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making meringues - first time

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I have a kitchenaid stand mixer, but only the standard paddle blade that came with it. I also have a small hand mixer, with standard beaters. Can I use one of these to whip the egg whites or do I need to run to bed bath and beyond to get a whisk for the kitchenaid?

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  1. A hand mixer will do the job. It will just take longer. The whisk on the stand mixer would help, but a high-speed paddle might do the job. I'd give it a try with a couple of eggs just to see what happens. What do you intend to do with them, and how stiff do they need to be? That might influence your decision.

    1. I've never owned a stand mixer <hangs head in shame>, and I've made all sorts of meringues successfully. Have fun!

      1. Me neither---no stand mixer in my 60+ years of keeping house, always a hand mixer. The main thing about meringues is not to get the oven too hot as you just need to dry them out. I keep the oven at 250. I cut out the sides of a brown paper grocery bag and lay the pieces on cookie sheets then put the blobs of meringue on that. Bake them very slooooow and long and let them sit on the paper until they are cool. They will come right off.

        What did you add to your egg whites? To three whites I use 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon each of vanilla, vinegar, and water. Add alternately very gradually while beating. Takes about 5 minutes.

        Also very good to substitute maple extract for vanilla only I use 2 tsp.

        1. I make meringues quite a bit.

          A few tips:

          1. Use 3 or 4 day old eggs. Old egg whites beat up easier and create more volume.

          1a. Use fresh eggs, however, if you want thickness as opposed to volume.

          2. Use COLD eggs. Cold egg whites separate like a cheap hooker from her, ahem, outerwear.

          3. Avoid plastic. Use carbon, SS or glass bowls to whip your egg whites

          4. Make sure all utensils are dry and clean.

          5. Use superfine sugar

          6. Add sugar last, after the whites have formed soft peaks from the whipping.

          Oh, and I always whip by hand. Burns more calories, which means I get to eat more meringue!

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Your comment about using 3 or 4 day old eggs as they're "old" is curious. The eggs you get at the grocery store were usually laid weeks ago so I don't see how a few days would make a difference. Now, if you were getting your eggs at a farmer's market or from the back yard... that's another thing entirely.

            1. re: Peter

              Either farm fresh eggs, or leave them out of the fridge for 3-4 days after buying them from the market.

              1. re: Peter

                what the poster means is that it is generaly earlier to whip whites when they whites themsleves have been seperated and sitting out for a bit. Egg whites are mainly water and by leaving it out for a bit, some of that water evaporates.

                just add the sugar gradually, after it is frothy, u could dump it all in, it will just take longer to whip it to desired firmness.

                You can use a hand mixer, it just takes time, just make sure that they are clean ie. oil free because fat inhibits it, if you want to go even further and ensure you do not mess it up, wipe the bowl down that you are using with a bit of vinegar.

            2. I'm making this recipe... http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/12/da...

              my father in law and sister in law are both diabetic, so I'll probably use splenda instead of sugar.

              thanks SO much for all the tips!

              2 Replies
              1. re: jujuthomas

                I actually just made these a few days ago - they're pretty fool-proof and turned out well! I'd recommend resisting the urge to add green food coloring - they brown slightly and and only the inside ends up pretty.

                1. re: darklyglimmer

                  LOL - yeah, that doesn't sound attractive. Not even sure i have green food coloring! :)

              2. thanks everyone for the advice! My FIL LOVED the meringues, said the texture was perfect! :)