Warning: These meringue kisses are absolutely adorable. When we bake multiple trays of them in the kitchen, they look like a uniform, sweet army, all standing at attention, ready to capture desserts and hearts. They often outshine the confections they sit on top of and are a great way of drawing attention to your creations. Small, shiny, sweet treats really tap into your inner child. The beauty of these meringue kisses is that they are so simple to make, and you can adjust their flavor and color to suit your taste. I’ve also made them with passion fruit and lime, strawberry and vanilla, and Ceylon cinnamon. But don’t let me get in the way of your creative process!
- Yield: 200 Kisses
- 2 tbsp (10 g) freeze-dried raspberries or other berry
- 3 egg (90 g) whites
- 1¾ cups (210 g) plus 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- 3 drops red food coloring
- Red sanding sugar for sprinkling
- Use a food processor to pulverize the freezedried raspberries to a sandy texture. Sift the pulverized raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 150°F (65°C).
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Wipe out the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer with a clean towel, and then combine the egg whites and powdered sugar in the bowl. Turn down the boiling water to a simmer, and place the mixing bowl over the saucepan to create a bain-marie. Use a handheld wire whisk to stir the egg white and sugar mixture over the heat until the sugar dissolves and the egg whites are warm to the touch, approximately 122°F (50°C). The mixture will look full and glossy, like a marshmallow sauce. Wipe the outside of the bowl dry and move it to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Continue whisking the egg white mixture at high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, cooling it to approximately 77°F (25°C). Add the ground and sifted freezedried raspberry powder and food coloring and continue to whisk for 1 minute more. It’s important to add the fruit powder at the very end, after the meringue has cooled; otherwise the powder will absorb the moisture in the warm meringue, causing the final product to be soggy and chewy.
- Use a rubber spatula to load the raspberry meringue into a piping bag fitted with a #3 round piping tip. Before starting, remove the parchment paper from the baking sheet and pipe a small dollop of meringue directly onto each corner of the baking sheet; place the parchment paper back onto the baking sheet and press down on the corners. This will hold the paper down during baking. To create the kisses, use an upward motion to pipe the meringue in ¼-in- (6-mm-) diameter rounds onto the baking sheet. They will be shiny and light red. Pipe them in lines down the baking sheet, with just enough space between them to allow air circulation, about ¼ in (6 mm). Sprinkle the kisses immediately with sanding sugar and shake the pan lightly in your hand, ensuring that all the sugar sticks to the kisses.
- Bake for 1 hour, rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees, and bake for another hour. To check doneness, pull one meringue kiss off the baking sheet. It should pull off easily and cleanly and once cooled to room temperature should be crisp and melt on your tongue. If the kiss sticks to the paper or is still soft to the bite, return the baking sheet to the oven and keep checking at 15-minute intervals until done.
- Serve immediately. (Do not refrigerate.)