Brighten up your holidays with these festive colorful desserts!
You’ve been inspired this holiday season and you want to WOW your guests by creating something magnificent. Have nothing special on your menu that will do the trick? This year, we have created something spectacular for you to serve at your next holiday get-together!
These delectable treats are pure heaven on earth. They’re mini version of strawberry Shortcake but a lot of bite. They are light, fluffy, crisp and full of dessert goodness. It’s a perfect dessert course; with a lot of crunch, full of fruit and fresh whipped cream and just in time for all the festivities. Pair it with a good cup of coffee and your savory dessert becomes your biggest attraction of the night. We guarantee this will be your go to holiday dessert recipe from now on.
These delightful treats are simple to make but do require time and dedication. Plan a head and you’ll create desserts for your guests they’ll be sure to talk about until your next creation.
This recipe makes roughly 6-8 large meringues. Unless you’re having a formal sit down dinner, I recommend making smaller meringues to be served as finger food. The crisp shell does fall apart very easily and you will definitely have a mess to clean up after, so do yourself a favor make them bite size.
3 lg. Egg whites (room temperature)
½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar
½ – ¾ cups of Sugar
Preheat oven 275 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper so the meringues won’t stick and set it aside.
In a large bowl, combine room temperature eggs whites, vanilla and cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form. If you have a stand up mixer that’s great, if not you can use a hand help mixer, but prepare your ingredients ahead of time.
Gradually add sugar, approximately 2 tbsp. at a time until all the sugar has dissolved and stiff peaks have formed.
Taste the meringue to make sure it’s nice and sweet with the ½ cup of sugar. If the sweetness is not to your liking, add the additional sugar and continue to whisk until dissolved.
Place about 2-3 tbsp. of meringue on a cookie sheet approximately an inch or 2 apart. Make a hole in the middle using a small spoon. Make sure to make enough room to fit the whipped cream. The base should be nice and think as it will be holding the whipped cream and fruit. You don’t want anything leaking out, so don’t dig too deep.
If you have a pipping bag, you can create beautiful shells; I used freehand style which made them look like fluffy clouds.
Place the meringues in the oven and bake for 45-50.
Once the timer goes off, turn off the oven but DO NOT remove the meringues from the oven. Instead open the oven door a little and leave the meringues in for another hour to dry completely.
Whipped Cream Ingredients
1 cup Heavy Cream
¼ cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Place the cold heavy cream in a mixing bowl and whisk on high until a soft cream forms. Don’t over beat because the cream will turn into butter, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks have formed. Taste the whipped cream to make sure it’s good before placing on shell.
Fresh Strawberries or berries of your choice – sliced thin the long way.
Once the meringues have dried, place the whipped cream in the middle where you made the hole and top with fresh strawberries or berries of your choice.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, some mint and you’re done!
Keep meringue shells in a dry area uncovered until you are ready to use them. They can be made the day before and stored until ready to use.
When making the whipped cream, don’t whisk too long or your whipped cream will turn into butter and we don’t want sweet butter on a dessert that requires whipped cream.
Once you’ve placed the whipped cream and berries on your dessert, you must serve them right away. The whipped cream will start to melt and will lose its form, no longer holding up the berries. The berries will start to give off fruit juice because of the powdered sugar, soaking the shell.
Dry your berries completely before slicing them. If the berries are too moist, the powdered sugar will melt giving off an invisible mat finish which is not what you want. You want the powdered sugar to be visible, completing the dessert to perfection.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Recipe & Images: Ida L.