By food contributor Brittany
With Easter just around the corner I’m always trying to think of fun new ideas for themed desserts and these light meringue nests have become a favorite! Meringues might seem daunting to make, but they take few ingredients and are actually super easy to whip up, the only hard part is waiting for them to bake and cool.
Easter Meringue Nests
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
cocoa powder for dusting
Mini Chocolate Cadbury eggs
1. Preheat oven to 225ºF.
2. Prepare two large baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. On each piece of parchment paper, trace six 3-1.5 inch circles with a pencil.
3. Pour 5 large egg whites into a very clean, large bowl or the bowl of a mixer. It is very important to use a bowl and beaters that are well-cleaned and dried. Any grease on these items can prevent the egg whites from achieving stiff peaks.
4. With a hand or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat at low speed until the egg whites are foamy.
5. Add the cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium-high.
6. Add granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla extract until well blended. Continue beating until the egg whites form stiff peaks when you lift the beaters out of the egg mixture. You now have meringue.
Take note to not over beat the egg whites otherwise they can become grainy and dry.
7. Using a rubber spatula, gently transfer the meringue to a clean pastry bag with a large circular or star tip or you can use a large gallon ziplock bag with one of the corners cut to create a circle for the meringue to come out.
8.Pipe a meringue round onto the traced circles on the parchment paper. Then pipe 2 more circles on the border to create a nest shape.
9.Bake meringues for 45 minutes. Then turn off oven and let the meringues stand in oven for 1 hour. Remove and let it completely cool.
10. Dust with cocoa powder and top with mini Cadbury eggs.
Meringues are the best when freshly made but if you have some left over you can put them in a freezer ziplock bag or airtight container and freeze. When you’re ready to eat them, take them out and let them sit and they defrost in a matter of minutes. They are perfect for a last minute dessert topped with fruit or ice cream!