You know the feeling: you’re waiting in a checkout line, glazing your eyes over the tabloids and cooking magazines placed around the candies and register. Nothing particular interesting, and all you can do is shake your head at the front pages of celebrity alien babies and other oh-so-realistic scandals.
When I was about nine years old, though, I loved the holiday cooking collections. Little books of themed recipes, dotted amongst the gossip, their covers always had some cute or intricate design. I distinctly remember one booklet that featured a haunted chocolate cake and creamy looking ghosts.
After much insisting (and let’s be honest, some begging), it was purchased for me. The recipes included non-alcoholic cocktails, cupcakes, snacks, and yes, those adorable cookie ghosts. Although I kept wanting too, my family and I never quite made the time or had the motivation to cook them. Until now.
Finally, I made the meringue with help from my mom, a good cook and baker. It was a fairly simple process: make the meringue (perhaps not so simple itself), pipe it into ghost shapes on a floured baking pan, place little chocolate chips for the eyes, and bake.
Only a few of my ghosts looked like those on the cover. Initially it was a little frustrating, as the meringue didn’t stick to the pan enough to shape; instead it was dragged around with the tip instead of staying in place.
It was for the better, though. Because they all looked different, they developed their own personalities as individuals. That may sound strange, but it was fun to try and pipe one thing, and see them end up in unique ways.
Besides the ghosts, I also attempted to do more traditional meringue shapes. My mom called them “little poos”, and I’ll happily admit many of them have a certain, unintentional resemblance to the poo emoji.
Inspired by some mega meringues I saw while in Assisi, Italy, I tried to make some large ones. Mine were really sad in comparison, so I gave them their own faces with the chocolate chips. They evolved to a more ‘melted snowman’ look.
Somewhat surprisingly, they actually came out really well. Well, the ghosts and little poos *ahem* meringues did. The large ones, which were experiments anyway, were a little chewy in the middle, but were still enjoyable.
Some of my favorite ghosts were:
The top left one vaguely reminded me of a dianoga, a.k.a. the Star Wars trash compactor monster.
We agreed this ghost in the middle had a resemblance to a Dementor.
Here are three that I feel most match the original ghost design.
Again, this was a fairly straightforward project. It would be neat to make the full project like the cover, placing the ghosts near, or maybe even floating around, a haunted house. I could see doing this other Halloweens, or maybe dying the meringue pink and making hearts on Valentine’s Day.
Have you ever made meringues? How did it go? Let me know below!