Meringues are simple to make and fascinating to watch transform from a glossy to matte white exterior as they set in a previously warmed oven. A dip in chocolate and smashed candy canes makes them a happy addition to any holiday event. They are a light, crunchy cookie which are naturally gluten-free.
After turning off the oven, beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer for 3 minutes until peaks have formed. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and beat in (10-15 seconds).
As the mixer continues to run on high, slowly spoon in the sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated. The mixture will have a glossy finish.
Place the meringues into the oven and leave the door closed for 2 hours or until the meringues change to have a matte exterior. Do NOT open the oven door during the time the meringues are setting. They can also be left in the oven overnight.
One at a time, dip the flat bottom of a meringue into the melted chocolate (allow any excess chocolate to drain) and into the crushed candy canes. Place them on a fresh piece of parchment paper.
Repeat until they are all completed and allow them to harden. Note: They can be placed on a baking sheet and into the refrigerator to speed up the process.
In my experimentation I have found a standing mixer whips the egg whites better than a hand held mixer. If using a hand held mixer it may take longer for the egg whites to peak. They need to be well formed for the meringues to take shape.
The total time listed includes the resting time of 2 hours in the oven.