There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to adjust the screen. I repeat: there is nothing wrong with your computer. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – your tummy.
Okay, so these cookies aren’t from the Outer Limits, but they are pretty tricky. I have had this recipe hatching in my mind for several days now and with Easter and April Fool’s Day coming up, I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share than these “Fried Eggs” or Meringue Cookies with Lemon Curd and Poppy Seeds.
First things first, aren’t these cookies egg-dorable? 🙂
When I told my husband what I was planning on making he rolled his eyes, but when he saw the finished product he really thought they were egg-cellent! 🙂
Looks aren’t everything though, they taste amazing too! If you have never had a meringue cookie before you need to. Immediately. Start here with my Chocolate Chip Meringues (only 25 calories!).
Meringue cookies are light and crisp and literally melt in your mouth. Pair that with a sweet and tart homemade lemon curd and you have an egg-citing combination! 🙂
And because they are made from meringue, these cookies are gluten free and relatively low in calories. That means no extra egg-ercise to burn them off. 🙂 I estimate that each cookie has about 60 calories (and these are big cookies! They are real-life fried egg size – as big as my hand!)
I originally got the idea from Martha Stewart (she always has such cracking ideas! 🙂 ); however, my recipe has a couple variations. Namely, baking time. Martha’s version takes over 5 hours to bake! Mine, just around two. Also, Martha recommends pooling your lemon curd within the meringue. I like to scoop my lemon curd onto the meringue cookie making a realistic egg yolk.
Even though these cookies may seem eggs-travagant, they are actually pretty simple to make:
- Make a Template
- Make the Meringue
- Make the lemon curd
The first thing you will need to do is create a template. Using parchment or wax paper draw your egg shapes. I was able to get 6 large “fried egg” shapes from this recipe. Don’t worry about being perfect here. Fried eggs come in all shapes and sizes and look better with curvier edges. Once your done drawing, turn the paper ink side down on your baking sheet. This way the ink won’t go into your cookies. Finally, spray the sheet with non-stick cooking spray. This is one thing that Martha doesn’t mention, but trust me, I made two cookies without spray underneath and they were pretty difficult to get off the paper once done baking.
Next you need to make your meringue. Meringue can sometimes be intimidating, but if you follow these guidelines you shouldn’t have an issue:
- Use a CLEAN bowl — extra water or food bits in your bowl can affect your meringue.
- Use room temperature eggs.
- Here’s the trick – straight from the refrigerator eggs are easier to separate, but room temperature egg yolks whip up better. The solution – separate your eggs straight from the refrigerator earlier in the day, then let the whites sit out for a couple of hours, or if you hate waiting like I do, fill another, smaller bowl with hot tap water. Then place your bowl with the egg whites on top (think double boiler). The heat from the water gentle warms up the egg yolks.
- Use a mixer – yes you can make meringue by hand, but your arm will feel like it is going to fall off by the time you are done. You don’t want to be egg-xausted do you? 🙂
Once you have made your meringue, you just need to spoon or pipe it onto your template. Again, don’t worry about being perfect here. Every fried egg is unique. Then just bake it for 1 hour. When the hour is up, turn off the oven, but leave the meringue inside. Allow it to cool in there for at least another hour. These things need to be completely cooled before they will come off your pan.
While the meringue is baking, make the lemon curd. Just combine eggs, lemon juice, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until it’s thick enough to coat a spoon.
Finally, all that is left to do is assemble. Scoop your lemon curd onto your meringue cookies and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Don’t worry about being egg-xact! 🙂
All puns aside, these cookies are pretty amazing. Light and crisp yet tart and sweet. I know you will love them! I’m b-egging you to try them. 🙂
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 large whole eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Poppy seeds, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Draw 6 egg shapes on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Place on a baking sheet, marked-side down. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites, lemon juice, and vanilla on medium-low until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Then, reduce speed to low and add in the sugar. Next, increase the speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Sift cornstarch over bowl and fold into whites with lemon zest.
- Spoon or pipe meringue onto the parchment template you created building it about ½ thick.
- Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and let them sit in there until the meringue has dried and is firm enough to pull off the baking sheet. Let cool completely.
- To make the Lemon Curd: whisk together the 2 whole eggs, 4 egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats back of a spoon, 12 to 14 minutes. Strain into a small bowl. Add butter a little at a time, stirring until smooth. Stir in lemon zest. Press parchment or plastic wrap directly on surface of curd to prevent skin from forming. Let cool completely in refrigerator before using.
- To assemble: using a small ice-cream scoop, scoop lemon curd onto meringue cookie. Sprinkle with poppy seeds to resemble pepper.
That’s all yolks! 🙂