Meringues are desserts prepared by adding sugar and flavourings to perfectly fluffy, beaten egg whites, baked until they develop a crust. Some meringues have a soft interior, such as pavlovas, while others are dry throughout. One example of the latter are small meringues, about the size of a cookie, called “suspiros”, which means “sighs” because they are so light and just melt in your mouth; they are often given as favours at weddings and showers, coloured to match the theme of the event, and wrapped in cellophane:
I had a few egg whites leftover from my previous recipe of Classic Spanish Custard, so I decided to make a batch of these meringues, in an even smaller version, called in the diminutive form “suspiritos.”
Mini Meringue Treats – Suspiritos
Ingredients (for approximately 150 pieces)
4 eggs (only whites needed for this recipe); at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar; optional
1 tsp vanilla
2 drops food colouring of choice; optional
1 cup granulated sugar
Line three baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
Separate egg whites making sure that yolks do not break, to avoid any contamination (reserve yolks for another use); place egg whites in a clean and dry mixing bowl, and add cream of tartar, if using (photo below, left). Whisk vigorously, preferably with an electric mixer, until white and foamy, then add vanilla (photo below, right):
Continue whisking while adding food colouring (if using), and then gradually, the sugar (photo below, left). Continue beating until the mix is glossy and firm (photo below, right):
Transfer some mix to a pastry bag, fitted with a large round nozzle (photo below, left). An alternative is to fill a strong plastic storage bag and cut an opening at one corner, about 1/3 in (8 mm) wide. Start piping onto prepared baking sheets, holding the bag vertically, and moving up slowly with a constant flow, forming small mounds; the shape is similar to a chocolate kiss, but bigger, about one inch (2.5 cm) in diameter (photo below, right):
Continue piping, refilling the pastry bag, until all the mix is used (makes about 150 pieces).
Place baking sheets in oven pre-heated to 180ºF (82ºC). Bake for 40-60 minutes, until the suspiritos look dry outside. Turn off the oven, and allow to rest inside for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight. Take trays out of the oven; the meringues should feel very light, and look completely dry, but not browned:
Store in a container with lid, or if preparing as favours for an event, place 8-10 pieces in cellophane bags, and tie a ribbon in a matching colour to close the bag:
Although these bite-size treats take a long time to cook, this should not encumber making a batch; the short ingredient list and limited active time definitely make them an easy choice either for a nifty-looking party favour, or even just a snack or every day dessert.
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I am sharing my post at Happiness is Homemade #432 with Linda @ A Labour of Life, Sinea @ Ducks ‘n a Row, Beverly @ Eclectic Red Barn, Katie @ Love My Messy Messy Mess, Mel @ Décor Craft Design, Niki @ Life as a Leo Wife, and Allyson @ Southern Sunflowers.