Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Who ya gonna call?

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Remember those spooky stories Mrs. Withers the Librarian would tell in the darkened library in elementary school as Halloween crept closer? Remember her cackly voice and the cobwebs draped from the ceiling and the glowing skeletons lining the walls? And the record player howling in the backround? It was enough to scare an 8 year old, that's for sure!

You probably won't need the ghostbusters to handle these little ghosts, but they sure are cute and tasty! Serve them plain or try them with a chocolate and almond garnish, you won't be sorry!

Ghostly Almond Meringues   [click to print]
2 egg whites, room temp
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
silver dragees or other tiny round candies for eyes

1 c. chocolate chips, melted
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted and crushed

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare pastry bag or ziploc bag with half-inch round opening. Make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are very clean and free of soap or grease, or else your egg whites won't beat properly...or at all.

Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and extract on medium speed until frothy with a bit of volume. Slowly add the sugar, with the mixer still running at medium speed, over the course of about 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture should look smooth and white at this point.

Turn the mixer speed up to medium-high and continue beating until the mixture is thick, shiny and forms stiff peaks. It will kind of look like marshmallow fluff, but without all the air bubbles. It may take 15-20 minutes to get to this point.

Gently scoop the meringue into your bag and squeeze your ghosts onto the parchment paper. The meringue should be stiff enough to hold it's shape as you pipe. I found that it was easiest to move in small circles to form the ghost bodies, similar to how you would frost a cupcake. You want the base of the meringue cookie to be about 1to 2 inches wide. Add eyes.

Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour. Open the oven door an inch or two and continue to bake for 30 minutes. At this point the ghosts should no longer be sticky or wobbly when touched. If they still are, just leave them in the oven until they aren't. Turn off the oven and leave them until they come to room temperature.

They taste good now, but to make them even fancier, dip the base in melted chocolate and crushed almonds. Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

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