Meringue Ghosts [Halloween Special]

“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

It’s finally Hallow’s eve!

This post is quite accidental to be honest. I hadn’t planned on doing a Halloween special this year what with being swamped with college stuff, cake orders, and buddy nonsense.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

I had an ignored Chocolate Cake lying in my fridge; plain top, frosted with chocolate buttercream, and chocolate drips on the sides. If you have ever tried my classic chocolate cake, you’d know that you end up with one lone egg white because the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

 

And that one egg white is the reason why we have a Halloween post this year!  😀 It’s nothing like last year’s grand spectacle where we murdered a Red Velvet Cake and loved every minute of it. :3 But its awesome nonetheless!!

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

That one egg white has been used to make ghosts to adorn the cake with. Cute little meringue blobs together with their chocolate ball eyes made for adorable ghost toppers. The whole idea came out exactly as I had pictured.

The meringue ghosts were super easy to make; just three ingredients, four if you want to stretch it. The only thing I’d impress upon is ‘patience’. Patience when:

-beating the meringue to make it stiff and glossy, takes 3-5 minutes.

-baking the meringue till it easily peels off the parchment paper, round 60-90 minutes

-letting the meringues dry, round 2-3 hours

Other than that, they’re a breeze to make. This recipe only makes 10-12 meringue ghosts, just enough to top a cake with. But you can easily double the recipe to make more. Just remember the meringue code; for each egg white, use 1/4 cup caster sugar.

That is, if you’re using:

  • 1 egg white: ¼ cup sugar

  • 2 egg whites: ½ cup sugar

  • 3 egg whites: ¾ cup sugar

  • 4 egg whites: 1 cup sugar

And so on…

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

 

Do give these tiny ghost buddies a try. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

Happy Halloween!

Meringue Ghosts

Prep Time: 10 minutes                                                                        Yields: 10-12 cookies
Cook Time: 60-90 minutes
Ingredients:
·         1 large egg white
·         Pinch of cream of tartar, optional
·         1/4 cup caster sugar
·         1/4 tsp vanilla extract
·         Mini chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 105°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg white, cream of tartar and vanilla on medium speed until frothy.
  3. Gradually add in sugar and increase mixer to medium-high speed. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; about 3 minutes.
  4. Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.  Pipe a blob on blob of meringue onto prepared baking sheet (three blobs in total). Add mini chocolate chips for eyes.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 1.5 hours or until the meringues are dry and crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven and allow the meringue ghosts to continuing drying in the oven for a few hours.
  6. Ghosts will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

M&Ms Cookies

If you follow me on Snapchat, then you must know how crazy I am about cookies nowadays. Oh wait. You guys haven’t been able to see my Snapstories these past few weeks. Minor glitch. Add me again @noora559

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

 

Anyhoo. Cookies! It’s all I’ve been doing! White Chocolate chip cookies, Nutella Swirl Cookies, Choco chocolate chip cookies, and then these deeevine M&M Cookies aka Rainbow Cookies.

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

I have no idea why I’ve shied away from baking cookies for so long.

They are super simple, super fun to make! And they only take minutes to prepare, like literally 8 to 10 minutes in the oven.

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

These cookies are soft cookies, none of that crispy crunchy stuff here people, and are studded with M&Ms. I also threw in some chocolate chips for good measure, a little extra chocolate never hurt anyone. And then studded the top with more M&Ms! That’s how I roll 8|

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

 

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

Certain key pointers you need to know so as to make perfect cookies every single time:

  • Chilling the dough is crucial! Crucial to prevent cookies from spreading too much, and to help retain their softness and thickness. Chill the dough for an hour or up to 5 days for best results.

    Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

  • Both brown sugar and regular white sugar are needed for this recipe. Brown sugar helps make the cookies extra chewy.

  • Cooking time is the next most important thing, this is the part where it can all go wrong, trust me, I’ve had my fair share of bad cookie experiences. Under-bake them and end up with a sloppy doughy mess. Over-bake them and end up with extremely chewy pieces of charred dough. 8 to 10 minutes is exactly what you’re looking for! The cookies should be still soft in the middle but starting to brown at the edges, that’s when you need to take them out of the oven and let them cool completely before digging in. Attempting to handle straight out of the oven cookies can pulverize them, as they’ll be too soft. Cooling them; helps set them.

    Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

Follow these tips, and you’ll master the art of cookies in no time.

Give these a go, and Instagram me your creations using the hashtag #spatulainmypocket.

Follow me on Instagram @spatulainmypocket

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

 

M&Ms Cookies

Yields: 32 cookies
Ingredients:
3/4 cup (170g) butter, softened to room temperature1
1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (100g) castor sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (266g) flour
1 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (200g) mini or regular size M&M’s

 

Directions:
Beat the butter for a minute using an electric beater till creamy. Add in the brown sugar, and castor sugar; beat together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and mix on high until combined. Scrape down the sides of the owl using a spatula. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornflour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined.
Gently fold in the M&M’s.
Cover the dough with cling wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days.
Preheat oven to 180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper*do NOT grease it. Set aside.
Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will still look very soft and pudgy. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on baking sheet before digging in.
Notes:
1.       You can use either salted or unsalted butter. If using salted butter, then omit the salt.
2.      These cookies stay fresh for weeks stored in an airtight container. Raw cookie dough can be frozen for upto three months.

 

 

Soft, chewy cookies studded with M&Ms.

MACARONS TURNED MARONIS

Chocolate macarons turned maronis

Macarons are fussy little cookies. Mess up one tiny lil thing and you’re gone. They require the utmost precision in their measurements and in their making. You need to invest in a good kitchen scale for such accuracy…something that I forfeited to do. I scoured the web for a recipe that had the measurements in cups and not in grams. That was mistake number one.

Mistake number two was the almond flour. Almond flour/almond meal is not available here in Pakistan, so I made my own almond flour by grinding blanched almonds. Now what happened was that my homemade almond flour refused to pass through the fine net of my sieve, no matter how many times I pulsed the almonds. After about what seemed like eons of trying to sift the almond flour, I ended up just dumping the whole thing in the mix, without sifting it. That was mistake number two. Macarons have a very fine texture, and that texture is obtained by sifting the sugar and the almond flour together a number of times. Skipping the sifting led my macaron mix to be gritty and not smooth at all.

These two critical mistakes are exactly what led my macarons to turn into maronis aka the feet-less flattened version of macarons. Seriously, maronis exist! I’m not making it up!

Chocolate macarons turned maronis

Maronis or not, they taste awesome. Just how any normal looking macaron would. I filled them up with several different fillings; cream cheese icing, vanilla buttercream, peanut butter, and chocolate ganache.

Macarons turned maronis

The ones with the chocolate ganache were obviously the best. The chewy cookie with the crackly top combined with the rich chocolate ganache tasted just like a fudgy brownie.

Chocolate macarons turned maronis

 

Macaron Round 2 will be coming soon on Spatula in My Pocket. I shall not rest till I conquer thee conniving cookies!

Chocolate macarons turned maronis

Chocolate Macarons

Yeilds: 18
Ingredients:
Macarons
1 cup (100g) almond flour
1 cup (130g) icing sugar
2 Tablespoons (10g) cocoa powder
2 egg whites (70g), at room temperature
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Ganache
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup cream
Dab of butter
Directions:
Sift together the almond flour, icing sugar and the cocoa powder two to three times. Mix well. Set aside.
Wipe a large bowl with tissue paper soaked in vinegar to remove all grease. Beat the egg whites on medium speed till soft peaks begin to form. Slowly add in the granulated sugar. Beat on high till glossy and stiff peaks form.
Sift the almond mix over the egg whites, and fold in gently. Mix till the batter becomes smooth and if you hold some of the batter up and let it fall, it should submerge into the rest of the batter within 10 seconds. At that point stop mixing.
Transfer batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe out 1.5 inch rounds on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Tap the baking tray on the counter twice to release all the air bubbles.
Let the macarons rest, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes till dry. They shouldn’t stick to your finger if you touch them. At that point they are ready to bake.
Bake macarons at 150 degrees C for 18-20 minutes. You know they are done when they no longer stick to the parchment paper and come off easily.
Cool at room temperature.
For the ganache, microwave the three ingredients; cream, chocolate chips, and the butter, till the chocolate is melted and the mixture becomes uniform and smooth. Let the ganache cool to thicken.
Fill the macarons with the ganache.
Notes
  • To make your own almond flour, grind blanched almonds till they resemble fine crumbs.
  • Store macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe source: Shinee

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