Haunted Halloween Ghosts
- Heat oven to 200°F. Position an oven rack in middle slot. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add sugar to a blender for 5-10 seconds until finely ground but not powdered. This will make it into superfine sugar, which combines easily with egg whites. Set aside.
- Make sure bowl and beaters are clean and dry for best meringue loft. In large bowl with electric mixer on low speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add salt and almond extract, increase speed to medium-high, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until meringue makes stiff, glossy peaks. Test consistency by stopping mixer and lifting beater out slowly to see if it makes peaks, and whether peaks are floppy or stiff. If they are floppy, beat a bit longer and check again. (This might take 5-8 minutes.)
- Using a sifter or a strainer, sift confectioners’ powdered sugar into meringue to remove any lumps. Using a clean and dry rubber spatula, gently fold confectioners’ powdered sugar into meringue just until combined. For puffiest ghosts, do not fold in any more than necessary and do not over mix.
- Spoon meringue into a piping bag or fill a large plastic food storage bag and snip 1/4-inch off one bottom corner tip of the bag.
- Holding bag upright, squeeze gently to make a vertical stack of meringue onto parchment for each ghost. Pipe a base, then atop that a slightly smaller middle, and then atop that a final curled top. It’s a bit like constructing a snowman from the ground up.
- Pipe 24 meringue ghosts onto baking sheet. Add a little squirt of meringue to each side for arms. (They will need to be small or they will droop.)
- Bake meringue ghosts for 2 hours, or until crisp. This low-and-slow technique ensures they will get crisp throughout yet remain white. Warning: If you try to speed it up by raising oven temperature, you’ll have brown ghosts. If meringues start to color, reduce oven temperature to 175°F (79°C). When ghosts are crisp, turn oven off, leave door closed, and cool meringues in oven for at least 2 hours, or even overnight if you can.
- If using gel for eyes, dot them on. If using candy eyes, dot a bit of gel on as glue, and stick candy eyes on. There’s no rule that says you can’t play with your ghost faces, so feel free to use candy eyes AND then make the mouth from gel, or draw a hat on the ghost with gel, or whatever you like! Your kids will delight in this part of the recipe.
Dixie Crystals Insight
Recipe created by Dorothy Reinhold @Shockingly Delicious. Shared with permission.