Meringue is the secret to these sweet fudgy lavender-scented cookies. Easy, quick and delicious, these are a perfect homemade gift for the holiday season. For a festive touch, place kisses in small cellophane bag and tie with a bow. Your friends and family will cherish this sweet expression of your love!
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup lavender sugar*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*Note: To make lavender sugar, combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon lavender buds. Place in food processor and blend into a fine powder. Add to 1 3/4 cups of sugar in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Allow it to sit for 3 days to infuse the sugar with the lavender flavor.
- Preheat oven to 200F with the rack in the center of the oven.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Beat 4 egg whites in a large mixing bowl with cream of tartar, vanilla and pinch of salt until foamy.
- Take 2 tablespoons of the lavender sugar and sift together with cocoa and set aside.
- Add remaining lavender sugar – 1 tablespoon at a time- to the egg white mixture. Beat well after each addition making sure the sugar is dissolved. Continue to beat until mixture is glossy and makes stiff peaks.
- Sift the cocoa/sugar mixture over the meringue. Using a spatula, fold in the cocoa mixture gently just until it is blended.
- Spoon the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch star tip. Place 1 inch meringue kisses onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (I use a reclosable storage bag and clip off ½ inch at the corner. Alternatively, drop the meringue by tablespoon on to your baking sheet.)
- Bake the meringues for 1 ½ hours. The meringues are done when they are crisp and firm to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven for another hour to finish drying.
- Store lightly covered in a dry place.
- Makes 75 meringues.