I’m officially getting excited. Almost there. I’m heading back home TONIGHT to beautiful Vancity for my sister’s wedding! I can hardly wait although I’m sure it will be waterworks and emo-ness throughout especially since it will be open bar. I love weddings. Open-bar weddings =)
Aside from all the family gatherings, I just can’t wait to see my friends and explore around with my guy. Let’s call him P. I will be sure to stuff my face with all the lovely fresh seafood and I’m especially excited about the freshly shucked oysters in Yaletown. Also, P will be attempting to teach me better my driving skills. 11 times for the written test and begging (literally) to pass my driving test, amazing I was given a driver’s license. After multiple of incidents, I’m hesitant to drive and I’ve forgotten really how! Maybe I was never too sure how…lol. But it’s either that or ride a bike. And no one wants helmet hair right?
Back to point is….I’ve been aging my left-over egg whites for now 24 hours and they should be at the perfect stage to whip lovely peaks. I’ve decided on a lighter snack since there will be much feasting in the coming weeks and I’ve altered my bridesmaid dress to be a bit snug. Thanks for not judging -.-”
With a couple of fresh lemons and plenty of almonds in stock, I’m opting to go for a Lemon Almond Meringue Cookie. Meringue is an interesting word: I would like to dedicate this to my dear friend JG. I’m sure you know why =) hehe
As I started this blog, my goal was really to try to go back to things that I’m passionate about and I’ve always wanted to become a more curious person (since that’s really how you will learn things and develop hobbies!) as well as to be more patient. Really. What better than meringue?
These almond-infused goodies have amazing chewy texture with a slight crunch from the nuts. Melt-in-mouth factor is HIGH. I seriously just ate 6 of these fresh from the oven!!! Only reason I stopped is to wait for the next batch’s…emm…taste test =) Hoping my nieces will enjoy these too!! THEY ARE VERY PICKY EATERS. Oddly enough, both of my nieces do NOT like anything too sweet! Their favorite dessert is fruit. And my older niece would pick cheese and olives over ice-cream any day! Talk about sophisticated taste…hopefully they will like these cookies!!
First. My curiosity on the following dilemma:
Separated egg whites vs egg whites substitute:
For any recipe calling for only egg whites, I’m always hesitant since I’d hate to waste the egg yolk and I personally don’t feel comfortable keeping them in the fridge for too long either. Most commonly, I just add an extra yolk to my omelette or reserve it to brush my dinner roles/ pie crusts for that golden-yellow glow. Not sure if I’m the only one but I’ve always wondered whether I can use egg white substitutes like egg beaters to do the job. BUT apparently, there’s extra nutrients added and some substitutes even have xanthan gum and flavoring added. The main reason really is that he is generally pasteurized (i.e. heating close to the temperature at which whites being to coagulate/cook) which prevents them from developing a stable and stiff meringue. Verdict? Go with naturally separated egg whites and keep them in room temperature for an hour prior to whipping as you get better results since warmer eggs whip faster than cold eggs.
Working on my patience?
You may find recommendations on aging the whites longer but for convenience sake I’ve always just took them out of the fridge in room temperature an hour prior to whipping. But given I’ve been having more time lately and really trying to be an overall more patient person…I did go with aging them for 24 hours and the results are AMAZING! As lazy as I am, I’d have to say I would definitely be patience, age em’ whites and have better results =)
To achieve the best results for your egg whites:
- Age them in room temperature for 24 hours minimum
- Make sure your whisk and bowl are spotlessly clean and dry as any residue (or grease) will kill egg whites
- Make sure during separation process to not get any egg yolk into the egg white mixture as this also causes deflation of the egg whites
- Use natural eggs separated versus egg substitutes
Lemon Almond Meringues (adapted from: www.joythebaker.com)
Recipe makes around 2 dozen small meringues (I made x3 of the recipe below since they go FAST!!)
- 1/4 cup finely ground almonds (I just used almond flour for convenience)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 large egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (around 93 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Use a food processor to finely grind almonds (or in my case, I used almond flour or you can simply just chop very finely your whole almonds as only different would be crunchier texture of the cookie). Place them on one of the lined baking sheets and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place in small bowl, toss in cornstarch and set aside to cool.
- In another small bowl, beat egg whites (must use electric mixer) and a pinch of salt on medium speed. Beat until frothy peaks form. Then increase mixer speed to medium high and gradually add in the sugar. Then follow with the lemon juice. Beat until mixture is glossy and white and holds stiff peaks (i.e around 5 – 7 minutes)
- Add in ground almond mixture and lemon zest. Gently fold together until mixture is thoroughly incorporated.
- Transfer meringue. Several options: 1. Transfer meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip (super cute!), 2. Simply use a large spoon to dollop meringue onto lined baking sheet, 3. Transfer into a large resealable (ziplock) bag and cut a tip and use as if pastry bag. Create 2 inch circles using any of the above methods. Note: you don’t have to space them apart much since they won’t spread during baking process!I
- Generously sift powdered sugar on top of the meringues. Top with silvered almonds.
- Place sheet trays in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Then turn off oven, open the door a crack, and leave meringues in the oven until they’re completely dry. When cool, remove meringues from the baking sheet and enjoy! Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.