We’re moving (again). Everything is in boxes and I can’t find anything. While cooking amongst piles and piles of boxes, I keep looking for certain appliances that I’m not even completely sure that I’ve ever actually owned, like a garlic grater, bamboo steamer, or pastry bag. It turns out that I have, in fact, never owned any of those. Although I’m starting to lose my mind a little, I’ve become quite the MacGyver. I’ve fashioned gadgets and gizmos out of twigs, burlap, and duct tape. Well, not really, but I did successfully make a frosting tip out of a magazine cover and a pastry bag from a cut-out Ziploc. It’s been rough, but we’re surviving.
My MacGyver skills came in handy for my Chai-Spiced Meringues. In all honesty, I decided to make these in an attempt to reduce the amount of items in our pantry and refrigerator. That’s another annoying component of moving – trying to use up all food already on hand. I must say though, that these meringues turned out to be happy little treats born out of nothing and created using resourceful methods (my magazine frosting tip and Ziploc pastry bag proved to be very effective). While Thomas now calls these MacGyver Meringues, I’m just happy that they pack up easily and can join us in our move.
Makes about 36 mini meringues - each one is less than 5 calories!
Note: Meringues can be quite tricky sometimes. Things like the bowl's material and even the humidity can ruin their formation. Here is a link that explains all of those pesky factors that can work against you and your meringue: Meringue Tips
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Dash black pepper
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites, salt, and lemon juice or cream of tarter until soft peaks begin to form – this takes about 3 minutes. Add the spices and sugar (one tablespoon at a time) and continue to beat for another few minutes, until the meringue is stiff and can stand up on its own, as shown in the picture above. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue and form small circles on the lined baking sheet (I made mine about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter). You can also spoon the meringue onto the sheet if you don’t have a pastry bag, or don’t feel like pulling a MacGyver. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp, and then let the meringues cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired, and enjoy!