These adorable sweet treats are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)
- 1 cup superfine sugar (or castor)
- candied eyes (or miniature chocolate chips)
- melted chocolate (optional)
- sprinkles or dragees or shredded coconut or puffed cereal (all optional for decorating)
- Preheat the oven to 200F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Have a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch tip ready.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks.
- Add the sugar and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the almond extract.
- The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
- Place dabs of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer the meringue to the pastry bag and, holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe, with even pressure, about 2 inch (5 cm) high mounds of meringue. Carefully press two candy eyes, edible silver dragees, or two miniature chocolate chips into each meringue ghost.
- Bake the meringues for approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until they are dry and crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven, open the door, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours, or even overnight
- If desired, dip the bottoms of the ghosts in melted (and slightly cooled) chocolate, then dip into sprinkles, shredded coconut, puffed cereals, or your choice of Halloween flare.