about 1 1/2 dozen ornaments
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup C&H® Confectioners Sugar
- colored sugar, edible glitter or sprinkles (optional)
Preheat oven to 225°F. Grease two large cookie sheets.
Create a stencil for the ornaments by using a sheet of parchment paper, cut to the same size as the cookie sheet. Trace the outline of a cookie cutter using a non-toxic colored pencil. Place the parchment paper, drawing-side down, on the cookie sheet. You should still be able to see the outline as a guide for your ornaments.
In a large glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff and glossy peaks form.
Spoon meringue into pastry bag with rosette tip. Pipe meringue directly onto parchment paper, following the stencils. You can either create framed shapes or fill centers of designs with more meringue.
Be sure to leave a space at the top of each ornament in order to thread a small ribbon for hanging once it has dried. Decorate with colored sugar, edible glitter or sprinkles, if desired.
Baking times vary, depending on the shape of the meringue. Follow these guidelines:
- For frame-style ornaments or those with a hollow center, bake 1 hour.
- For ornaments with a filled center, bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until center is firm to the touch.
Turn off oven, but leave ornaments in oven for 1/2 hour longer to dry. Carefully lift ornaments to wire racks to cool.
Meringue cookies are easy to make, but require special care to be at their lightest. Bake on cool cookie sheets. Do not double recipe unless there is adequate oven space. For best results, prepare on a dry day.
Clear vanilla extract will keep your meringue a crisp white color. It can be found at craft stores or wherever baking supplies are sold.