Meringue cookies – Habcsók

by | Feb 18, 2022 | Desserts

Though I’m not a big fan of meringue cookies, they are a good way to use leftover egg whites. Whipping egg whites and sugar into a light dessert such as meringues (habcsók) sounds easy, however, there’s a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. I had tried several recipes with little success before I found one that worked for me.

Sugar and egg whites are technically the only ingredients you need, but acid and starch may improve your meringue’s quality significantly. Whether it be vinegar, lemon juice, or a combination, an acid will greatly improve the structure of meringue by keeping it stable. Cornstarch prevents meringue from weeping by soaking up any liquid left in the mixture. Starch is especially helpful in hot, humid weather when meringue is most likely to absorb extra moisture.

Meringue cookies are generally baked at 100°C / 212°F for about 2 hours, they slowly dry out in a low oven without gaining much or any color. As I don’t like dried-out meringues, I looked for a recipe, that results in cookies that are crispy and chewy at the same time. Therefore, my meringues were baked at 130°C / 266°F for only 30 minutes.

Meringue cookies
Meringue cookies – Habcsók – photo: zserbo.com
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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