First things first – today, I’m joining a new baking group! A few weeks ago, I read April’s post about the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies group that she participated in last year with a few other bloggers. I was intrigued, so I asked for some more information. Basically, starting today, each Friday everyone in the group will post a cookie, bar, or candy recipe (if it goes on your goodie tray, it’s game!) with the last post being on December 17th – that’s right, 12 weeks of cookies to get you ready for Christmas. I am so excited to be participating this year, and I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with each week!
Also, not only is it week 1 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, but today I want to share a new cookbook with you that is fast becoming one of my favorites: Desserts 4 Today by Abigail Johnson Dodge.
I first met Abby at the Big Summer Potluck, although I’ve had another one of her books, The Weekend Baker, on my shelf for a while now – so I was just thrilled to meet her! During her demonstration, she prepared one of the recipes from her new book, and it looked so elegant that I could hardly believe it contained only four ingredients. All of the recipes in her book are like the one she showed us…simple yet sophisticated, and made with only four ingredients – REAL ingredients too; no boxed mixes here! As such, all of the recipes in her book are approachable for bakers of any skill level…and, the possibilities are endless! Throughout the book, Abby includes simple ways to change up the recipes, as well as substitutions and other ideas to get your creative juices flowing so that you can make the recipes your own.
Needless to say, when given the opportunity to review the book, I said I’d absolutely love to! It took me a while to decide which recipe I wanted to try first, but in light of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, I finally settled on these peppermint meringue kisses that caught my eye the first time I flipped through the book. Not only are they beautiful and elegant, but they are so light that they practically melt in your mouth. These will be on my Christmas cookie trays this year for sure!
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1/8 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/3 cup finely chopped peppermint candies
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift the powdered sugar twice to remove any lumps, and divide in half. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the egg whites hold soft peaks. Continue beating while gradually adding in half of the powdered sugar. Beat until firm, glossy peaks form. Add in the extract. Fold the remaining powdered sugar into the meringue.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe swirled kisses 1 1/2″ wide and 2″ high on tot he parchment paper, about an inch apart.
Sprinkle with the chopped candies.
Bake about 3 hours or until dry and crisp. Turn off the oven and let the meringues cool in the oven for an hour longer. Serve immediately, or cover and store at room temperature for up to one week. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of Desserts 4 Today at no cost from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing the book. I only review those products that I have personally used in my kitchen. I was not compensated with additional products, gifts, gift cards, or money, and the opinions expressed here are all my own.