Basil-Spice Meringue Kisses

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Basil-Spice Meringue Kisses

This recipe is my submission for the NYC Eggland’s Best Recipe Contest that Foodbuzz is hosting here in the city. The winner gets a Williams-Sonoma gift certificate, ooooh :-). Initially, this recipe was going to do double-duty and serve as my BSI: Basil entry as well, but I ran into some difficulty and couldn’t quite get things tweaked in time for that one! However, the recipe is now fully tweaked and perfect and ready to slide in just under the wire for the EB contest 🙂

Ingredients

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– 2 egg whites (Save the egg yolks for something else!)

– 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

– 2 tbsp turbinado sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw.)

– 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

– contents of two ginger-spice tea bags (I used Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice)

– additional dried basil for garnish

– 2 chopped dates for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Using the back of a spoon, mash the chopped basil leaves into the spices from the tea bag until the spices are moistened from the leaves. Put the basil-spice mix aside.

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3. Allow the egg whites to reach room temperature in a glass bowl.

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4. Add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar.

5. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, gradually moving from the slowest speed setting to the highest, until soft peaks form.

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6. Gradually add the turbinado sugar and the spice mixture as you continue to beat the egg whites on high speed.

7. Keep beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form, i.e. until you can make sculptures out of them 🙂

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8. Using a spoon, drop “kisses” of the meringue onto your parchment-lined baking sheet. Depending on the size of your spoonfuls, you may be able to form 15-30 kisses. Garnish each kiss with a piece of chopped date (or dried fruit of your choice; candied ginger would work very well) and a sprinkle of dried basil.

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9. Bake the kisses in your 200 degree oven for 2 hours until firm and set (i.e. crunchy). Allow to cool completely before eating.

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10. Store kisses in the refrigerator until ready to use, either as healthy cookie treats as they are, crumbled on top of oatmeal, or a new creative method of your own!

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