If you’re looking for a low-calorie, fat-free treat this Valentine’s Day, then try these light meringue cookies. For best results, separate the eggs while cold, make sure not a speck of yolk contaminates them, and leave the whites for 20 minutes or so before beating them. Make sure the whisks and bowl are entirely clean and free from grease before use.

* 3 egg whites
* 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
* 3/4 cup superfine sugar
* Red food coloring
* Red sprinkles

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy.

Add cream of tartar and continue beating egg whites until the soft peak stage.

Gradually add sugar, a tablespoon or two at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix until all the sugar has been added and the egg whites are stiff and glossy.

Add a few drops of red food coloring and stir to make the egg whites pink.

Drop by the tablespoon onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, or, with the help of a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, make heart shape meringues — spoon the meringue inside the cookie cutter, and push down with the spoon as you lift the cookie cutter, then repeat for each cookie.

Bake for 1 hour. Switch off oven, and leave in the oven for 2-3 hours

Makes about 24-30 cookies

Per cookie: Calories 26, Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 8mg, Carbohydrate 6.2g, Fiber 0g, Protein 0.4g

Source: About.com, F. Haynes

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