These meringue bones are a delectable treat for all your favourite ghouls and goblins! If you’ve never made meringues before, this is a great way to start, since these bones look even better with some imperfections.
Meringues might seem really intimidating to make, but they require only a few simple ingredients and you can make so many fun shapes with them. All you need is some fine sugar, egg whites, and a little cream of tartar (not to be confused with tartar sauce, which the grocery store boy kindly led me to when I asked for help finding it on the shelf).
The part you want to be careful with is separating the egg yolks from the egg whites. If you get any yolk in the bowl, start over. The fat content from the yolk will prevent your egg whites from whipping up nice and fluffy.
Start by whipping your egg white on its own until it gets nice and foamy. This shouldn’t take too long at all.
Then add the cream of tartar and keep whipping until soft peaks form. You can test this by lifting your whisk up. You should be able to sort of scoop the white up into a peak shape. It should roughly hold its form but the top of it should flop over a bit.
Gradually add the sugar to the foamy eggs whites and keep mixing until your mixture is glossy and holds itself into a stiff peak (when you test it the meringue should hold its shape and not flop over – I had to whip this for another minute or so to stiffen it up a bit more).
Once your meringue holds itself up, scoop it into a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip (I used a No. 1A). Folding the edges of the bag outwards and down will make it easier to drop the meringue in closer to the opening. Once its filled, unfold the edges and squeeze the meringue down the rest of the way.
Pipe the meringue into bone shapes about 4″-5″ long. Your meringue should be stiff enough that the shape you pipe is the shape you will end up with. They won’t (or shouldn’t) melt or spread out during baking.
I tried a few different techniques when piping. You can pipe a straight line and then squeeze two round blobs on either end, or you can try piping them in more of a continuous motion. Play around with it and see what works well for you. Don’t worry about trying to make them too perfect.
If you end up with any bits of meringue that are sticking up, or are generally more uneven than you would like, you can smooth them out a little bit with the back of a small spoon.
Bake the meringues for about 1 hour and 15 until they’re well dried. Instead of pulling them out right away, turn off the oven and leave them inside to cool completely for a couple of hours.
You can leave the meringues shiny and white, or dust them with a little bit of cocoa powder to make them look old and roughed up. I used a small pastry brush to apply the cocoa to the bones.
Ideally your meringues shouldn’t actually crack like mine did. However, I’m kind of glad they did in this case as it added some neat texture to these bones. These meringues are great served as is, or can be used to decorate the tops of all sorts of cakes and desserts.
Makes: Approx 18 bones
- 2 large egg whites (60 grams) at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup superfine caster sugar (if you don’t have any, you can throw some granulated sugar in a blender for a few seconds to break it down a little finer)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°F.
- On low speed of a mixer, beat egg white until foamy.
- Add cream of tartar, and mix at medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the sugar until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.
- Pipe the meringues onto parchment lined baking trays.
- Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until the meringues are very dry.
- Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside until they have fully cooled.
- Optionally brush with cocoa powder to give an aged appearance.