Meringue Blossoms

Airy and sweet, these surprisingly low-fat desserts are easier to make than you think.

By The Editors

Fairy Parties by Colleen Mullaney

What is a child's party without magical desserts? Made largely of egg whites and sugar, Meringue Blossoms are light, airy confections you can customize with food coloring and sprinkles. Adapted from Colleen Mullaney's Fairy Parties: Recipes, Crafts, and Games for Enchanting Celebrations (Chronicle Books), they'll keep for quite a while in an airtight container, so don't be afraid to make them days before your grandchild's get-together.

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Ingredients:
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
Red food coloring
Water for brushing
Pink and green sugar sprinkles for decorating

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat in the cream of tartar and vanilla. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. Using one very small drop at a time, fold in the red food coloring with a rubber spatula until the mixture is a light pink.

3. Spoon the mixture (in batches if necessary) into a plastic pastry bag fitted with an open star tip and form large S shapes on the prepared baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the oven door closed for at least 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pan. Using a pastry brush, paint each meringue very lightly with water and sprinkle with sugar crystals.

Serves 6 fairies

Adapted from Fairy Parties © 2010 by Colleen Mullaney. Photographs by Jack Deutsch. Reprinted with permission of Chronicle Books.

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