So let’s get one thing straight: I have a tiny confession to make.
Prior to this week, I had never eaten meringue cookies.
Not even meringue pie.
So. . . when I was searching around the interwebs for something to do with my leftover egg whites, and came across meringue cookies, I decided to give it a try. I have always been way too intimidated to try anything like meringues which seem so technical, but I decided I’d rather try than waste even more egg whites. I hate wasting food!
The only problem was, when I was finished making them, I didn’t know if they turned out right or not. I mean, how would I know if I had never eaten them before? After sampling my first attempt, I texted my hubby:
Are meringue cookies supposed to resemble candy-flavored packing styrofoam? If so, then SCORE!!!
Seriously. . . are they?
Well, either way, I like them. I think you will too.
I had to look around a bit at different recipes, as nothing I could find was exactly GAPS-legal. All of them required cream of tartar to help stiffen the egg whites. People on GAPS can’t have cream of tartar, so I decided to go ahead and try to wing it.
Don’t you love winging it? Yes, I have a lot of failures, but the successes more than make up for the failures.
Anyway, another issue I had was the recipes I was coming across called for wayyyyy too much sugar. And there I decided to wing it again using much less honey than the other recipes. They are still a little sweet to me as it is.
While egg whites are technically allowed beginning in later Stage 2 of the GAPS Intro diet, I would not call these GAPS-legal until Stage 6, when you are allowed to start eating more baked goods/sweets. So technically, I made these for my hubby, but I’ll have you know I did sneak a handful. I don’t recommend cheating, but in the spirit of full disclosure, cheat I did. (We’re on Stage 5, *almost* ready for Stage 6, so it wasn’t a huge cheat.)
P.S. These are not that pretty, as you can see. Sometimes food just doesn’t turn out pretty. I have a feeling the cream of tartar would have helped here, but alas. They still tasted so good. Plus, I couldn’t find the tip to my piping bag and had to stuff the meringue into a gallon-sized baggie. So, fail. They’re ugly. But they taste yummy! The caramelized honey reminds me of peanut brittle in a way. Let me know what you think if you try them.
- 1/3 cup raw, unfiltered honey
- 1/3 cup filtered water
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- Pinch sea salt
- candy thermometer (I ended up using my meat thermometer in a pinch and it worked fine)
- small pot
- stand mixer with whisk attachment – I suppose you could use a whisk attachment for your immersion blender or do it by hand, but I have not tried either of these methods so no promises
- 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper
- Optional, piping bag or large baggie
- Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. In your small pot, pour the honey and 1/3 cup water. Stir to mix and heat to around 225 degrees. (I wasn’t precise and it still worked fine.) The honey will bubble and turn darker and that’s okay.
- While you’re waiting for the honey to heat up, add the egg whites, teaspoon cold water, and salt to your mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on to medium speed.
- Once the honey starts getting closer to about 200 degrees, turn your mixer speed to high. You want the egg whites to form soft peaks. You’ll be able to tell it’s getting thicker.
- When the honey has reached 225 degrees, remove it from the stove and *carefully* pour it into the egg whites, while they’re being mixed. Keep a slow, steady stream going. The honey will probably splatter around the edge of your mixing bowl, and that’s okay.
- Once the honey is all poured in, keep mixing on high for another two minutes. There you have it – meringue!
- You can either spoon the meringue onto your cookie sheets (way easier said than done) or put it into a piping bag and pipe into pretty drop-shaped cookies. You can also use a baggie like I did, with a small tip cut off one corner.
- Now bake for around 45 minutes. Then vent your oven door (watch out for any little ones running around!) for several minutes to let them cool off slowly. Then remove them from the oven and, once cooled, remove them from the parchment paper.
- If you want more of a crunchier cookie (which I prefer), let them get a tiny bit browned on the edges. They will already be a beige color from the honey but you should be able to tell when they turn brown. If you like a more gooey, taffy-like cookie, then try to turn off the oven before they get too brown. Remember to vent the oven door for about 5 minutes. They will be hard when you tap them with your fingernail, like tapping a ping pong ball.
- I think this would make a good treat for birthday parties or other get-togethers, as long as everyone can have egg whites.
- My daughter, as you can see, is very quick. This picture makes me laugh. I love that sweet girl.