Trick or Treat! Candy isn’t the only sweet treat I’ll be consuming this week on Halloween. A sweet spooky dessert is always on the menu at my house!
One, among so many, of my favorite desserts are meringue cookies. They’re light, airy, with a crunchy exterior and a lightly chewy center. They’re melt in your mouth deliciousness and perfectly sweet. Can you believe you can get all that from just two ingredients?
They’re made with a French meringue. Whipped egg whites and sugar. That’s it! It’s extremely versatile and can be colored, flavored or piped in any which way you’d like. This being so, I decided to make spiders, specifically a black widow, meringue cookies (on a cotton candy web) for Halloween. They’re cute, fun, yummy and perfect for this occasion.
Halloween is always an excuse to get creative in the kitchen. Dessert creations can be spooky, scary, fun or cute. Personally, I wanted something spooky fun catering to kids and adults alike. And what’s a party without something sweet on Halloween? I wanted this dessert to have a fun presentation and cause minimal messiness. A grab and go, two bite, finger food type of dessert. No utensils needed!
These spiders are fairly simple to make. Just make sure you have time on your hands. They take a bit to dry out.
Egg Whites & Oil Are Not Friends
It is just egg white and sugar whipped together, but before you start make sure your bowl and whisk are completely clean, void of any oil or fats. This will cause the egg whites to fall. You’ll just end up with a soupy mess. So after you’ve inspected your equipment it’s time to make some meringue!
To start, crack and separate your eggs. Pour the egg whites into your bowl and start whipping on high speed.
While whipping, very slowly stream in the sugar. Then whip until stiff peaks form. When you lift your whisk out of the meringue it will hold its shape. Add salt and vanilla extract and whip until incorporated.
At this point you can pipe rosettes, stars or what ever shape you’d like in any color. Line your pan with parchment paper before you start any piping. I decided to make spiders for Halloween. They’re just so party perfect! Anyway, I took a bit out of the bowl and colored it red, for the eyes and hourglass. The rest I colored with black with a bit of purple. I then filled a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe a larger “dot,” the body, with a smaller one attached for the spider’s head.
Then with a smaller tip, pipe the 8 legs. I kept them shorter to minimize breakage.
Next, fill a piping bag with the red and a small round tip. Pipe eyes on each smaller “dot” and then an hourglass on the body if you desire to make black widows. Keep in mind, you can be creative. Different colors or shapes.
Now they’re ready to go into a 175 degree Fahrenheit oven. Keep oven on for an hour, then turn it off while the meringues are still in it. Keep them in another hour. They’ll cool down slowly with the oven. This will avoid cracking.
When they’re done, they’ll be hard to the touch and will easily peel off the parchment. The spiders are a bit tricky because of the legs so be careful, they’re fragile!
Time to Party
I displayed them on cotton candy which served as their web. It’s such a cute presentation that is completely edible. Your party people can easily grab and go!
Happy Halloween! Stay safe and have a fun day! Don’t eat too much sugar!!!
Meringue Cookie - Spiders
A light, airy, crunchy and perfectly sweet cookie!
- 4 Each Egg Whites Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt Optional
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract Optional
1. Crack and separate eggs. Put egg whites into mixing bowl and begin to whip on highest speed with the whisk attachment.
2. While whipping, stream in granulated sugar very slowly.
3. Whip until stiff peaks form.
4. Add salt and vanilla at this point if choosing to do so. Mix until fully incorporated.
(At this point you may pipe into any shape you’d like. Bake at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Then turn off oven and leave in for another 1 hour.)
To Make Spiders
1. Take a few spoonfuls if the meringue and place in a small bowl. Dye red.
2. With remaining meringue, dye it black.
3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium sized tip, (if you don’t have a tip available, cut the end of your piping bag) with the black meringue.
4. On a pan lined with parchment paper, pipe a large, about a quarter sized, “dot” onto the parchment paper. This will be the spider’s body. Right next to that dot, pipe a smaller dot touching the larger dot, about half the size, serving as the head. Make sure to leave enough space between each spider body for spider legs.
5. Fill another piping bag and fit with a small round tip. Or simply cut a small opening in the bag. Fill with black meringue. Pipe spider legs, 4 on each side of the body. Keep them short and slightly thick to avoid breakage. Make sure they connect to the body.
6. Fill another piping bag fitted with a small round tip with red meringue. Pipe eyes onto the head. Then pipe an hourglass onto the back of the body.
8. Place into a 175 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave them in another hour. Take out of the oven and cool completely.
9. Carefully peel off the parchment. They’re fragile. Arrange on a platter and enjoy!!! Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.
No tricks, just treats!
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