If you remember our post about homemade ice cream, you may recall that we had to use eight egg yolks for the recipe. That means we were stuck with eight egg whites when we were done, and we weren't going to throw them away. So the search began for something to do with them.
Sure, I could have made a lemon meringue pie, but I looked a bit further and discovered something I had never tried–Meringue Cookies. I found a recipe in the River Cottage Family Cookbook that Jesse got for his birthday last year and decided to try it out.
The cookies aren't the goopy, sticky meringue that you're used to on a pie, but are slowly baked at a low temperature until they're thoroughly dried. You're left with a truly unique cookie that Jesse says feels a little like styrofoam. That doesn't sound too appetizing, but once you taste them, with their hint of sweetness, you'll be a convert.
The recipe can be found in great detail here and is quite simple. Summed up, you take 2 egg whites and whip until peaks form. Then add 1/4 cup of sugar and whip until you've got firm peaks. Fold in another 1/4 cup of sugar, and then drop them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for two hours in a 200 degree F oven. The recipe makes about 12-14 good size cookies.
They are so simple and so delicious like a light and airy toffee with a cotton candy flavour.
If you're making ice cream, don't feel like you have to make meringues right away. You can always freeze the whites and thaw when you're ready.