Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I've been meaning to make these little guys for 2 years now and I finally remembered to do it before Halloween! I am DYING over their cuteness and the simplicity of this recipe. It's an ideally spooky kitchen activity for you and your little chefs OR for the little trick - or - treater inside all of us.
If you can spare 2 egg whites, some powdered sugar, cream of tartar, and a few hours of waiting for these ghosts to emerge out of a barely - on oven, then this is for you - get started! Halloween is ALMOST here!!!
Do yourself a favor and read the post from 101cookbooks about this recipe, Heidi goes into this with fine detail and great cooking tips. Also, amazingly CUTE photos!
For best results, allow your egg whites to reach room temperature and make sure all the equipment is spotlessly clean.
2 egg whites - room temp
pinch cream of tartar
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
sprinkles, chocolate chips, or anything you come up with for the eyes
1 dark chocolate bar, melted (optional)
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted (optional)
pastry bag fit with a 1/2'' tip
Preheat oven to 200 and line a sheet pan with parchment or silpat. Get the pastry bag ready by attaching the tip and place tip-down into a large jar for easy filling. Also, sift sugar and get out whatever you are using for eye balls.
Place egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Start beating, when eggs become frothy and start to become white - add sugar slowly while beating egg whites, the sugar adding should take about 1-2 minutes. Continue beating for another 15 - 20 minutes for maximum volume. The egg whites should be glossy and grown in size by a factor of about 10. They should hold a strong shape and be very firm. Keep in mind that they will be piped in a tall pointy shape, so they need to have a firm structure.
Once the egg whites have reached their maximum size, scoop out with a spatula and place into the pastry bag (or large plastic bag with the corner snipped off), slowly squeeze the air out of the pastry bag while gathering the meringue towards the tip of the pastry bag.
To form ghosts:
Start in a circular shape working inwards, creating a tip at the top. The better foundation you make, the less likely they will fall over while baking. Once all are formed, add the eyes by gently pressing into the meringue. Work quickly, but carefully.
Place into the oven, middle rack, and bake for 1 hour. Then turn off oven and open door for another hour. They should me firm and crusty, not gooey. Leave in oven until you achieve this result.
Once ghosts have cooled to room temp, dip bottoms in melted dark chocolate candy bar (melt in a double boiler, meaning a heat-proof bowl over a pot of boiling water), and then dip in to coconut flakes.