Tonight Sammy and I decided that the best thing in the world would be to take a cruise from Miami, through the Panama Canal, to San Diego–eating our way through ports all along eastern and western Mexico the whole way. She thought it sounded like heaven. How many 7 year olds do you know with a Panama Canal cruise on their bucket list?
I love my kids.
But in the meantime, we need to find some local fun, so Creative Cookie Exchange came at the perfect time to push my butt back into the kitchen and set about baking something fun. We’ve changed things up a bit, as we are no longer doing a linky and instead just sharing our cookies as a group of hosts. Our motto is the more cookies the tastier, though, so if you have a blog and a Facebook account and want to join in, please contact me at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com.
The theme this month is Put On Your Pink and Red for Valentine’s Day! We hope we are catching you guys in time for planning your Valentine’s Day treats. I chose Strawberry Rhubarb Meringues, after finding a recipe for raspberry meringues in Annie Bell’s Baking Bible and adapting from there, and I sprinkled them with pink sugar just in case the strawberry rhubarb jam did not add enough of a pink color. Good thing I did! I expected the meringues to be streaky with pink, but instead the jam seems to have completely incorporated. It is ok though, the pink sugar keeps them festive and the strawberry rhubarb flavor shines through beautifully. Alex and I especially cannot stop eating these; Alex called them “meringue-a-licious!!!’
As mentioned, the theme this month is Put On Your Red and Pink for Valentine’s Day! Creative Cookie Exchange has decided to stop using the linky. What this means is that the only way to join in the fun is to become a host. Just contact me at the email address above, and I will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration for Valentine’s Day, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made so far:
- Big Be Mine Cookie from Food Lust People Love
- Glazed Doughnut Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Iced VoVos from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- Jam Sandwich Cookies from A Baker’s House
- Pomegranate Cheesecake Cookies from It’s Yummi!
- Strawberry Rhubarb Meringues from The Spiced Life
- Valentine Heart Cookies from Noshing With The Nolands
- 1/4 cup strawberry rhubarb jam
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 2/3 cups (scant) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- bright sparkling pink sanding sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Gently heat the strawberry rhubarb jam to loosen it, then press it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the solids. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl until frothy, and then add the cream of tartar. Continue whipping. When it is thicker and more opaque but still not holding any kind of peak, start adding the confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue until all of the sugar is gone, and whip the egg whites until they are glossy and hold a stiff peak.
Using 3-4 folding motions, fold the jam into the egg whites--if they are streaky that is fine.
You may either dump your meringues onto the prepared cookie sheet like drop cookies, or you may scoop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the individual meringues out onto the cookie sheets. I prefer smaller meringues. Keep about an inch between meringues.
Sprinkle the meringues with the pink sanding sugar.
Place in the oven and reduce the heat to 225 F (because these bake at such a low temperature I think you could try baking 3 sheets at once if you have enough racks; 2 sheets in the conventional oven worked just fine). Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours, until the outsides of the meringues are crispy. Turn off the oven and let the meringues cool inside the oven for another 30 minutes.
Remove the meringues from the oven and use a thin spatula to remove them--if they stick at all, return them to the oven and let them cool in the heat for another 15 minutes (these meringues were a little sticky because of the jam, but once they were done they all popped off the pans without problem).
Let cool completely.