Liz Heinecke is a Minnesota author who utilized her master’s degree in bacteriology and decade as a lab researcher to chronicle her science exploration alongside her three kids on KitchenPantryScientist.com

She says the website exploded in popularity, resulting in Liz’s first book contract and turning her into one of the Midwest’s premier science educators. 

Besides writing books, Liz frequently makes appearances on Twin Cities television stations, and lives in Minneapolis. 

MERINGUE MUSHROOMS

Time: 30 minutes hands-on plus 2-3 hours to bake

Safety tips and hints: Don’t skip the cream of tartar. It helps stabilize the egg whites in the meringue.

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites from extra large eggs
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla 
  • Food coloring (gel works best)
  • Dusting sugar (optional)

Equipment:

  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mats
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Pastry bag or large plastic zipper bag with corner cut off
  • ½ inch round piping tip for pastry bag or plastic bag

Recipe:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Beat three egg whites on medium until they start to foam.
  4. Add 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar and continue to beat, increasing the speed to high.
  5. When the foam gets thicker, add 1/2 cup sugar, a tablespoon or so at a time as you beat the eggs. Add vanilla.
  6. Continue beating the mixture until stiff, glossy peaks with rounded tips form. Don’t over-beat.
  7. Add the half-inch round tip to the pastry or plastic bag. Fill the bag with the meringue you made.
  8. Use the bag and tip to pipe half of the meringue into blobs that look like mushroom caps on one of the baking sheets
  9. Make some colorful streaks on the meringues by using a toothpick to smear food coloring on the inside of the pastry tip before piping.
  10. With the other half of the meringue, make pointed stems, around an inch tall. They don’t have to be perfect!
  11. Leave the mushrooms white or streaked, or dust them with tinted sugar.
  12. Save any meringue left in the bowl and pastry bag to use as glue when you assemble the meringues.
  13. Bake the meringues for 1-2 hours, until they feel dry and let them cool.
  14. Poke small holes in the bottom of the mushroom caps, smear some meringue on the broken spots and insert the pointy side of the stems. Put them in the oven at 200 for another 15 minutes to set the meringues.
  15. Eat your confectionery creations, or use them to decorate a cake.

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