I was recently at Flour Bakery for one of Joanne Chang’s yummy salads. With such an amazing display of baked goods, there was no way I was leaving empty- handed. I purchased a beautiful pillowy meringue with a raspberry coulis. The fresh raspberry sauce is swirled in before baking using a wooden skewer or chopstick. In honor of Valentine’s day, I created these light crispy cookies at home.
Meringues are low in calories and a naturally gluten and dairy free dessert. These cookies are flavored with a sauce that’s a combination of fresh raspberries, sugar and fresh lemon juice. Each step in making a meringue is important. The egg whites and sugar are whipped until they form stiff peaks, and usually need an acid like cream of tarter or vinegar for some help achieve these high peaks. The eggs whites should be at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you whip them. It’s important to use a clean mixing bowl with no trace of any fat in it, and the egg whites should have no trace of yolks. A low oven temperature allows the meringues to dry out. The trays will remain in the oven for a few hours even after you’ve turned it off. When the meringues are done, you are rewarded with light, delicious red and white meringue cookies.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Pass the raspberry sauce through a strainer to remove the seeds. Place strained raspberry sauce in a bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking pads (Silpat). In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, start whipping the egg whites on low speed until the eggs start to foam and then increase the speed to high. Add the cream of tarter. As the eggs start to turn white and come together add the cup of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat the eggs until they become stiff and shiny. You are looking for stiff peaks. You can remove the whisk attachment and hold it up to test the peaks.
Sift the powdered sugar and salt together to remove lumps. Once the eggs whites are at stiff peaks, remove the bowl from the mixer and carefully fold in the powdered sugar.
Using a large ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out a ball size amount of the meringue batter onto the lined baking sheets. Drizzle about a teaspoon of the strawberry coulis over each meringue and swirl using a wooden skewer or chopstick, adding more raspberry sauce as needed.
Bake the meringues for about 3-4 hours or more, until they dry out completely and are crispy when broken. The meringues can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.