Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leprechaun Bites for St. Patty's Day

Happy St Patty's Day to you all!
I can't say I have celebrated St Patty's Day much in the last few years..I have made cookies.. but not the Corned Beef and Cabbage or Bangers and Mash, since leaving the Northeast. Although we have Irish Pubs here in the South Florida area, they are not prevalent, nor close to home.
So my Irish celebrating has become more for the sweet tooth.


Today I decided to share a recipe with you that I have shared before, but with a twist.
I have made Mini Meringues with a Mint Creme Filling.
They are delicious and adorable! Remember, if you are in a time crunch, feel free to buy prepared meringues. Slice, fill and decorate them, and you are good to go!
Enjoy!

Leprechaun Bites

Ingredients:

Meringues:
6 egg whites
2 tsp Cream of Tarter
1  C  Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla


Cream filling:
1 Cup heavy Whipping Cream (iced cold)
3 oz Cream Cheese (room temp)
3 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar
2 tsp Mint Extract

Garnish:
Green colored coconut

Instructions:
Meringues:
Pre-heat oven to 200° f
Line Baking sheet with Parchment paper

Beat Egg Whites on High speed until frothy.
Add Cream of Tarter.

Continue Beating until white.
Add 3/4 C Sugar. (save 1/4 C for when whipping is complete).
Continue Beating until Egg Whites have come to "Stiff Peaks"
(this means when you turn the beater upside down, they don't fall off.)
Fold in remaining Sugar
Place Large Spoonfuls of the Meringue into a Ziploc Bag.
Squeeze Bag to push out Meringue Mixture onto Baking Sheet in a "poof" in your desired size.
If you have a "star" tip it can be used here to give a striation to the sides of the meringue.
When my grandmother made them she used a spoon and they came out just as well!


Bake Meringues in a 200° oven for 2 hours until crisp, but not brown.
Turn oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for an additional hour.
Allow to cool for 2 hours.

Once cool, Slice each meringue in half,(using a serrated knife) leaving a top and bottom piece.

Prepare Cream:
In a Mixing bowl, soften cream cheese with hand mixer.
In a separate bowl, Whip heavy cream and sugar to stiff peaks.
Once beaten to stiff peaks add mint extract. (if green cream is desired add color now) Fold.
Add Whipped cream to cream cheese. Fold in.

Place mixture in ziploc bag and pipe onto bottom of meringue.

Garnish:
Take each top and dip into cream lightly, then place each top into colored coconut if desired.

Top each meringue with it's top.

Enjoy!