That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard of.
I have lots of friends who I’ve never met In Real Life (IRL). I mean, we move all around all the time, so I have tons of friends that I only get to talk to online, or the phone anyway, so it’s not a stretch for me to meet people online and be friends with them.
Plus, being a blogger means I get to meet tons of amazing bloggers, and even more tons of amazing readers.
One particular friend of mine from online, Tina, is pretty much my twin. She’s like my sister from another mister, or something (hey, if boys can have a brother from another mother, then I can have this).
This astounds and confuses the Hubster to no end. He cannot grasp how someone that I’ve never met IRL could have SO. MUCH. in common with me.
Like, we both say, “Just in cases.” With an S on the end. Both of us. Who have never met. We both say this obscure little line from a movie that we both love (Love Actually).
The other day I told him about some thing or another that Tina and I have in common and he interrupts me and goes, “No. She. Doesn’t.”
Apparently, it was something weird that only I do, because he was floored by the fact that she does it, too.
Anyway, he goes, “You guys are effing crazy.”
Only he didn’t say effing. He said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash-(ing)” word.
I was all, “WHAT?!”
And then I was all, “Don’t make fun of me for having a friend as awesome as me.”
He said, “I’m not making fun of you. You two are freaks. You don’t even know each other and you’re identical. It’s not natural.”
I didn’t even try to explain. I just made him some treats with pumpkin and coffee in them.
It was easier.
To make these meringues spiced and flavorful, I combined cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, plus, a little instant espresso powder.
Continue beating the eggs until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar mixture. I used superfine sugar, so that I wouldn’t have to heat the egg mixture beforehand. The sugar is fine enough that it will dissolve in the whites just through whipping, without any added heat.
Now, I intended to fold a small portion of pumpkin purée, to make these truly spiced pumpkin, but I tried three times, without any luck in getting it to work. I tried gently folding a small amount of the meringues into the pumpkin, then back into the rest of the egg whites. I tried mixing the pumpkin in directly. No luck.
So I left it out of the meringues altogether…
I had high hopes for these, and I’m so happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed. The light crispness, with all it’s spice and just a touch of coffee flavor, was perfectly accompanied by the sweet pumpkin frosting, and the textures were wonderful together.
These were also easy to make, and besides the long baking time, fast to prepare, as well. They have all of the best flavors of fall, but are something new and unique for the holiday table.
Spiced Latte Meringues
with Pumpkin Cream Filling
Makes about 3 dozen, depending on size.
2 egg whites
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring, if desired
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, espresso, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves until thoroughly combined; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the egg whites until frothy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over them, then whip until soft peaks form. Slowly sprinkle the sugar mixture in, and whisk the mixture on high until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Fit a pastry bag with a piping tip, or snip the corner from a zip top bag, fill with the meringue, and pipe small (3/4-inch-high) swirls or mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Refill bag as necessary.
Bake cookies until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Turn the oven off, and leave the meringues in until the oven is cool. Dust with cinnamon and fill with pumpkin filling, or serve as-is.
Pumpkin Cream Filling
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (margarine for vegan/dairy-free)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add half of the sugar and beat until well combined (the mixture will be a little dry). Stir in the vanilla and half of the purée until combined. Add the remaining sugar, beating the mixture until light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining purée and the cream, and beat until thoroughly combined.
Recipe by Darla