Meringue is simply beaten egg whites + sugar. Some people use it as "icing" on the cake, some people bake it into cookies. We decided to make cookies. We got the recipe from the internet and it seems like a very standard straightforward recipe.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Lined a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Beat the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar while continuing to beat until they hold stiff peak. (note: we beat the egg white for more than 15 minutes. It took a lot longer to reach stiff peak, and I think the main reason is that there were a tiny amount of egg yolk "contaminant". This is a big no no.)
- Drop small mounds of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Turn off oven, and leave the cookies in the oven for 2 more hours, or until centers are dry. Remove from pan and store in an airtight container.
We didn't bake the meringue for 1 hour as instructed because the meringue began to turn brown in 15 minutes and we weren't sure if it will burn if we let it baked longer.
Also, the meringue did not hold its shape after we took it out and we figured the reason was that the center was still soft. Perhaps we should trust the recipe and bake the meringue for 1 hour instead. Some even suggested 1.5 hours of baking.
The million dollar question is this.....
How on earth do people make meringue cookies that look white? Heat + egg white = browning. No?