How can I keep my meringue cookies stay white? Should you add cornstarch or vinegar or just cream of tartar to stabilize whites?
I have had the best luck with cream of tartar. they might not be snow white, but shouldn't be an off-putting color either.
Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I make meringue cookies frequently. Here are the things I've learned. (We call them white cookies. Here's the recipe: http://food52.com/recipes...)
I don't use cream of tartar or vinegar. I think they change the taste--and not in a good way. I beat the egg whites (no yolks! Be anal about it!) with a pinch of (morton's) kosher salt until they start to stiffen and whiten. Then I add the sugar, beating till the meringue is smooth and glossy, and stiff peaks form when you raise the beaters. Finally, when you make the cookies, put them into a pre-heated 350 degree oven and turn the oven off, or down to the lowest temperature, for about 3 hours. That way you are drying the meringues, not baking them. In my old house I had a new electric oven that held its temperature well so i turned the oven off. In this house I have a very temperamental gas oven, so I preheat it while I'm making the meringues and then turn the temperature down to the lowest setting (170 in my case). The cookies are ready to come out in about 3 hours, and they are still shiny and white. i hope this helps.
The sugar is the stabilizer, you shouldn't need to add anything else. I've found that generally the only color my meringue cookies get is from the vanilla or from cooking at too high a temperature.
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