Total price: NY $1.35
Price per Suspiro: NY $0.07
Suspiros, more commonly known as meringues, are a staple treat on the LBUH’s side of the family. Family lore provides two alternative theories as to how they became part of the family tradition. One version has it that when the LBUH’s mother used to make Buche De Noel for the Christmas holidays, she garnished the log with little mushrooms made out of beaten egg-white batter. The petite champignons turned out to be a real crowd pleaser, and far more so than the intricate and labor-intensive cake. Over time the decadent and time-consuming log got the boot, but the Suspiros landed a recurring role at the holiday table.
The other story is that these treats were introduced to the Stateside folks by the LBUH’s family in Colombia. Given the fact that they all call these tasty treats Suspiros (Spanish for “Sighs”), and not meringues, the LBUH’s guess is that story #2 holds more weight. As, however, my mother-in-law espouses the version of events recounted in story #1, I’m going with that theory, and I don’t care what kind of fancypants linguistic forensics you throw at me.
- 3 Egg whites (NY $ 0.50) **
- 1.5 cups sugar (NY $0.85)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (staple)
Beat egg whites and vanilla extract until the whites is beginning to stiffen and form tiny peaks.
Once the egg white/vanilla mixture is stiffening, slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is not grainy.
Cover a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper*** and place spoonfuls of the batter onto the mat or paper**** .
Place the sheet in the oven and cook for 4-5 hours at 225 degrees. ***** When the suspiros are done, they will be firm, crunchy, and crumbly. If the centers are still chewy, bake for another 20-30 minutes.
Dust with coco powder or powdered sugar for extra presentation "WOW!" if you'd like.
* This is a really easy recipe to modify the size. We like to make one baking sheet of suspiros, and find that 20 fills the sheet (at least the way LBUH dollops them out), but if you want to make more (or less, but why would you ever want to do that?) the formula is 1/2 cup of sugar for every egg white. (So 2 eggs =1 cup of sugar, 4 eggs = 2 cups, you get the idea…)
**Depending on what you keep in your kitchen, this treat could be whipped up without ever leaving the house. We had to buy eggs, but had plenty of sugar and vanilla extract on hand.
* **Make sure you are using parchment paper and not wax paper. Wax + heat = mess you don’t want to clean.
**** If you want to make really fancy ones, you can use an HUH?
*****Basically we’re turning the oven into a kiln. We’re not baking the Suspiros as much as drying them out, ensuring that the egg whites are fully cooked and stay at the necessary 140 degrees for at least 3 minutes. Let’s try and avoid Salmonella, shall we? Because apparently we can’t trust food companies to do it for us!
Approximate values per cookie
|Calories 60.9||Protein 0.6 g||Magnesium 0.0 %|
|Total Fat 0.0 g||Vitamin A 0.0 %||Manganese 0.0 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.0 g||Vitamin B-12 0.0 %||Niacin 0.0 %|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g||Vitamin B-6 0.0 %||Pantothenic Acid 0.0 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g||Vitamin C 0.0 %||Phosphorus 0.0 %|
|Cholesterol 0.0 mg||Vitamin D 0.0 %||Riboflavin 0.2 %|
|Sodium 8.3 mg||Vitamin E 0.0 %||Selenium 0.1 %|
|Potassium 0.5 mg||Calcium 0.0 %||Thiamin 0.0 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 15.0 g||Copper 0.0 %||Zinc 0.0 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0.0 g||Folate 0.0 %|| |
|Sugars 15.0 g||Iron 0.0 %|| |