Honey Meringue Dessert Cups
2 egg whites
1 c. mild honey
½ t. vanilla extract
½ t. lemon juice, optional
Preheat oven to 225°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Warm the honey slightly until it pours easily. Beat all ingredients together on high (either in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer) until stiff peaks form.
To form the dessert cups most easily, scoop the mixture onto a prepared cookie sheet with a serving spoon. Use the back of the spoon to form a deep well in the center of the meringue. Repeat, forming meringues with at least 2 inches of space between them, until you have used all the meringue. (Alternatively, you can load the meringue into a pastry bag with a plain tip and pipe the cups onto the prepared pans for a more decorative finish.)
Bake the meringues for at least an hour* or until the surface of the dessert cups is dry to the touch. Turn off the heat, prop the oven door open by a couple inches (sticking the handle of a wooden spoon in between the oven and the door should be just enough space) and let the cups cool completely prior to serving.
*Individual batches of meringues can take wildly different amounts of time to dry based on variables in weather, size of the meringues and composition of the honey. As long as you whipped it to stiff peaks you have no reason to worry. It will come together in the end, you just may have to be patient with your meringues.
Store cooled dessert cups in a single layer in an airtight container. This recipe makes a lot.
To serve, fill the well of the dessert cups with unsweetened fresh berries and top with whipped cream.
Strawberry Mess is a glorious, messy, bursting-with-flavor tribute to strawberries at their peak of freshness. This is a favorite for kids of all ages. Watch their faces as they dig through the layers of juicy strawberries, softened graham crackers and whipped cream. Dessert doesn’t get a whole lot easier than this. For some variety and Independence Day flair, throw in a layer of blueberries and serve this at your Fourth of July extravaganza!