Love on a stick
Snowflake meringue pops make for a light and simple winter treat
Taste of Norway Editor
Meringue is having a moment in Norwegian desserts and appears to be growing in popularity with every year.
It’s an important component of Kvæfjordkake, also known as Verdens beste kake, or World’s Best Cake. Pavlova with berries is a popular dessert for Norwegian Constitution Day (stay tuned for a recipe this spring!), and pikekyss (girl’s kiss) are small piped meringue cookies that are about the same size and shape as a Hershey’s kiss, popular as a topping for cakes, pies, and ice cream.
Marengs (meringues) are made of whipped egg whites and sugar, and a bit of acid and salt. Meringues are naturally gluten- and dairy-free, and they bake up light and crisp. And best of all, meringues are endlessly customizable with extracts, flavor additions, and food coloring.
There are several meringue variations, from Italian to Swiss, but I prefer French meringue, because it’s hard to mess up. Baked low and slow in the oven, homemade French meringue has a delightful chew that isn’t found in commercially made meringues.
I fell in love this variation of French meringue flavored with vanilla piped into snowflake designs, and baked with a lollipop stick to make a meringue lollipop.
The Norwegian word for lollipop might be my favorite translation in the whole language: Kjærlighet på pinne, or love on a stick. It’s a sweet way to start off the New Year!
A few notes for meringue success:
Egg whites whip best when they are room temperature, so separate your eggs and set aside for 20-30 minutes.
Fat is the number one enemy of meringue. Make sure your bowl and whisk are extra clean, and use a metal or glass bowl rather than plastic. If your egg yolk breaks into the bowl of egg whites, it is best to start over completely.
Some folks say that it’s not ideal to bake meringues on a rainy or humid day. But as a Seattleite in winter, rain is part of my everyday life, so I just bake for a little longer to make sure they are dry to the touch.
Lollipop/candy sticks are found at craft stores or well-stocked grocery stores, and online. (You can also make these without the stick.)
These meringue pops look their best when made with a piping bag and tip, but a zip lock bag with a hole cut in the corner also works well.
Marengskjærligheter (Snowflake Meringue Pops)
1½ cups granulated white sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Piping bag or gallon-size zip lock bag
Candy sticks (available at craft stores)
Preheat the oven to 200°F. This is probably the lowest your oven can go.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Before you begin, make sure that your mixing bowl and whisk are free from grease or fat. This is crucial to successful meringue making!
With a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, whisk egg whites in the bowl until frothy. (I use a stand mixer, but I’m sure you can do this by hand with a good whisk, glass bowl, and a strong arm with a great deal of endurance.) Add in the cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt. Increase the speed to medium and gradually add in the sugar. The egg whites will turn opaque. Turn the speed (or arm strength power) to medium high and beat until the egg whites turn to the “stiff peaks” stage, and are glossy and smooth. Check this by removing the whisk from the bowl: a peak will form and stand up straight or bend just slightly at the top peak.
Fill a piping bag or a gallon-size zip lock bag with meringue. Pipe a marble-sized bit of meringue on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and place candy stick in the middle. Pipe a snowflake design of your choice with marble-sized dots of meringue. Make sure that the meringue dots are touching each other slightly. The meringue will expand a bit in the oven, but this will ensure that the snowflake will hold together.
Once you are done piping your designs, place in the oven and bake for 2 hours, or until dry to the touch. Turn off the oven and let the meringues cool completely in the oven.
Meringue pops can be stored in an airtight container for several days.
Christy Olsen Field became the Taste of Norway Editor in April 2019. She worked on the editorial staff of the Norwegian American Weekly from 2008 to 2012. An enthusiastic home cook and baker, she lives north of Seattle with her husband and two young sons. She is also a grantwriter for small nonprofits in the Seattle area. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the January 10, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.