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Ghostly meringues: Making your own is easy

This is surprisingly fast, easy and cheap. So much so you’ll never buy meringues at the bakery again. This is easiest with a stand mixer but I’ve used a hand mixer with no trouble. I wouldn’t try to make meringues by hand, it’s too much work for a Diva.

Be certain you have absolutely no egg yolk in your whites as the slightest bit of fat will ruin the meringue. Also, be sure your bowl and mixer beaters are free from any grease or fat and completely dry. For each egg white you use add one eighth teaspoon of cream of tartar and one quarter cup of sugar.

MERINGUE GHOSTS

Yield: 20 ghosts Time: 30 minutes active, 2 hours to overnight inactive.

2 egg whites at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 275. In a bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Gradually add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, beating continuously until sugar is completely dissolved. This will take about 10 minutes. To test, rub a little bit of meringue between your fingers, if it feels grainy the sugar is not dissolved yet, a little grainy is okay. Continue beating until the mixture forms stiff glossy peaks.

Grease a cookie sheet or line a sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the meringue into either a piping bag or a plastic baggie with the corner cut off and pipe out some ghosts. It’s the same move as making a soft serve ice cream cone but smaller. Make them whatever size you want.

You can experiment until you feel like you know what you’re doing. Just scoop up any less than desirable ghosts and pop them right back in the piping bag. You can’t mess this up. When I did mine the 2 egg whites made about 20 cute little ghosts.

Bake in oven for 25 – 45 minutes depending on size. When the timer goes off turn off the heat but DON’T open the oven door. Leave the meringues in the closed oven to further dry for at least 45 minutes or even longer. I’ve left mine overnight before. You want them really dry.

To decorate, melt a tablespoon of chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. Use a toothpick dipped in chocolate to make little faces. If you’re putting them on top of a cake or cupcake dip the bottom of the ghost in the melted chocolate or frosting so it will stick on the cake. Just be careful as the meringue will be fragile. One last tip — don’t refrigerate or they will become soggy.

Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Frugal Food contributed by Patti Diamond, author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!, www.divasonadime.com.

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