Don’t Make Meringues in the rain….
Moisture is the enemy when making meringues. When it’s humid or raining the dampness will prevent the egg whites from forming into stiff peaks. Needless to say, I made these about a month ago on a humid day. They were still good, just a little flat.
Some other tips –
Allow the eggs whites to warm to room temperature.
Always make sure all tools used for making meringue are freshly washed, dried and free of any grease or oils, which cause the egg whites not to foam up correctly.
Do not touch the egg whites or foam with your fingers or oil can transfer causing the meringue not to set and stiffen.
And, most importantly, DO NOT get any speck of yolk in the egg whites!
Lemon Meringues Cookies
2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Place two racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Foil will also work in a pinch. Set the baking pans aside.
Place the egg whites (save the yolks for the curd) in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat egg whites, on medium speed, until foamy. Add the pinch of salt and increase speed to medium-high. Slowly begin to sprinkle in the sugar. Continue to beat eggs until they become thick, glossy and hold stiff peeks. The egg whites will be the consistency of melted marshmallow.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Spoon into a piping bag, fitted with a large star tip. Pipe about a teaspoons worth of meringue onto the baking sheet. Stars can be close together, as they won’t spread or puff during baking. Pipe stars onto the two baking sheets until no meringue remains in the bag. Using the back of a spoon, flatten out half of the meringue stars, making them as flat as possible, but not necessarily a larger circle than the original piped star. The flattened star will become the bottom of the sandwich cookie.
Bake meringues for 2 hours, until no longer sticky , but firm and hardened.