What is the easiest way to make meringue cookies look pretty? Should I use a spoon as the recipe below suggests? Or a pastry bag? This is the recipe that I will use. I got it from the Scharffen Berger website. Other questions:
Also does preheat/heat directions below mean start at 350, when the oven is ready and I put my cookies in, it gets dropped to 275? Can I use egg whites in a carton?
Meringue and Chocolate Kisses
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup super-fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 1/2 teaspoons cherry syrup (Torani works well)
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
6 ounces Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Heat oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat egg whites with an electric mixer set on medium speed just until broken up, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar and cream of tartar while slowly increasing mixing speed. Add 2 tsp cherry syrup and red food coloring and beat on high speed just until stiff peaks form. The egg whites will be stiff and glossy, but should not be dry.
Drop egg whites by generous teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet. With a spoon, shape egg whites into 1 1/2-inch mounds, making a depression in the center of each. Bake meringues 15 minutes. Without removing them from the oven, turn oven off and prop door open slightly.
Let the meringues sit in the oven until completely dry, about 30 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
In the meantime, make chocolate filling. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and oil over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove the pan from heat, let mixture cool to room temperature, and stir in 1/2 tsp cherry syrup. Spoon filling into the depressions in the meringues. Transfer meringues to wire racks and let sit until the filling is set. Makes 24 meringues.