If you are one of those last-minute-gifters looking for a Valentine goody, stand still for a minute. These Meringue Kisses are just what you were looking for. I bet you have all the ingredients in your house already. They take no time at all to make and are a perfect gift for the one(s) you love.
Wrap them up in cellophane with a red bow, or serve them for dessert. They last for days and taste great with a little bit of espresso or tea.
- 4 egg whites (large eggs!)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- 14/ teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- nutella, or melted bittersweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 225. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Crack the eggs carefully. No yolks in the whites! Pop the whites into a stand mixer if you have one, or in a bowl and add the vanilla and almond and the salt. Whisk away on high until frothy but no peaks are formed.
Mix the sugar with the cornstarch (no lumps) and with the mixer on medium pour the sugar mixture in a steady stream at the edge of the bowl until it is incorporated. Scrape the bowl once with a spatula to make sure all the sugar is incorporated. Now whiz on highest speed until stiff peaks form and the stuff looks glossy. Should take less than a minute.
If you are brave, use a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch plain tip, or a ziplock bag to pipe the Meringues onto the cookie sheets. If that makes you nervous, just spoon little blobs on the cookie sheet and use a twist of the spoon to shape them into little kisses. They should look homemade so don't worry about perfection! You can place them very close together on the cookie sheets.
Bake 30 minutes and rotate the baking sheets. Add another 35 minutes to the cooking time and then turn off the oven and don't open the door! Leave them in there another 60 minutes. Remove and let them cool before handling.
While they cool, gently melt the chocolate (in a water bath or the microwave) or nutella until spreadable. Let the mixture cool somewhat. Take two Meringues and spread some nutella or chocolate on the bottom of one cookie. Attach the other cookie (a sandwhich) and there is your kiss. Let them cool a bit before packaging.