Yes, I see what I did there. October is here and the Halloween season is upon us. While this may make some run for the pumpkin spice (ahem, basic), there are those of us who get to work making devilishly delicious treats. This month Skill Up Skillet will be hosting a Nightmare Before Christmas tea party of sorts with CuppaGeek! Stay tuned for a stellar tea review and pairing later this month. Seriously, though, did you know there was such a thing as geeky teas? No? You’ve gotta get in on that. Give a girl a click.
This week we’re starting off with the villain, Oogie Boogie. This meringue cookie recipe is positively to die for. There’s a little bit of chewiness, a little bit of crunchiness, and a whole lot of flavor. As an added bonus, they’re so light they practically fly off the plate. Simply diabolical!
Boys and girls of every age, are you ready? Let’s go.
Gamers, grab your mats:
- 3 egg whites
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar – with the difficulties I had, it probably wouldn’t hurt to bump this up to 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract – I know using clear extract is a big thing with meringue but go with regular if you can. It won’t offset the color much at all but, if it does, even better. Oogie Boogie is a fetid sack of bugs!
- dash of salt
- black decorating icing
- splash of water
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.
Separate your whites from your yolks and leave your whites in a smallish bowl to sit out for half an hour. Feel free to cover a few baking sheets with nonstick parchment paper while you wait. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Add vanilla, salt, and cream of tartar to whites.
Set your electric hand mixer to high and whip until foamy, about a minute or so.
Add your sugar to the bowl one tablespoon at a time, whipping on high after each addition until dissolved. I forget how many tablespoons that is.
Right, so. Something like 6-8 spoonfuls later:
Beat the living crap out of this until you get stiff peaks, about 7 minutes. I don’t know what crack that recipe is on because it took me nearly twice as long to get semi-stiff peaks and lose my patience.
Time to use a real piping bag for the first time in my life (geez, I suck). Thankfully the instructions for using the bag and fitting the coupler and tip were comprehensive enough, but you can also get away without using a coupler. Hell, you can use a sturdy food-safe plastic bag with a hole cut out of a corner in a pinch. You do you. Transfer contents of bowl to your piping bag. I used a tall cup to stabilize the bag when I wasn’t using it.
Pipe little mounds of meringue 1 inch in diameter about two inches apart from each other. I tried to do a sort of double dollop which looked cool in practice but kind of deflated in the oven. However, due to the general villainous look of the finished cookies, well, I couldn’t be unhappy about it.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check cookies. If they’re firm, they’re ready. Turn the oven off and leave them in the oven with the door closed for one hour. Is that emphatic enough? Leave. Them. Alone.
After one hour, remove cookies from oven and allow to cool the rest of the way. Squeeze a goodish glop of… wait, I’m not getting any squiggly red spelling error lines? Huh. Squeeze a goodish glop of black decorating icing into a small cup. I prefer to use a shot glass because doing dishes is a miserable affair. Add a splash of water and stir until combined. It’s painting time!
Using a toothpick, paint little Oogie Boogie faces on your meringue cookies. They should start with basic dot eyes and line mouth, and evolve naturally by dragging the toothpick around a bit.
Of course, some looked better than others… That’s right, I’m not perfect! And I don’t expect you to be, either. Just do your best. You’re done!
Did you know I actually have a whole month of recipes planned out in advance? That’s what happens when you work with a buddy! Don’t forget, voting has commenced for November’s Featured Recipe: get out there and VOTE now!
Coming Up Next:
- Ornate Nightscape Sugar Cookies
- Jack Skellington Whoopie Pies
- Sally’s Blueberry Scones
- Pumpkin King Pie (I’m sorry)
Remember, cooking IRL doesn’t have to be a Feat of Strength!