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Friday, 31 January 2020

Strawberry Meringue Hearts for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is sneaking up on us again so I figured it was about time I shared the treats that the girls gave out to their classmates last Valentine's Day. I know, I know... always on time!

For her 8th birthday Lola had an emoji themed birthday party (which you can see here) and one of the biggest hits with the kids were the poop emoji chocolate meringues that I made. I totally need to share THAT recipe here too. I'll get there! Anyway, I made up an extra batch of the poop emoji chocolate meringues to hand out to her classmates to celebrate her birthday at school and they LOVED them. I'm talking kids coming up to me every day at drop off asking if I had more of them to hand out. Kids love sugar!

Anyway, when it came time to work on Valentine's treats for Lola's class I just knew that we had to modify the poop emoji meringue recipe into something a little more fitting for the day. What could be more fitting than pink love hearts? With cutesy eyes, of course! Needless to say, they went down a treat. In fact, Lola is keen to make them again this year for her new class.


These tasty little treats are super easy to make and look the part for Valentine's Day, so today I'm sharing the recipe with you.

Here's what you'll need:
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 Cup powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Suagr
1/4 Teaspoon cream of tartar
Red/pink food coloring
Strawberry flavoring
Candy eyes
Piping bag or large ziplock bag


Preheat oven to 225F/110C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high until foamy.


Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.


Add the powdered sugar and granulated sugar and continue beating until egg whites are stiff and shiny. 


Add a few drops of the red or pink food coloring and a few drops of the strawberry flavoring. Beat until the color is uniform.


Using a spatula, transfer the meringue mix into your piping bag or ziplock bag.


If you're using a ziplock bag, squeeze out the excess air and seal it tight before making a small snip across on corner.


Pipe the meringue mixture into heart shapes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. You may want to practice a few on a smaller piece of baking paper first. As you can see from my pics below, not all of mine looked quite like hearts at first!


Bake for 1 hour until meringues are dry and firm. Turn off the oven and let the meringues sit for about 15 minutes before removing.

Leave the meringues on the baking paper and transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Once the meringue are cool, gently peel each one away from the baking paper.
 

Don't they look pretty? You could totally leave them as is, but I like the addition of eyes for added cuteness. To add the eyes, mix some powdered sugar with a little water to make a "glue". Dab a small amount of the "glue" on the back of each eye and place it on the meringue. 


So cute! So tasty too!

We packaged ours up in small cello bags and added a simple card topper to each.


Tips:
Here are a few things I learned while making these meringue hearts - AKA mistakes I made so that you don't have to!

Do not, I repeat, do not, attempt to use carton egg whites. I made this mistake thinking it would be easier and would be less of a waste but they do not stiffen no matter how much you beat them. Always use fresh egg whites.

Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature. Just like the carton egg whites, they won't stiffen if they're too cold. They will eventually get there, but it will take you a long time.

If the mixture isn't as thick as you'd like, add a little more powdered sugar.

When attaching the eyes, make sure that the icing is not too runny. This could cause the meringue to dissolve a little when you attach the eyes.

If putting meringues in cello bags, make sure they are completely cooled and dried first to avoid condensation. 

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