the halloween spooktacular continues today with a recipe that’s super creepy, and so simple to make it’s scary.
are you guys loving these halloween puns? i mean, who doesn’t love puns?
well, actually my fiance doesn’t like puns. he thinks they’re cheesy. i, however think that puns are the greatest comedic device in the history of the world.
pssssh, he’s just jealous because whenever i use puns (which is practically on the hour, every hour) i always get big laughs. i bring down the house.
i suppose you could say that i’m…punstoppable. damn, i’m good.
anyhow, aren’t these meringue bones super creepy? i know they don’t look like anatomically correct medical bones or whatever, but i just think they’re so charming. they’re adorable little cartoon bones!
and come on, that little vial of strawberry jam blood? perfect. i am in love with how totally corny this dessert is!
let me tell you a secret: i used to hate meringues. growing up, my parents used to have them in the house all the time–the sugar-free version. blech. we really never had any fun, delicious desserts or treats in the house, since one or three of us were always on some sort of diet or health kick. maybe that’s why i’m so obsessed with baking now…hmm.
anyway, so my only experiences with meringues until recently were negative. i thought they were gross and pointless; they never really had any flavor, aside from the god-awful aftertaste the sugar substitute left in your mouth. the meringues of my childhood also had a very odd texture: the exterior was like concrete, and once you managed to bite into one, they instantly turned into dust. yum.
i imagine that eating plaster of paris would be a pretty similar experience.
since i grew up thinking all meringues were lifeless concrete poufs, i avoided all types of desserts that had anything to do with them: lemon meringue pie, macarons…even swiss meringue buttercream. i missed out on so many delicious sweets due to my anti-meringue mentality.
thankfully, things are different these days. i’ve found that many of the foods i thought i abhorred were just made improperly. i really think that cooking and baking from scratch is the best way to open yourself up to new foods, and also the greatest way to re-introduce yourself to things you thought you didn’t like.
long story short: i now love meringue, in all forms and fashions. hooray!
these meringue bones are so incredibly simple–just three ingredients! they’re light and airy, with a pleasant exterior crunch that gives way to a soft, chewy interior. the simple vanilla flavor shines through and is complimented by the tart warmth of berry jam.
how cute would these be to serve at a halloween party? they’re a little gory, so they may not be appropriate for like…a children’s party. instead of a red berry jam, i might use an orange marmalade instead so it’s still an appropriate for halloween without being too scary!
but for adults? bring on the blood! the gorier, the better!
also, how cute would it be if you made teeny tiny bones, and sandwiched two of them together with berry jam in the middle? cutest little faux macaron bones ever.
meringue bones: without a doubt, the simplest halloween treat in the whole wide world!
Yield: 30 meringue bones
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
strawberry or raspberry jam, for serving
preheat the oven to 200 degrees F, with the racks in the center part of the oven.
line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted on.
mix the whites on low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium-high for 2-3 minutes, or until the egg whites begin to look foamy and very soft peaks begin to form.
lower the speed to medium, and slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar a bit at a time.
once the sugar is incorporated, return the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue is smooth and glossy, about 1-2 minutes.
add the vanilla extract and mix for 10 seconds to incorporate. turn off the mixer.
place your baking sheets so they're positioned horizontally lengthwise on your counter top.
place a medium-sized round tip into a pastry bag and fill the bag with the meringue.
starting at one end of the baking sheet, pipe two small circles of meringue right next to one another.
pipe a thin straight line coming down from the center of the two dots, about 2-2 1/2" long.
pipe two small dots on the end of the line--you made a bone!
continue piping bones until all the meringue is used up, leaving about 1" of space in between each bone. i was able to get about 15 bones on each baking sheet. i got 30 meringues out of my batch, but it totally depends on how large you pipe your bones.
place the baking sheets in the oven and bake at 200 degrees F for one hour. depending on the temperature, humidity and altitude of where you live, your baking time could be shorter or longer! start checking on them about 40 minutes into baking.
when the bones are done, they should be firm but give slightly when you press on them lightly. they shouldn't be too dark in color, just a hint of brown.
turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. allow the bones to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
remove the bones from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature on the baking sheets.
once the meringue bones are cool, you can carefully peel them off the parchment paper. be very gentle, they're super-fragile! i broke a few of them, but i think that's fine because it looks pretty sinister to have some broken bones on your serving tray.
you can make the meringues 2 days in advance, just store them carefully in a single layer in zip-top plastic bags at room temperature.
when you're ready to serve, heat your jam (i used about 1 cup, but you can use more if you want) in the microwave or a pan on the stove just until the jam is loosened and slightly warm. it should be pourable. i added a small amount of red food coloring to my jam to make it look a bit more like blood, but that's up to you!
pour the warm jam into a serving bowl and serve with the meringue bones.
a food + words original