Maintain, not Gain is the Strategy for the Holidays, plus a Sweet Meringue Cookie Treat

December 14, 2018

Thinking about all the rushing around over the next couple of weeks and how to get everything done, some of healthy habits tend to slide by the wayside. 

Being mindful about not letting ourselves dropout or drop off with our exercise can be an important tool for managing stress.

  • Avoid overeating. Let's face it, food is a major theme of the holidays. Making sure to have those healthy options in the refrigerator and cupboard can make a difference.
  • Limit consumption of alcohol. A few extra calories can be manageable but careful how many you consume.
  • Take time for yourself! Remember to slow down and enjoy the season.

Try these sweet treats...they are very tasty, but as sinful as most options.

Meringue Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature (see Tip)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparations:

  1. Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl and discarding the yolk. If there's any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white and start over. If it's yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs.
  2. Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more.
  3. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan. Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip) with the meringue. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze. Snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a ¾-inch-wide opening. Fold the top of the bag over a few times, then gently push the meringue down to the snipped corner. Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 1½-inch-diameter cookies, spacing them about ½ inch apart.
  4. Bake the cookies until dry and crisp throughout, about 1½ hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  5. Make Ahead Tip: Cookies can be held at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If stored meringues are chewy, bake at 200°F for about 10 minutes to restore their original crisp texture.
  6. Tip: To get the most volume from beaten egg whites, it's best to start with whites at room temperature. Submerge them in their shells in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes before using.