How to Make Authentic French Meringues
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.
My mother loves the color pink so I decoupaged a cigar box with pink scrapbook paper and tucked her sweet and tasty gift inside. The floral China is hers … she handed it down to me many years ago.
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
I’ve never made meringues before, Jennifer. These sound delicious and look beautiful!
THese look amazing, I love the cigar box you decorated. Your mom seems like such a beautiful person inside and out., I love the china she gave to you. It is so difficult to watch our parents age but such a blessing to spend time with them.
Ooh – la-la!! These French meringues look so tasty! I’m so sorry to here that your Mom has Alzheimer’s, my MIL has it and doesn’t recognize anyone anymore….it’s a heartbreaking disease. I’m so glad you are close by to visit with her, I’m sure you treasure every moment! xo Heather
Bless your heart for such a beautiful posts and sharing your mom with us today. I lost my Mom in 2005 and miss her dearly. In 2011 i lost my son and Mothers day will never be the same. Have a blessed Mothers Day!
You are such a sweet daughter. I hope this Mother’s Day is special for the both of you. The cookies are beautiful.
Thanks for the recipe. I could eat my weight in meringues. ‘-)
Sweet post! Cherish these times with your mom. I lost my mother this past November. Even though she was 99 and I feel fortunate that she lived a long full life, it is difficult to say that final goodbye. I miss her!
Happy Mother’s Day to you and to your mom.
The meringues look so pretty and delicious, I can’t remember the last time I made them. I also forgot they were Gluten and dairy free, so these are a great option for me! I love all the pink, and you could come sponge paint my old charmer any time you wanted to! Your setting is so pretty as always. I know you do, but cherish your Mom they leave us sooner than we want. My precious Mom has been done near 17 years, and I will always miss her for she was my special friend. Hug her, till she can’t take it anymore. This may sound odd, but the one thing I really miss is her smell. I wish I could smell her again.
I’ve never made meringues! I never knew they only had 2 ingredients and they are so pretty too. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
What a delicious treat for your mom. She will enjoy the meringues. So sorry to hear she has Alzheimer’s…
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.
what wonderful cookies! I will have to give your recipe a try. I am so sorry your Mom has Alzheimers. But I am glad you can find ways to enjoy your time with her. Where do you get your cigar box?
Hi Heidi! You can find cigar boxes at flea markets … but I find most of mine at Binny’s Beverage Depot. They sell empty ones for $1.50 and they come in a range of sizes.
What a sweet post on the memories of your mom. I love the tribute to her love of pink and the special talks you had. I miss my mom and know it is hard when they have memory problems and health problems. Thank you for share your sweet story and recipie. [email protected]
Such a timely piece you did. My Mother has been gone now 5 yrs now on this date. Miss her so, she was in the early stages of Alzheimers. She still remembered most of of kids but not everyone. Thanks so much for the tribute.