Teatime Kisses

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Who doesn’t love meringue, the light, sweet result of whipping air into egg whites? Meringue is fantastic atop cupcakes, in pies and even by the spoonful. But baking meringue elevates it to another level. Sweet, airy meringue cookies are an elegant afternoon snack perfect for an afternoon tea. Since experiencing my first afternoon tea in London last year, I have been fascinated by the tradition, and I would proudly serve my meringues at any afternoon tea in the British capital.

Inspired by British company Meringue Girls, I decided to create my own flavor of meringues, one that I had not yet seen: Earl Grey.

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Earl Grey tea adds a pleasant complexity to meringues. The citrus undertones of Earl Grey are especially pronounced in this cookie, making it a light, refreshing treat. Meringue cookies sometimes called “forgotten kisses” because you can “forget” them in the oven for hours. Enjoy these kisses for afternoon tea and then snack on the leftovers at all hours of the day.

Earl Grey Meringue Cookies

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

Makes approximately 60 small cookies

7 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3-4 Earl Grey tea bags for a strong Earl Grey flavor

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut open tea bags and pour contents into blender. Pulse on low for 15-30 seconds or until tea leaves look more like powder. Set aside.

Put egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high, and gradually add granulated sugar and then powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla extract, lemon juice and tea powder and fold gently into meringue.

Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 60 mounds onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 225 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Turn oven off. Leave meringues in closed oven for 1 hour or until dry. Carefully remove the meringues from paper. IMG_1193

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