You will love Grandma's old fashioned meringue cookie recipes. Whether you want fancy cookies for a special occasion or just a special treat for yourself, you cannot beat light-as-a-feather meringues. They are elegant, sweet-tasting cookies that make any get-together an occasion to be remembered.
These are sissy but superb, and for some reason one of those accomplishments that even veteran cooks brag about. They have a particular charm in these days: they call for no shortening.
They can get you down though — you beat those 2 egg whites till your arm feels as though it will drop off. They have to be stiff enough to stand in peaks and not to slip on the bottom when the bowl or platter is tipped.
Put in a good pinch of salt — while you beat. Then measure 1 cup of sugar, sift it to be sure there are no hidden lumps, and add it slowly to the egg whites, still beating. Then 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of grated lemon rind.
Drop the lovely white "gup" from a teaspoon onto a sheet of waxed paper lining the pan and shape it so it comes up in peaks. Don't crowd them!
The main trick to these is a very slow preheated oven — 225°F — and CLOSE watching. Baked at this temperature, they will be done in about 10 minutes, maybe a little more, and you'll have 15 to 30 of the finished product, depending on how big you make them.
They should puff up, dry out, and begin to get just a little color on the tips. Take them off the paper while they are still hot, being gentle about it so you won't collapse them, and set them on a rack or a dry cloth to cool. These are what really melt in the mouth.
Miss Parloa's New Cook Book (1880)
Beat the whites of six eggs to a stiff froth. They should be beaten until so light and dry that they begin to fly off of the beater. Stir in a cupful of powdered sugar, gently and quickly.
Spread paraffin (waxed) paper over three boards, which measure about nine by twelve inches. Drop the mixture by spoonfuls on the boards, having perhaps a dozen on each one.
Dry in a warm oven for about three-quarters of an hour; then brown them slightly. Lift from the paper and stick them together at the base by twos. A dozen and a half can be made from the quantities given.
These are made similar to kisses, but are put on the paper in oblong shapes, and dried two hours.
Take from the board and, with a spoon, remove all the soft part. Season half a pint of rich cream with a tablespoonful of sugar and one of wine, or a speck of vanilla, and whip it to a stiff froth.
Fill the shells with this, and join them. Or, they may be filled with ice cream. If the meringues are exposed to much heat they are spoiled.
Half a pint of blanched bitter almonds, one heaping cupful of powdered sugar, the whites of six eggs, one-third of a cupful of flour, two tablespoonfuls of cornstarch.
Blanch the almonds and pound them in a mortar. As soon as they are a little broken add the white of an egg. Pound until very fine.
When there is a smooth paste add the sugar, a little at a time, the whites of two eggs, one at a time, and the flour, and cornstarch. When thoroughly mixed, add, by degrees, the three remaining whites.
Butter the bottom of a flat baking pan and put the mixture on it in spoonfuls. Spread it very thin, especially in the center, and bake in a quick oven.
The moment the cakes are taken from the oven, roll into the shape of cornucopias. If allowed to cool, they cannot be rolled, and for this reason it is best to bake only half a dozen at a time.
When all are shaped, fill with the Kiss Mixture, made by beating the whites of three eggs to a stiff froth, and stirring into them, lightly, four tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar.
Place the wafers in a warm oven for twenty minutes or half an hour, to dry. With the quantities given two dozen can be made.
Second Edition of the Neighborhood Cook Book (1914)
Whites of three eggs, beaten stiff, after which fold in carefully a large cup of granulated sugar. Then bake on the bottom of a bread pan, which has been covered with paper dusted with sugar.
Mrs. Goodfellow's Cookery as it Should Be (1865)
Take the whites of eggs, beat them very light, and mix with them enough sifted sugar to make them very stiff.
Then drop them on white paper half the size you want them, and let them remain in a slow oven twenty minutes; four eggs will make a cake basket full.
Beat the whites of ten eggs to a stiff froth, adding slowly ten tablespoonfuls of sifted crushed sugar, but which must be very finely powdered; when well beaten and quite stiff, put it in the form of 2 large eggs on paper; then glaze with the glazing sugar, and lay the paper on a tin in a moderately warmed oven.
When of a light brown take them out, and remove from beneath all that which is not cooked with a spoon; this must be done with care, placing them in the oven when cold to dry; then put any kind of delicate preserves in each, and flavor with anything fancied, and put two together; either quince, calves' foot (gelatin), apple, or wine jelly is very nice in them.