This may be my most hurried Let’s Lunch post ever, because today is crazy and I’m trying to do a zillion things at once, which may explain why this post, which was due for lunch today, is only just showing up now, an hour before dinner, and which may explain why I’m typing nearly as quickly as I’m thinking, but these little treats are best for dessert anyway, so after you’ve enjoyed your eggy lunches, you can settle into a handful of these, right?
So please excuse typos and run-on sentences.
My original plan was to make giant meringues. The kind they sell in the bakery nearest my house. Big, puffy, cloud-like confections that H and I can’t resist. Meringues seemed like the perfect solution to this month’s Let’s Lunch theme of eggs because, well, I don’t like eggs. There. I said it.
To be clear, I love eggs as objects. They are perfect and beautiful and magical. They are elegant creations of nature. And I love what eggs do in a cake or even in fried rice. But eggs on their own, scrambled, fried, or poached are not for me (“And I am not for them,” Beatrice would say). If I can taste the egg, I don’t want it.
I know this probably makes me nearly inhuman. So be it. Eggs and I have not been on speaking terms since I was a kid, forced to finish my plate of the scrambled variety, and I don’t imagine that will change at this point.
Anyway, back to the meringues. Not only do they fit the theme, but they’re perfectly kosher for Passover, which starts this evening. Deal sealed.
The plan was for giants, and then H expressed an interest in colored ones, and then I thought about flavoring them (rose water, or earl grey, or..). In the end, lack of time and uncooperative egg whites that never wanted to reach the stiff peak stage helped guide me to this creation: mini meringue buttons.
I dosed the meringue heavily with brilliant food coloring to get the tones I wanted. I didn’t get around to flavoring them, but next time I’ll try that.
H says they remind her of those little candy drops affixed to paper strips. She’s right. I like those.
So, here, for your enjoyment, are mini meringue buttons. Color them to suit the occasion. We’ve colored ours SPRING!
Take a look at what the rest of the Let’s Lunch crew came up with this month! And if you want to join in the fun for the May challenge (“a dish that bridges two cuisines”), just follow the #letslunch tag in Twitter. We’d love to have lunch with you!
Scrambled Eggs and Tomatoes ~ from Grace at HapaMama
Fried Eggs and Omelets, Wok-style ~ from Eleanor at WokStar
Egg and Onions ~ from Lisa at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Biscuit Crust Breakfast Pizza ~ from In foodie fashion
Leek, ham, and percorino souffles ~ from Charissa at Zest Bakery
Homemade Cadbury Eggs ~ from Linda at Free Range Cookies
Beet dye and pink deviled eggs ~ from Denise at Chez Us
Eggs in a hole ~ From Emma at Dreaming of pots and pans
The Perfect Sandwich ~ from Felicia at burnt-out baker
Kimchi deviled eggs ~ from Joe at Joe Yonan
Molecular gastronomy “eggs” ~ from Karen at GeoFooding
Singapore-style Chai Poh scramble ~ from Cheryl at A Tiger in the Kitchen
Taiwanese tomato eggs ~ from Linda at spicebox travels
Old-fashioned boiled dressing & chicken salad ~ from Lucy at A Cook and Her Books
Bombay (spicy French) toasts ~ from Rashda at Hot Curries & Cold Beer
Son-in-law eggs ~ from Nancy at Nancie McDermott
Egg chaud froid ~ from Vivian at Vivan Pei
Mini Meringue Buttons
Yield: About a 100 buttons (give or take)
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter (this is optional; I don’t usually make meringues with this, but I tried it this time; maybe that was my problem?)
- 1 cup superfine sugar (some people prefer to use a mixture of granulated and powdered sugar; follow your preference)
- Food coloring (this is the kind I use)
- Position three oven racks so they are evenly spaced, then preheat the oven to 225ºF.
- Line three half sheet pans with parchment paper (some people use foil lightly sprayed with oil).
- Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer (use the whisk attachment for either type of mixer) on low until the eggs are frothy.
- Add the cream of tarter (if using).
- With the mixer at medium-high speed, beat the egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage.
- While beating, very gradually add the sugar so that it blends in and dissolves completely.
- Beat until the stiff peak stage and the meringue is shiny.
- Divide the meringue into separate bowls, one for each color you plan to make.
- Add several drops of food coloring to each bowl, and mix well, either with a hand whisk or the hand mixer.
- Scrape the contents of one bowl into a small ziplock bag, seal the bag, then snip the corner off, and pipe small dots onto a prepared pan.
- Repeat with the other colors, using a fresh bag for each color to keep the colors separate.
- Bake the meringues for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, turn the oven off and allow the meringues to finish in the oven for another hour.
- Remove from the oven to cool on the parchment paper.
- When the meringues are cool, slide a thin metal spatula under each to remove them from the parchment.
You can store meringues for a couple of days in a cool, dark place (they hate humidity). A tightly sealed container in the refrigerator works well.