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Spooky Eyeball Cookies in Blood – (Meringue cookies in POM-Strawberry syrup)

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween is just around the corner and the festive season of this year has begun! This is definitely the time for spooky treats and spookier costumes!!! I’m not very much into dressing up for halloween, but spooky treats, yes!! Of all the halloween candies, I think the body parts are the most gory and hence the best treats for this occasion. So, I (actually hubby dear) came up with the idea of eyeballs. Once he suggested that, we came up with the idea of meringue cookies and they are easy to make and fun to eat. I had some POM-Strawberry syrup from this earlier recipe that I needed to use up and they came perfectly handy as blood. As the syrup had some crushed strawberries, I thought it was the perfect texture for blood. The rest is just some blue food color and some melted chocolate. Actually, you can make up the plain white meringues and ask your children to get creative. Blue, green, black or even orange eyes!!! And this is just an idea, so let your imagination run wild and create the ugliest or the most beautiful eyeballs.

Ingredients:


Egg White – 1 large
Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup
Cream of tartar – a pinch (1/8 tsp) (Used to stabilize egg whites)
Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
Blue food color – a few drops/pinches
Chopped chocolate/chocolate chips – 2 tsp
Red color piping gel/frosting – 2-3 Tbsp (or follow the recipe below)
POM-Strawberry Syrup – 5-6 Tbsp (Use THIS recipe)

Method:

  • Separate the egg white from the yolk, while the egg is still cold. Leave the egg white in a covered, clean and dry bowl at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Tip: Any dirt/grime/moisture in the bowl that you use to whip the egg whites, will affect the whipping volume of the egg whites. So always ensure that your bowl is clean and dry. This way the egg whites will whip up to the maximum volume.

  • Preheat the oven to 200 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Do not use wax paper. Place the oven rack in the center.
  • If possible use superfine sugar or just run the granulated sugar in your blender until the crystals are somewhat fine.
  • Add the vanilla extract and cream of tartar to the egg whites and start whipping using a handheld beater or a stand mixer on a low speed. When the mixture is foamy or holds soft peaks, start adding the sugar gradually and keep beating simultaneously. The meringue is ready when the egg whites hold stiff peaks and are not grainy to touch when rubbed between your fingers. If it is grainy, whip for some more time, but be careful not to over beat the egg whites.
  • Carefully use a rubber spatula to transfer the egg whites to a piping bag or ziploc bag.If using a piping bag, use a round tip. Cut a small hole in the ziploc(about 5 mm to 1 cm), if you are using it.
  • Pipe circles of about 1 1/2 to 2 inch diameter and pipe in such a way that you get some height in the meringue, i.e. make at least 2 concentric circles over the bottom most layer.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Turn the cookie sheet around, 180 degrees halfway through the baking time for even baking. Meringues are done when they are somewhat pale, crisp and can be easily lifted off the cookie sheet.

Tip: To prevent the meringues from cracking too much, do not open the oven door at least for the first half of the baking time. Making meringues on a humid day could be a challenge as egg whites do not whip to their maximum volume in humidity.

  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Meringues keep well for almost a week.

For the Eyeballs:

  • Make some simple syrup – Cook 1 part water and 1 part sugar on medium high heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature.
  • Mix a few drops/pinches of blue/green/orange food color in 1-2 Tbsp of sugar syrup. Using a clean paintbrush, make a small circle, about 1 to 1.5 cms in diameter on the center of the meringue cookie (on the dome side) to form the retina. Let it dry for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile melt some chocolate in the microwave and use a toothpick or the back of a spoon to make a small circle, about 5 mm in diameter in the center of the blue circle, so it looks like the iris. Let the chocolate set.
  • Use store bought red piping gel or red color frosting to make the veins in the eyes as shown in the figure. I just used 4 Tbsp powdered sugar, red food color, 1 tsp honey and a little water to make the red gel. Make a cone/piping bag with parchment paper and pipe the red veins in the eyes.
  • Serve over any red color syrup for a gory appearance. I used the POM-Strawberry syrup in THIS recipe.

Happy Spooky Halloween!!!

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