Lavender Meringue cookies

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by sylviam, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. sylviam

    sylviam

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    I wanted to try a recipe using lavender. I bought culinary "gourmet" lavender from Amazon.

    Found this recipe on the internet.

    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Cookie/LavenderMeringueCookie.htm

    For some reason the meringue mixture is not getting stiff peaks. I have made meringues before with no problem. I have followed the instructions to the letter. I am wondering if one of you professionals can take a look at the recipe and see if you can figure out why it isn't working.

    I have gone ahead and put spoonfuls on the cookie sheet and they are in the oven, but am not sure how they will turn out because they were not "stiff"

    I have also never used lavender before, and I tasted a little of the "batter" and it has a "bitter" taste to it, whether it will be different when cooked I have no idea but I hope so.
     
  2. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    In order to get the nice stiff peaks of meringue the bowl and whisk must be totally grease free.
    Even something as simple as a drop of yolk (fat) will cause the egg whites to remain soft.
    Try wiping down every utensil that will come in contact with the whites with vinegar or lemon juice before you start.
    HTH.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  3. sylviam

    sylviam

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    Thanks @flipflopgirl  - the bowl and spatulas were grease free, I always make sure of that. They came out of the oven looking Ok - but the lavender taste was "bitter" and overpowering. I ended up throwing them out.

    But I have some meringues in the oven now, just regular meringue recipe with addition of some chocolate chips. The meringue whipped up nice and stiff, as it should.

    The only thing I can think of for that other batch is that I used egg whites that I had previously frozen, but I brought them to room temperature before using. I have used egg whites that  have been frozen before to make Pavlova and never had a problem. To be on the safe side I used fresh egg whites for the current batch.
     
  4. mtullius

    mtullius

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    Does anyone else think 2 Tablespoons sounds like a lot of lavender for 1 Cup sugar, 1/2 Cup powdered sugar and 4 egg whites? I like lavender but it's powerful stuff. I have a lavender shortbread cookie recipe that uses 2 Tablespoons of lavender and it makes 4 dozen cookies while the above makes only 36. Plus since a meringue is mostly air, I'm not surprised it was overpowering. Bitterness seems to be a common result of using too much.
     
  5. sylviam

    sylviam

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    @mtullius  I thought it sounded too much too - but I have never used lavender or tasted lavender in anything before. I am almost afraid to look for other recipes to use lavender in now. I thought it may have a "delicate" taste, but it was really overpowering.

    I love shortbread, I make shortbread quite often, but never tried lavender in it.
     
  6. mtullius

    mtullius

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    I haven't made this yet but I think I might cut down on the lavender. Then if they need more I can pulverize some with the powdered sugar they are dusted with.

    I've had lavender ice cream and just love it. I think it tastes like the mountains. Kind of piney, kind of desert sagey.

    http://www.reneesgarden.com/recipes/lavender shortbread.html

    I just compared this to other shortbread recipes and it seems heavy on the butter. Maybe I'll use a different shortbread base.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  7. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    You ladies have bigger huevos than I.

    Lavender is my go to scent for the usual linen spray and laundry rinse (can't forget the bubble bath) but have never cared for the taste.

    But I don't do pine or even rosemary.

    Allergic to cedar so maybe that has something to do with it.

    @SylviaM... when I use frozen egg whites I always add some egg white powder in with the whites and let it sit at room temp for awhile.

    When it looks like all the powder is absorbed I hand whisk a bit then toss it into the mixer.

    Works great try it sometime.

    mimi
     
  8. sylviam

    sylviam

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    Does look like a lot of butter. Which recipe do you normally use for lavender shortbread? What other goodies have you made with lavender. PM me if you like
     
  9. sylviam

    sylviam

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    I like to think outside the box sometimes - and lavender was never  in "my box". I am on a forum with home cooks on FB and they have a recipe challenge each week. This weeks was meringues, so I thought it would be a good idea to try the lavender meringue cookies. Alas it wasn't such a good idea! But my meringue cookies with chocolate chips came out great :) Where do you get egg white powder?
     
  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Check the baking section.
    I usually find it in the area with powdered milk.
    Not all stores carry it so just check every time you shop.
    I usually end up tossing because out of date before I can use it all.
    Have read where someone used the Wilton meringue powder but have never had any to try so I can't recommend it.
    Sorry if I poked the bear re culinary lavender.
    IMO when we stop trying new things might as well start eating nothing but canned soup and boxed mac and chez lol.

    mimi
     
  11. sylviam

    sylviam

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    I will have my husband check the baking section - he has to do all the grocery shopping, I don't get out much because of my RA.  LOL on "poking the bear" Canned soup and boxed mac and cheese? Yuck!!! Bruce, my husband, does a mean mac and cheese, he does all the main cooking as I can't handle the pans and casserole dishes. I do the desserts. I can handle the cake pans and muffin tins etc. Bruce does have to help get them in and out of the oven sometimes. He also has to put the beaters in and take them out of the Oster mixer (I also have a Kenwood Chef for heavy duty, but it is hard for me to use)

    Oh - just found this - is this what you mean? http://www.modernistpantry.com/egg-white-powder.html?gclid=COHgxJLQt8ECFbPm7AodYi0A8g  and how much would you add to frozen egg whites?
     
  12. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    That's it.
    I make a lot of Italian buttercream so seldom have egg whites to freeze (now yolks are another story...... )
    Last time I used defrosted whites I think there were 6 and maybe sprinkled a tsp in?
    Just use a small amt and if your whites still look runny sprinkle some more.

    I know how frustrating it is to be unable to rule the kitchen.
    A third lumbar fusion is staring me in the face and I am being pretty stubborn about it.
    If I have a big baking day it takes two more to recover lol.
    Eh... I refuse to just quit, don't think I could if I wanted to.
    Sounds like Bruce has no problem pitching in.
    My fisherman is the same way.
    We are two very lucky women.

    mimi
     
  13. sylviam

    sylviam

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    Thanks Mimi you have been very helpful :)

    I'll order some when I return from our annual cruise (leaving on Sunday for 7 days)

    Sorry about your spine problems. I know how painful it can be, I had kyphoplasty a few years ago. (I had 2 spinal fractures, partly due to osteoporosis)

    Italian buttercream? Sounds yummy. I have only made the regular buttercream, but think next time I will give the Italian a try.

    Yes, sounds like we both have wonderful husbands. We celebrate our 42nd anniversary in February, think I'll keep him around a little longer LOL
     
  14. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Total congrats on # 42!

    We like to take the occasional cruise also.

    Tell Bruce to enjoy the vacation from KP.

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif

    mimi