Three Generations in our Christmas Kitchen
by Christy Canzler
I've posted this recipe before, for Valentines Day - tinted a light pink. This is the Christmas version, striped like a candy cane. I was joined by my beautiful daughter Cora and my sweet little granddaughter, Lydia. Oh my heart! They were visiting from the southeast and we seized this precious moment to make memories in the kitchen together.
I've found that young children are drawn to the kitchen and to cooking. They feel important, and begin to appreciate the importance of food and family - the ties that bind.
You will need a pastry bag - or make your own pastry bag by snipping the corner off a zip-loc bag. You will also need a large star tip and red gel food coloring - both can be found at the craft store along with the egg white powder. To make the striped effect, paint stripes of gel food coloring inside the bag lengthwise.
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 Cup water
3/4 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 drop red food coloring
Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and pre-heat oven to 225°
Whip the meringue powder and water and half the sugar for 5 minutes. Slowly add the remaining sugar, the almond extract and food coloring, then whip for 5 more minutes.
Your meringue should be very fluffy and dry. Fill a very clean pastry bag (fitted with pastry tip) with the meringue. I like to use various star tips.
Pipe meringues onto the baking sheets, bake for about an hour. They should be dry, but not browned. Turn the oven off and open the door. Let cool inside of the oven.