Christmas Vacation

Vacation for whom exactly? OK, it is getting easier as the boys get older. Sunday the youngest Blandings and I baked Peppermint Meringues. Meringues, if you like them (and I am not sure that I do though I am giving them a rather good go) are a piece of cake. Um, a breeze. My youngest is a "picky eater" though we lovingly refer to it as Sensory Integration Disorder around here. Cooking helps with tasting and he is certainly developing an interest.

Getting to smash candy canes didn't hurt. Besides, we have now added the separation of eggs and identification of soft and stiff peaks to his repertoire. Not bad for a six-year-old. It's not a recipe for those with short attention spans, though it allows for plenty of activities in between steps. It is as follows:

Peppermint Meringues

2 egg whites
1/8 t salt
1/8 t cream of tartar
1/2 c white sugar
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with foil.

In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Drop by spoonfuls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over cookies.

Bake for 1.5 hours in preheated oven. Meringues should be completely dry on the inside. Do not allow to brown. Turn off oven. Keep oven door ajar and let meringues sit in oven until completely cool. Loosen from foil with metal spatula. Store loosely covered in cool dry place for up to 2 months.

I neither allowed them to cool completely, nor lifted them from the foil with a spatula and all seems well. It is likely that if I continue to eat two meringues every day to determine if I like them or not, I will eat all four dozen before the two months are up. They are particularly pretty.

Recipe courtesy of the Kansas City Star.