaten at room temperature.
Enjoy, and stay warm!