These meringue kisses are very easy to make and are a great sweet snack. They can be eaten on their own, sandwiched with ganache or butter cream for a more indulgent treat, or they can be added to other desserts like an eton mess.
They're quick to whip up, but do need to spend quite a while cooking and drying, so plan ahead if you're making them for something special.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour (plus 1 hour drying time)
Makes: About 100 mini kisses
Start by separating your egg whites. Don't throw out the yolks. You can use them to make something sweet like this tamarillo crème brûlée or a custard, or even some homemade mayonaise or aioli.
Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl, and whisk until they start getting frothy.
Once the whites have reached this stage, gradually add in the sugar. Once whites reach soft peaks, add in the vanilla bean paste.
Continue whipping the whites until they have formed stiff peaks. This means the mix will form peaks without flopping over. It should also feel smooth if you rub it between your fingers.
Decide how many different colours you're using, and then divide the meringue mix into that many bowls. Add a few drops of food colouring to each, and stir to combine. The sugar makes the meringue more stable, but try not to over mix too much.
Make sure you start with only a couple of drops, then adjust so till you're happy with the final colour. You can always add more colour, but you can't take it away once it's added.
Place a medium-sized star piping tip into a large plastic piping bag. Then fill the piping bag with one of the meringue colours.
Line two baking trays with baking paper, use a small dab of meringue to stick down the corners.
Hold the bag upright, and start piping small star shapes on the baking paper. The meringues won't expand during baking, so you don't have to leave as much room as you would for something like cookies.
Place the trays in the oven, and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Check the meringue is cooked (I recommend popping one in your mouth to check). Leave them in the oven to cool down and crisp up a little more.
The meringue kisses should be crisp, but melt in your mouth. They can be eaten straight away, or stored in an airtight container for later.