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Meringue Ghosts and Pumpkins
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Recipe courtesy of Sarah Holden for Food Network Kitchen

Meringue Ghosts and Pumpkins

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 50 min (includes drying time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 25 to 30 meringues
A couple of easy piping techniques transform a simple meringue into spooky ghosts, pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween. You’ll need some orange and green food coloring; make sure they’re not oil based, since fat can make a meringue deflate.



Special equipment:
Large round piping tip (such as size 806), large open star piping tip (such as size 828), small round piping tip (such as size 7), 3 piping bags, a toothpick or skewer
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
  2. Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until very foamy and almost forming soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar and salt and increase the mixer speed to medium high. Gradually add the sugar while mixing, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. Remove 1/4 cup of the meringue to a small bowl and stir in 2 drops of green gel food coloring until fully incorporated. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
  4. Transfer half of the remaining meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Set aside.
  5. Add 4 drops of orange gel food coloring to the meringue still in the mixer bowl and mix until incorporated. Dip a toothpick or skewer into the bottle of orange gel food coloring and drag 3 or 4 lines of food coloring lengthwise along the inside of a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip, spacing the lines apart evenly. Transfer the orange meringue to this piping bag.
  6. Pipe a dot of meringue in each corner of a baking sheet and press a sheet of parchment paper on top, using the dots to keep it in place. Make ghosts by piping the white meringue into small mounds on the parchment, alternating pressure on the piping bag to create two or three stacked mounds for each ghost. Carefully press two mini chocolate chips, flat-side out, to make eyes for each ghost. Press another mini chocolate chip, pointy-tip up, in each of a few ghosts to make a mouth.
  7. Make pumpkins by piping the striped orange meringue into small mounds, making sure to hold the piping tip far enough above the baking sheet so that they have some height. Pipe leaves and stems with the green meringue on top of each pumpkin. Carefully press mini chocolate chips, pointy-tip up, into some of the pumpkins to make the eyes and a nose. Line up 4 or 5 chips the same way to make a mouth for each jack-o’-lantern.
  8. Bake the meringues for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside with the door closed for 2 hours 30 minutes more to fully dry out.

Cook’s Note

Any residual fat in your bowl will cause the meringue to deflate; you can help prevent this by wiping the bowl and whisk attachment with a small amount of distilled white vinegar before whipping the egg whites.