MERINGUE SANTA HATS

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Christmas Magic -

Prepa­ra­tion time 1 hour plus 30 mins cool­ing Cook­ing time 1 hour Makes about 30

3 free-range egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tar­tar

1/8 tsp salt

Red food colour­ing paste or gel Melted white choco­late and

white sprin­kles, to dec­o­rate

STEP 1 Pre­heat oven to 100°C fan-forced (120° con­ven­tional). Line an oven tray with bak­ing pa­per. STEP 2 Beat egg whites in a large bowl us­ing an elec­tric mixer un­til soft peaks form. Grad­u­ally add sugar, about 1 ta­ble­spoon at a time, beat­ing on high un­til stiff peaks form (when the tips stand straight). Beat in cream of tar­tar, salt and colour­ing, a lit­tle at a time to achieve a deep red. STEP 3 Spoon meringue into a new dis­pos­able pas­try bag fit­ted with a large round tip. Pipe meringue into 3cm tall hat shapes that are wider at the base. Pull top part to the side to cre­ate a hat tip. Sprin­kle with red sugar (see be­low). Bake for 1 hour un­til meringues are set but not firm, then cool in oven (turned off) for 30 min­utes. Care­fully trans­fer hats to wire rack. Fin­ish with melted choco­late and sprin­kles.

FOR RED SUGAR Mas­sage 1/2 tsp red food colour­ing into 1/2 cup crys­tal sugar in a sealed snap-lock bag. Spread on tray. Dry and store in an air­tight jar.

MERINGUE CHRIST­MAS TREES

STEP 1 Fol­low Steps 1 and 2 of Santa hats ex­cept beat in the same amount of green food colour­ing paste or gel. STEP 2 Spoon meringue into a new dis­pos­able pas­try bag fit­ted with a large star or round tip. Pipe meringue into 3cm tall spi­rals that are wider at the base and nar­rower at the top. Lightly cover with sprin­kles of choice. Bake and cool as in Step 3 of Santa hats (if mak­ing larger trees, bake for 11/2 hours). If de­sired, sift pow­dered sugar over fin­ished trees for a snowy ef­fect. Store at room tem­per­a­ture in an air­tight con­tainer for up to 3 days, lay­ered be­tween bak­ing pa­per, or freeze for up to 3 months.

You can use these gor­geous lit­tle trees as ta­ble de­cos un­til it’s time for dessert!

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