Glazed Christmas Tree Meringues

Christmas Tree Meringues

Ingredients-Meringues
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

2. Place the egg whites and granulated sugar in a mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water and heat, whisking occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot, about 3 minutes.

3. Transfer bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff dry peaks form and bottom of bowl is cool to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes. Fold in the cornstarch and vinegar. Transfer meringue to a large pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip (such as Ateco #829).

4. Pipe small dots of combined meringue in corners of prepared baking sheets to secure parchment. Holding pastry bag at a 90-degree angle about ½ inch above parchment, pipe base layer of each tree, about 2 inches in diameter, in a swirling fashion. Pipe a smaller layer on top, followed by an even smaller top layer.

5. Transfer baking sheets to oven and reduce heat to 200 degrees. Bake until meringues feel firm but are still pliable and are not taking on any color, about 2 hours. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Trees can be stored in a single layer (without touching) in an airtight container up to 1 week.

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Ingredients-Glaze
3 large egg whites
4 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
ColorKitchen colored powders: green, red and yellow
glycerin or water for mixing colors     

Directions
1. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir egg whites, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl until a thick paste forms with no dry spots. Ideally, glaze should sit at least 12 hours for sugar to fully hydrate, but it can be used as soon as meringues have cooled.

Or, you can cover and chill up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.

2. Separate the glaze into 3 bowls. One large bowl for the green and 2 tiny bowls for the red and yellow. In separate bowls mix ColorKitchen powders with glycerin or water to form a smooth paste. Starting slowly add a little color to the glaze. Continue adding color until you like the colors of the glazes. Cover your bowls of colored glaze well with plastic to avoid them drying out until you are ready to start decorating.

3. The red and yellow glaze should be fairly stiff for piping the star and the tiny red dots. The green however needs to be very runny for dipping the trees. Before you start adding green ColorKitchen paste, add some additional egg white to the bowl and whisk gently till you like the consistency.

4. Set a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet for drying your trees. Holding the bottom of the tree dip the tree in your green glaze. Roll it around to get the sides if your bowl is not very deep. Lift up the tree and let the excess glaze drip off into the bowl. Then gently set your tree on your baking sheet to dry. Repeat with remaining trees.

5. Once your trees are dry to the touch, you can pipe on the star top and the red dots for decorations. Use either a tiny round pastry tip or a piece of parchment rolled into a cone and snipped at the tip.

6. Once your trees are finished let them dry over night before storing them in a single layer in an airtight container for a week.

- Recipe by chef Rose Archer