Friday, May 6, 2011

DIY: Mother's Day Treat Jar with Cocoa Meringue Cookies

I love Mason Jars, I did a treat jar for my mother for Mother's Day. I tied some ribbon around the jar, I then used my Cricut Machine to do some diecuts for the pennant tie around and the flowers on top. I really love just taking a Mason Jar and jazzing it up with diecuts and ribbon, it's really easy DIY gift that only takes a few minutes!

I almost did a print out of the Mother's Day saying but I figured my mom would want something personal. I filled the jar with Cocoa Meringue Cookies! These are delicious and easy to make if you know how to do a Meringue. If not, it's okay I didn't either but I have some tips to share that I found helped make this batch.

I overexposed the pic just a little bit, the reason being is that Meringue cookies that are tinted brown just don't look right in a picture, lol.

There is a right way and a very wrong way to do Meringue cookies.

Here is the right way:

and here is the very very wrong way:

Bad Batch, Bad!

I am no Meringue expert, in fact the "wrong" picture was my second attempt and finally I mastered it with that last attempt. Here is what I have learned about doing Meringue:

Sort the egg whites from the yolks when the eggs are cold. BE careful, do not let any of the yolk drip or the fat saturates the yolks and it will not work.

Let the egg whites sit in a glass bowl for about 30 minutes so they obtain room temperature. It is important to use a non-reactive bowl and utensil when doing a Meringue. This is a non-porus items such as stainless steel and glass.

Do not add anything to those egg whites until they peak. I mixed my yolks with a hand mixer (use a mixer, your arm will fall off if you try to mix a Meringue without a mixer) for about 5 minutes. It won't look like much is happening until about minute number 4, continue until they make those soft "peaks". Which means you can take the mixer in and out and it forms mountain peaks basically.

Heat oven to 300 Degrees

Here is my recipe:
3 Egg Whites
1/2 tsp of Vanilla
1/8 tsp of Cream of Tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
Chocolate chips if you so desire

Beat the egg whites according to the directions above. Once you have your peaks, slowly add your Vanilla and Tartar while continuing to use the hand mixer. Then, gradually and I mean sloooowwwlly add your sugar while still using the hand mixer. Once your soft peaks are back and the sugar is dissolved, take a spoon and stir in the cocoa.

I decided to do half the batch with and half the batch without dark chocolate chips. I would say they were both fabulous, I dusted the chocolate chip portioned cookies with additional unsweetened cocoa.

Cook in the oven at 300 degrees for about 9-10 minutes.

Let harden then serve!

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