May means Mother’s Day and my mom has always been the closest person in my life, second only to my hubby. But before he came along, it was me and mom … she’s always been my best friend. Since we’ve always been two peas in a pod, it’s easy to choose gifts for her.
Today I’m joining up with a few other bloggers to share what we’re doing for Mother’s Day – see the list of the other bloggers at the end of this post and visit them for additional inspiration.
This year, I’ve decided to make some authentic French meringues for Mother’s Day.
When my parents sold our childhood home and downsized into a townhouse, I sponge-painted their living room a soft pink, about the same color as these pretty spray roses. My mom had me help her decorate their new home, which was a lot of fun.
Inside the pretty pink box are delicately packaged French meringue cookies! My mother is 86 years old and has developed quite the sweet tooth in her older years. Unfortunately, my mother also has Alzheimer’s. More and more, she fails to recognize me.
I miss the long talks we used to have … she always understood me and I could share anything with her. Nowadays, I just enjoy being in her presence. Sometimes I read to her; one time we looked at a picture book of cats. I asked her to name objects in the photos. Anything to help her exercise her brain a little bit.
Since she loves sweets, I chose to make authentic French meringue cookies for her. Typically, there are 2 types of meringue cookie recipes … one calls for cream of tartar, and the other doesn’t. From what I’ve read, the recipe that uses only egg whites and sugar is the authentic way to make French meringues.
After whipping the egg whites and sugar together until soft peaks form, you place the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe the cookies with a large star tip onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Here they are, ready to be baked at 200 degrees for almost 2 hours. They’ll be slightly crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. They taste like little bites of cotton candy!
I wanted to make these French meringues special for mom, so I decided to paint them with food coloring and decorate them with cookie decorations. I used white food icing to “glue” the decorations onto the cookies. To make the paint, I mixed just a bit of food coloring gel with water … a little food color gel goes a long way! You can dip the meringues into the color, or paint it on. My inspiration came from Paper and Stitch. She used store-bought cookies though.
Aren’t the French meringues cute sitting on the ironstone butter pats? I think mom will enjoy her handmade gift of authentic French meringues in a pretty pink box. She’ll smile, she’ll call me something other than “Jennifer” and she’ll pretend she knows who I am.
Despite her lack of memory, she’s still in pretty good shape for 86 years of age. My dad is still living and helps keep an eye on my mom. Every Mother’s Day is a special day as long as I still have my mom around to celebrate it with me!
Here she is! My cute, sweet mother with her great granddaughter and my granddaughter, Zoe. Mom always lights up when children are around. With her Alzheimer’s, she’s often like a child herself. I just love her to pieces! This photo always brings tears to my eyes.
Now for the recipe … it’s so easy!
Authentic French Meringues
4 egg whites
2 1/4 cups confectioners’sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a glass bowl, whip egg whites for a few minutes until foamy, using an electric mixer. Sprinkle in sugar a little at a time, while continuing to whip at medium speed. Once the sugar is all mixed in, turn the speed to high. When the mixture becomes stiff and shiny like satin (about 10-15 minutes), stop mixing, and transfer the mixture to a large pastry bag. Pipe the meringue out onto lined baking sheets using a large star tip.
Place the meringues in the oven and place a wooden spoon handle in the door to keep it from closing all the way. Bake for 3 hours, or until the meringues are dry. Allow cookies to cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature.
And here’s the line-up of blogger’s who have more Mother’s Day inspiration for you today!
Sharing this post at Metamorphosis Monday