Lucky for me, I found this wonderful, detailed recipe from Z’s Cup of Tea. I decided to do my best to actually follow it.
I made a few mistakes, but did turn out some amazing cookies in the end! Kid2 says they are the best treat he’s had since we went gluten-free. Yes, that includes pre-GAPS store bought treats!
Here are the basics of Z’s Cup of Tea’s recipe, with all my mistakes thrown in for good measure.
GAPS Legal Meringue Cookies
Ingredients: what I did instead is italicized
- 1/2 cup honey Since I had so many egg whites, I doubled it to 1 cup
- 1/3 cup water I used 2/3 cup since I doubled the honey
- 2 to 4 or 5 large egg whites, room temperature I had a dozen egg whites, some big some small, all together in the refrigerator. I’d even dropped a whole egg in while separating them for lemon curd, but I’d fished out the yolk. I was a good girl and put them on the counter and waited until they were room temperature.
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. ice cold water (use 1 tsp. if using the larger proportion of egg whites) I used about 3 Tbsp ice cold water
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla extract I used 1/2 Tbsp
First off, make sure it’s not too humid. We have had rain on and off here, but I waited for a day when it wasn’t pouring and I was not reducing stock. You don’t want a lot of humidity while making these!
- Preheat the oven to 250 F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Put the honey and water in a small pan over medium heat, with a candy thermometer. Heat without stirring until it reaches 235 F – 240 F. It will start to boil eventually, but it takes a long time. I also was all freaked out that my syrup didn’t look much like Z’s. It all was good in the end, though. If I’d had any more in the pan it would have overflowed. Since I double the recipe, I should have used a medium pan.
- While the syrup is heating, whisk together egg whites, salt, and ice cold water in a stainless steel bowl, until it reaches the soft peak stage. I used my stand mixer for this. The only problem is that I was just under soft peaks when I checked it, and then I whipped a bit more and was really close to stiff peaks! Whoops! It works better to combine the honey with soft peaks, so I was nervous about this mistake.
- When your syrup has reached 235 F, slowly pour it into your egg white mixture while continuing to whisk. If you are whisking by hand, have someone else pour for you. Whisk until it is stiff and glossy. At this point I got pretty excited! My syrup folded in!
- Add your vanilla extract and keep whisking for 2 more minutes. And I was nervous again. I’d doubled the recipe so my bowl was now dangerously full. Lucky for me, it didn’t overflow.
- Spoon or pipe the mixture onto your parchment-lined baking sheet. Mine were kind of messy and not all exactly the same size. Since I doubled the recipe, I had more than half of the batter waiting. I was worried it would separate. When it came time for the second batch, though, all I had to do was whisk a bit and it came back together just fine.
- Bake for 75 minutes or until light to deep golden brown and dry to the touch. OK, this is where I had to experiment. More notes below.
- Let them cool on the pan. They may make cracking noises. When you can tap them and get a ping pong ball sound, you’ve done it! They should pop off the parchment easily.
- If you don’t eat them all at once, store them in an air-tight container. You can even add a bit of rice in cheesecloth to help absorb extra moisture.
I tried several batches. My first batch turned golden brown at about 65 minutes but wasn’t dry to the touch. I took out one of the pans to cool, and left the other in for 10 minutes. Before my timer went off, I started to smell an almost burnt smell, so I took them out, too even though they were kind of sticky.
This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday, Allergy Friendly Friday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Allergy Friendly Friday, Living Well Blog Hop, Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Sunday School, Grateful GAPS Holiday Foods.