sarah: (whip it)
[personal profile] sarah
Since you've got all those egg whites left over from making the creme brulee, let's make some meringues!

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
5 egg whites (from large eggs), at room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (or a bit of lemon juice -- something acidic to set the egg whites)

Preheat oven to 200° F (95° C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over high heat, stirring occasionally but gently (you don't want it to splash up the sides and solidify). Cook until the syrup hits 240° F (115° C).

Meanwhile, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. You can be awesome and do this the traditional way with a whisk and a lot of elbow grease, but I cheat and use a stand mixer. Mix until you have soft peaks (about 3 mins on medium speed).

With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the hot sugar syrup. I recommend a gravy spoon or a ladle, rather than trying to handle a hot pot over a moving appliance. Increase speed to high and whip until it's nicely thickened.

Now, you can do these the pretty way, with a piping bag and fancy tips, or you can do it the ugly-but-still-delicious way with a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off (as seen in the photo below). Doesn't matter! Just spoon your meringue into the bag, and portion out onto the baking sheet. These don't really spread while baking, not like your usual cookies.

In my oven, I bake at 200° F for two hours, until they're slightly golden, then I turn off the oven and leave them in there for another hour. I've seen recipes that say bake for 45 mins, then leave in the warm oven for two more hours, but I find they're still a little gooey in the middle when I do that. Depends on the oven! If you try one, and it's sticking to the parchment paper, or it's still chewy inside, then turn the oven back on and give it more time.




Meringue recipe from Serious Eats, and a concordance of baking times and temps from all over the interwebs.
sarah: (tart)
[personal profile] sarah
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 standard ice cube (about 2 tablespoons frozen water)
10 ounces (about 2 cups) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
5 ounces (about 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 ounces (about 1/2 tightly packed cup plus 2 tablespoons) dark brown sugar
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped with a knife into 1/2- to 1/4-inch chunks
Coarse sea salt for ganish

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, gently swirling pan constantly, until particles begin to turn golden brown and butter smells nutty, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and continue swirling the pan until the butter is a rich brown, about 15 seconds longer. Transfer to a medium bowl, whisk in ice cube, transfer to refrigerator, and allow to cool completely, about 20 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Place granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium high speed until mixture is pale brownish-yellow and falls off the whisk in thick ribbons when lifted, about 5 minutes.

Fit paddle attachment onto mixer. When brown butter mixture has cooled (it should be just starting to turn opaque again and firm around the edges), add brown sugar and cooled brown butter to egg mixture in stand mixer. Mix on medium speed to combine, about 15 seconds. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until just barely combined but some dry flour still remains, about 15 seconds. Add chocolate and mix on low until dough comes together, about 15 seconds longer. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate dough at least overnight and up to three days.

When ready to bake, adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 325°F. Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or a spoon, place scoops of cookie dough onto a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Each ball should measure approximately 3 tablespoons in volume and you should be able to fit 6 to 8 balls on each sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown around edges but still soft, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating pans back to front and top and bottom half way through baking.

Remove baking sheets from oven. While cookies are still hot, sprinkle very lightly with coarse salt and gently press it down to embed. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
1/2 lb. butter softened to room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups SIFTED flour
Sugar sprinkles, red and green

Combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk and beat heavily until thoroughly mixed. Slowly sift in flour. The dough will be thick and heavy; spoon out tablespoons, roll them in a ball, and press them against cookie sheets with your fingers. (Making rude pictures and/or smiley faces in the top of each cookie is optional.) Sprinkle each cookie with a generous heaping of sugar sprinkles. Resist the temptation to eat the leftover dough; it's got egg yolks in it.

Bake at 300 degrees until golden brown - about 20-25 minutes.

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