I couldn’t even begin to tell you what inspired it or how I thought it up. All I know is, I’m super glad about it.
I wanted jewelry for Valentine’s Day; edible jewelry that I could share with my peeps (that’s you). What’s better than a candy necklace, I ask?
Nothing. That’s what.
There is nothing better than a candy necklace. Especially for Valentine’s Day!
When I first thought of these homemade candy necklaces, I wasn’t 100% sure what was going to happen. I mean, they were pretty much either going to be the best thing ever. Or they were going to be the silliest thing ever.
I’m pretty thrilled, and not at all humble, about saying that they were a resounding success, and they really are the best thing ever. Ever. My little endeavor to create homemade, from scratch candy necklaces was brilliant (I know I’m being awfully proud here, but I can’t help it…they make me utterly happy), and they turned out so completely cute and fanciful! I am in love with them, and I don’t care who knows it!!
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. Place the bowl on top of a medium sauce pan filled with a couple of inches of barely simmering water and set over medium heat. Gently whisk the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the standing mixer (if you’re not using a standing mixer, just remove the bowl from heat and use a hand mixer), and whisk the mixture on high until stiff peaks form.Â If making several colors or flavors, divide the mixture into separate bowls and gently stir in the extracts and food colorings.
Once your meringue is ready, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #4 writing tip (or comparable), and pipe small rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that the rings have a nice open center, because they will spread very slightly (even with great, stiff meringue). Pipe a single circle onto the sheet, then continue piping until you have piped the circle twice. This will make the ring twice as high/thick, making it less fragile.
I used Silpat mats for my first two batches, but I recommend parchment paper instead. You can certainly use Silpat mats, but the meringues tend to stick a little more, and will have more of a tendency to crack. With parchment paper, the meringues release easily, and I didn’t have any breaks.
You’ll notice that the white and yellow rings have the best shaped, while the pink and blue rings are less uniform. I discovered that it’s important to pipe all of the rings at once, because as the other colors sat (for two and three hours of bake times), the meringue softened slightly, causing them to have trouble holding their shape.
The blue “rings” lost their shape entirely, while the pink ones had to be piped large and thin to keep from filling in the center.
My biggest recommendation for this project: place four (or more) sheets of parchment paper the size of your baking sheets on flat surfaces. Pipe all of your meringue immediately, filling the paper with as many rings as possible. Set aside and do not disturb until they can be baked. The meringues will dry slightly as they sit, but that’s okay, as the end goal is to bake them until dried anyway.
I don’t recommend this if you live somewhere very humid, but I wouldn’t recommend making meringues in a very humid climate anyway.
I used green and white baker’s twine for mine, but thin satin ribbon, twine, or another type of string would work well, too. The reason I like the baker’s twine, though, is because it stays tied very well. Satin ribbon tends to loosen or even untie completely with too much agitation, but twine holds tight without having to be double knotted.
All I did for these was pipe meringue hearts onto my parchment paper, then add an already baked ring to the top. Notice that the ring is standing on its side, and it is stuck directly into the soft meringue. When these are finished baking, the ring will be securely attached, and you’ll have pendants!
Like, with all my heart.
A word of warning, though: if you expect to have these whipped up and assembled in a short time, I have to tell you that it just isn’t going to happen. These are very easy to make, and they’re very quick to mix up, but you need to be prepared for two to four hours of waiting while they bake. Obviously, that’s no work at all, just a lot of waiting, but you can’t make these at the last minute. They only take about 15 to 20 minutes to mix and another 10 minutes or so to pipe, but they take one hour per two sheets to bake (you can place two baking sheets in your oven at one time, as long as they are evenly spaced and you rotate them front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time). You need a day to wait for them all to bake and cool. I would recommend making the candy one day, and assembling them the next.
I know that these aren’t a fancy schmancy cake, and they aren’t a super creative and detailed cookie. They’re not an irresistible and mouthwatering recipe, or an uber complicated concoction, but these sweet little homemade candy necklaces may just be my very favorite thing I’ve ever made!
They’re delicious, they’re seriously adorable, they’re incredibly easy and fun to make, and they are completely unexpected. What’s not to love?!
Please, go make these! You will have so much fun and kids and adults alike will be enchanted (yes, enchanted) by them. Enjoy!
Meringue Candy Necklaces [Printable Version]
Makes several, depending on length of each necklace
Prep time: 25 to 35 minutes
Bake time: 2 to 4 hours, possibly longer
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon raspberry extract (and/or other flavors, if desired) *see note
Food coloring, optional
Preheat oven to 175 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. Place the bowl on top of a medium sauce pan filled with a couple of inches of barely simmering water and set over medium heat. Gently whisk the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the standing mixer (if you’re not using a standing mixer, just remove the bowl from heat and use a hand mixer), and whisk the mixture on high until stiff peaks form. If making several colors or flavors, divide the mixture into separate bowls and gently stir in the extracts and food colorings.
Fit a pastry bag per color/flavor Â with a Wilton #4 writing tip (or comparable), fill each bag with meringue, and pipe small circles, slightly larger than Cheerios onto prepared baking sheets.Â Refill bag as necessary. Pipe all of the meringue immediately, even if you can’t bake it all at the same time.
Bake rings until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
To make meringue heart pendants: Pipe large hearts (about 1 1/2-inches across) onto the prepared baking sheets. Place a baked and cooled ring in the center of the heart, standing on its side, to act as the loop that will connect the heart to the necklace. Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes,Â until crisp but not brown.Â Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
* You will need 1 teaspoon total flavoring for this recipe, so if you divide it into 4 flavors, each flavor will get 1/4 teaspoon of its respective flavor.
Created and recipe by Darla
Meringue making tips:
1. Don’t let any yolk at all into the egg whites…not even a tiny speck.
2. Always make meringue in metalÂ or glass, never plastic. Plastic can absorb oils and such from other uses that a washing doesn’t always remove.
3. Make sure your bowl is 100% clean.
4. Make sure your cream of tartar is not expired. Although cream of tartar isn’t required for meringue, it’s very helpful in adding lift and volume.
5. Always try to use the freshest eggs you can get.
6. Separate your eggs while they’re cold, but allow them to come to room temperature before starting the process.
7. Make sure that your sugar is completely dissolved before you begin whipping the mixture.
8.Â When adding color/flavor, be sure to stir it in thoroughly, but gently.
Candy necklace tips:
1. Make a double loop of meringue to ensure the ring will be thick enough not to break while working with it.
2. Make all of your rings at once. This will mean having to place parchment paper on flat surfaces around your kitchen in order to have somewhere to make them all, but it’s an important step. By piping them all right away, you will get the best shapes, and the shapes will hold better (see blue rings above to see an example of rings that weren’t piped soon enough).
3. These can be made on Silpat mats, however, I don’t recommend it. They are somewhat delicate and they will release without breaking when parchment paper is used.
4. If the hole of a ring has closed, but there’s still a deep indentation where it was, you can thread the necklace string through it by gently using a needle to pierce the thinnest part of the candy.