These mushroom meringues may well be the most magical things I’ve made all year. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling after making a batch of these because they just looked so….mushroomy! These fungi confections are a traditional decoration for Buche de Noel (I used them to decorate a “Yule Log” cake), but they would also make a quirky addition to a cookie box or a sweet little stocking stuffer. They aren’t difficult to make, but they do take a bit of time. However, you can easily break up the work over a few days — just bake the meringues one day, and decorate while watching your favorite cheesy holiday movie!
A few notes:
- This recipe is easily scalable. The basic proportion I used is 1 part egg whites to 1.5 parts sugar. (You can use 1:2 if you want them sweeter, but honestly they were plenty sweet for me.)
If you want your mushrooms to stand on their own, keep the caps on the smaller side (maybe 1-2 inches across) and the stems on the shorter, squatter side.
- If you’re using these mushrooms to decorate a buche de noel or something of that sort, it’s perfectly fine (and even desirable) to have caps and stems of different sizes and lengths — it adds to the whimsy and realism! You can always use a dab of frosting to stick them down so you don’t have to worry if they don’t stand on their own.
- If you make a mistake piping, just use a spatula to scoop up the meringue and put it back into the piping bag.
Makes 20-24 medium mushrooms
- 70g egg whites (about 2 large)
- 105g caster sugar
- Large pinch of salt
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Seeds of half a vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g white chocolate or white candy melts
- Cocoa powder for dusting
*Note: you can also just “glue” the stems to the caps without making a hole. I tried both ways and found the hole method to be a little more secure and realistic-looking, though more time consuming…
- Preheat oven to 225F. Line one large (or two medium) sheet pans with parchment paper. Prepare a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (I used a 1/2″ one).
- Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium low until frothy, then add the salt and cream of tartar.
Turn the speed up to medium and continue beating until the meringue holds soft peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, waiting about 10-15 seconds between additions.
- When all the sugar has been added, turn up the speed to medium high and continue beating until the meringue is glossy and holds very stiff peaks. Add the vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and whip until combined.
- Transfer half the meringue to the prepared pastry bag. Use a dab of meringue in each corner of the sheet pan to “glue” the parchment paper down. To pipe the caps, hold the pastry bag vertically about 1/2 an inch above the baking sheet and squeeze (without moving the bag) to form a round. When the cap is your desired size, stop squeezing and flick your wrist to complete the cap. Continue piping rounds until you’ve used up all the meringue in the bag. They won’t spread or puff much so you can pipe them quite close. If you have any peaks of meringue, use a damp finger to flatten and smooth out the caps.
- Fill the bag with the remaining meringue and pipe stems. Again, hold the bag vertically about 1/2 an inch above the baking sheet. Squeeze and slowly lift the bag, then stop squeezing but continue lifting to form “kisses”. Continue piping until you’ve used up all the meringue. (You’ll want to pipe a few more stems than caps as they’re more likely to topple or break.)
- Bake the meringues until they’re completely dry and release easily from the parchment, about 80-90 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the meringues cool down completely (a few hours or overnight).
- When the meringues are completely cool, use a microplane to shave down the tops of the stems so they’re flat. Dust some cocoa powder over the mushroom caps if desired. Smudge the cocoa with your finger to get your desired “dirty” look. Smudge a little on the stems as well if you like. (I used different cocoa powders — natural, Dutch processed, and black — to get a variety of looks, but use whatever you have or like.)
- Melt the white chocolate or candy melts. Use a small paring knife or flower nail to make a small hole in the bottom of a cap. (Work gently so you don’t pierce all the way through!).* Use a chopstick to widen the hole so the end of the stem will fit inside. Dip the end of the stem in melted chocolate, then stand the stem up. Carefully but firmly push the stem through the hole. Using a small brush, dab a little extra white chocolate around the join to seal. Set the mushroom in the well of an egg carton to allow the chocolate to set. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
This post is sponsored by Montellier. As always, all ideas and opinions expressed here are my own.
During our dating days, my husband did his best to give me a quick study of Canadiana. This included (but was not limited to) Saturday night hockey, poutine, and Caesar cocktails.
Caesars are a brinier version of Bloody Marys, using clam-spiked tomato juice in place of regular. Colorful and punchy, they’re the perfect cocktail for your next holiday brunch. In this version I’ve added Canadian-sourced Montellier Lime Carbonated Water to add a refreshing and festive fizz. Cheers!
Sparkling Caesar Cocktail
- 1 oz. Canadian rye wiskey (or vodka, or more Caesar mix for a virgin drink)
- 0.5 oz. lime juice + lime wedge for rimming/garnish
- 2.5 oz. caesar mix, chilled
- 1 can Montellier Lime Carbonated Water, chilled
- Dash of worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce to taste
- Pinch of fresh ground pepper
- Caesar rim
- Rim a 6 to 8 oz glass with your favourite caesar rim mix.
- Add the rye, worcestershire sauce, lime juice, hot sauce (if using) and Caesar mix to the glass.
Fill rest of glass with Montellier Lime Carbonated Water.
- Sprinkle a pinch of fresh ground pepper on top.
- Garnish with lime wedge and serve!
I’m a relative latecomer to gingerbread. Neither of my parents are fans of spice cakes and the like, so gingerbread men and houses weren’t a part of my childhood. It wasn’t until college, when one of my best friends suggested a gingerbread making party, that I had my first memorable gingerbread experience; and ever since then I’ve been trying to make up for lost time. I enjoy sneaking in gingerbread spices wherever possible — bread, morning pastries, coffee, cakes, and now — the classic snickerdoodle. And since one of my all time favorite flavor combos is espresso and gingerbread, I also added a bit of espresso powder to make these gingerbread latte snickerdoodles!
These festive snickerdoodles are delightfully simple to make. I’ve added brown butter and brown sugar to add a bit more chew. I also prefer a mix of flours — bread, all purpose, and some type of whole grain flour — for texture and flavor, but all purpose will do just fine as well. A drizzle of white chocolate and a few Crispearls add a little festive flair. I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I do!
Gingerbread Latte Snickerdoodles
Makes 12 cookies
For the gingerbread spice mix:
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- Few cracks of black pepper
For the cookie dough:
- 113g unsalted butter
- 60g light brown sugar
- 60g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (straight from the fridge is fine)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
- 80g bread flour
- 60g AP flour
- 30g einkorn flour
- 1 1/2 tsp gingerbread spice mix
For the sugar coating and decoration:
- 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar (or cane sugar)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- Remaining gingerbread spice mix
- 30g white chocolate, melted
- Sprinkles or Crispearls
- Combine all the gingerbread spice mix ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, brown the butter. First, melt the butter over low heat; then turn up to medium high and cook, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula, until the butter foams, crackles, then browns. Transfer the butter, along with all the browned bits, to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, and 1 1/2 tsp of the gingerbread spice mix.
- Whisk the brown and granulated sugars into the brown butter until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes to allow the dough to hydrate and solidify slightly. (Cookie dough can be chilled overnight; if chilled for more than a couple hours, allow to soften for 20-30 minutes at room temperature for easier portioning.)
- About 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375F with a rack in the center. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
- Prepare the sugar coating by combining the granulated and brown sugar with the remaining gingerbread spice mix.
- Portion the cookie dough into 12 golf-sized balls, about 35-40 grams each. Roll between hands into a smooth ball, then toss in sugar coating. Space cookies a couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake sheets one at a time for 9-11 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cookies should be puffed and the tops starting to crack, but the centers should still look a little soft. After removing the pan, bang it a couple of times on the counter to help deflate the cookies and get that crinkled top. Cool cookies on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cookies are cooled, melt the white chocolate. Decorate cookies as desired, topping with sprinkles or Crispearls before the chocolate sets. Cookies keep well in an airtight container for about 3 days.