Fashion Soiree and Sangria Picnic at Four Mounds

Beyond the tent strung with its twinkling lights and tables decorated with rustic bouquets, George and Elizabeth Burden’s White House glowed in the falling light. I thought of all the many happy events held on the lawn at Four Mounds. It was easy to imagine the scene with three little Burden girls enjoying a tea party in their little playhouse. Maybe their mother, Elizabeth, paused from work in her rock garden to enjoy sweet tea and the companionship of her beloved dog. My sister’s Light as the Breeze Almond Meringues would have been the perfect accompaniment to their afternoon tea trays.

Light as a Breeze Almond Meringues

  •  3 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 Tablespoon Amaretto OR 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup finely ground almond meal (approximately ½ cup almonds – ground finely)
ight as a Breeze Almond Meringues

Light as a Breeze Almond Meringues

Separate the egg whites from the yolks carefully. If yolk gets into the whites, save these for an omelet and start over as they won’t whip to peaks as needed.

In a small glass or stainless steel bowl, mix sugar, salt and cream of tartar.

With an electric mixer, whip egg whites on high speed until they hold firm peaks when the beaters are lifted. Slowly add sugar mixture a tablespoon at a time while continuing to whip the egg whites. Turn the mixer to low and add amaretto OR the vanilla and almond extract.

Lift the beaters from mixing bowl and gently fold almond meal into the egg whites with a spatula. (Turn egg whites over slowly with spatula until almond meal is incorporated. Do not stir vigorously.)

Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Attach a large star tip to a pastry bag.* Spoon egg whites into a pastry bag and squeeze bag to make a meringue star that looks like a large chocolate candy star.

Place baking sheets in oven set on 325° F for ten minutes. Lower the temperature to 300° F and continue baking for 12-15 minutes until the meringues are lightly browned. Allow meringues to cool slightly before removing them from the parchment paper. They store well in tightly covered containers. Makes approximately 3 dozen meringues.

*If you do not have a pastry bag, you can drop whipped egg whites by teaspoon and swirl the top for a decorative effect.