Friday, December 14, 2012

Festive Friday: Mint Meringue Trees with Chocolate Centers

Festive Friday: You can always find room to squeeze in a few more treats around the holidays.

I think I found the perfect Christmas tree.

It's green and minty and has a chocolate center.

It's easy to assemble and even easier to dispose of.

The only watering required is mouthwatering.

Is it weird that I've assembled  way more than a mouthful of trees but have yet to put up or decorate a real tree?  Making a ton of little trees must count for something.  The Christmas decorations are coming out this weekend, along with more treats of course.

Chocolate mint kisses wrapped in a snowy blanket of minty, melt-in-your mouth meringue.

Mint Meringue Trees with Chocolate Centers
inspired by Not Your Momma's Cookie
base adapted from Taste of Home

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
6-8 drops green food coloring
1/2 cup granulated sugar
48 chocolate peppermint kisses, unwrapped  ( I completely forgot to count here so this is a very rough guess.  If you have extra meringue you can still pipe trees without the chocolate centers.)
green and red decorating sugar

* Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
* In a medium glass bowl combine egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, peppermint extract and food coloring.  Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar while beating on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
* Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Place kisses 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Pipe meringue around kisses working in an upward spiral motion; sprinkle with decorating sugars. Bake 45 minutes; turn oven off and leave meringues in oven for an additional 1-1/2 hours. Remove and let cool completely; store in airtight containers.

Food for Thought: "Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." -Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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