I've been wanting to make these candy canes for a couple years now, and the church's Christmas party tonight gave me a good reason to try them out!
Doesn't it just look delightful?
These meringue cookies are another great recipe from Taste of Home. It came from one of their publications called, Light and Tasty (now called Healthy Cooking). Although there's no fat in these, there is real sugar--perfect for any "sweet tooth!"
Meringue Candy Canes
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
red paste food coloring
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes. Beat in peppermint extract.
Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry bag; insert star tip #21. On the inside of the bag, brush three evenly spaced 1/4-inch strips of red food coloring from the tip to three-fourths of the way to the top of the bag. Carefully fill bag with meringue.
Pipe 3-inch candy canes onto parchment-lined baking sheets (wax paper). Bake at 225 degrees for 25 minutes; rotate baking sheets to a different oven rack. Bake 25 minutes longer or until firm to the touch. Turn oven off; leave cookies in oven with door ajar for at least 1 hour or until cool. Yield: 4 dozen
What I did differently: I used my decorator's tool (a cylinder-shape that you fill with frosting and put decorator tips at the end of it). Although it's not the same as a pastry bag, it still worked fine. The tip I used was slightly larger than the #21 one, too. I used a paintbrush to paint the food coloring (I used the gel type) inside the cylinder, then piped in the meringue inside the tube using a plastic storage bag. I also used a baking stone as one of my baking sheets--don't do this! I didn't line it with wax paper because I thought it would be okay, but a few of my candy canes broke. I also made my candy canes a little longer than three inches, so it made fewer than four dozen.