Meringue Candy - Besitos de Meringue

Meringues
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    80 min
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Here is a simple, basic meringue candy recipe from the Spanish islands of the Caribbean. These kisses are light, airy and sweet. Dress them up with a dusting of confectioner's sugar or cocoa powder or even a drizzle of melted chocolate.

This delicious confection originated in Europe and most likely found its way to the Caribbean with the European planters or colonists. No matter how it landed in the Caribbean, it's a sweet treat that everyone can enjoy. Why not give it a try?

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • zest of 1 lime (coarsely grated)
  • zest of 1 lemon (coarsely grated)
  • 3 egg whites (from large eggs, at room temperature)
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder for dusting meringues

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 200 F (93 C).
  2. Line a baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer (or use your stand mixer) beat the egg whites until frothy.
  4. Add the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla. Continue to beat until the whites stand up in soft peaks. Set the mixture aside.
  5. In a medium-size saucepan, combine sugar, water, the lemon zest and the lime zest.
  6. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat, swirling the pan by the handle. Boil the mixture until the temperature reaches 238 degrees Fahrenheit (114 Celsius) on your candy thermometer.
  7. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the sugar mixture through a coarse strainer (to remove the lemon and lime zest) into the bowl with the egg whites that you set aside earlier.
  8. Right away start beating the mixture on medium speed. Continue to beat until the egg white mixture stands in stiff peaks. This will take about 10 minutes.
  9. Using a pastry bag and 1/2 inch star tip, pipe the meringue onto the baking sheet into bite size, pointed swirls.
  10. Bake the kisses on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 1 hour.
  11. Remove the kisses from oven and let them cool. The meringues should loosen easily from the paper, and be light and crisp.
  12. Store the kisses in an airtight container on the countertop.

Cook's Notes:

Meringue candy can be sensitive to humidity. You might not want to attempt making meringue on a humid or rainy day.

You will need a candy thermometer, a pastry bag, and a 1/2 inch star tip for this recipe.