Italian meringue shells

Yield: 8 meringues

Measure Ingredient
4 larges Egg whites, at room temp.
⅛ teaspoon Cream of tartar
\N pinch Salt
1½ cup Minus 2 tb granulated sugar
½ cup Hot water
¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract

1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

2. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water and stir well. Place mixture over medium-high heat and bring to a boil without stirring. Boil for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles thicken and a few drops dropped into ice water form a soft ball (238'F. on a candy thermometer).

3. With the mixer on medium speed, add the vanilla to the whites and pour the hot syrup into the beaten egg whites in a slow, steady stream. Beat until the mixture is completely cool, smooth and shiny, anywhere from 6-8 minutes.

4. Heat the oven to 200'F. and place the meringue mixture into a piping bag with a ½" star or plain tip.

5. Place a piece of aluminum foil or wax paper on a baking sheet.

Using a cup or small saucer, trace 8 (3") rounds on the paper with a toothpick or skewer. Spray lightly with baking spray.

6. Beginning in the center of each round, pipe out the meringue in concentric circles. To form the sides, pipe 2 or 3 additional rings on top of the outside edge. The meringue also can be spooned on the 3" circle outlines and smoothed into a small shape using a rubber spatula.

7. Bake the meringue for 2 hours, or until dry and crisp but not brown. Cool on a baking sheet, then peel off the paper.

Submitted By MICHAEL ORCHEKOWSKI On 08-07-95

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