Trace 3 inch circles onto the parchment paper ( use a glass or cookie cutter to make even circles ). Turn the the parchment so ink is facing down. Secure the parchment onto a cookie sheet. Put little bit of crisco in each corner of the baking sheet to keep parchment from sliding. Set aside.
Wipe tools and bowl with white distilled vinegar. Wipe dry.
Whisk egg whites (4), sugar (1cup) and lemon juice ( 1tsp) in a bowl of your mixer. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water. Stir with the whisk until all of the sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Rub the mixture between your finger to check if sugar is dissolved. If you feel graininess continue whisking until sugar is completely dissolved.
Transfer bowl with a soapy egg white sugar mixture onto the mixer and beat on low speed and gradually increase speed to medium high. Beat until soft peaks are formed, then beat in vanilla extract. Continue beating with wire attachment until glossy and thick meringue has formed. Meringue should hold the stiff peak.
Divide stiff and glossy meringue into 3 portions. Color each portion with different color : pink, purple and blue. Fold the color into the meringue. Fill the piping bags. Fit a large piping bag with the Wilton 2D piping tip. Place all 3 piping bags filled with colored meringue into a large piping bag fitted with the piping tip 2D. Press onto the piping bag till all 3 colors of meringue are coming out.
Pipe hydrangea meringue following the template circles. 1st pipe stars in a circle then fill in the center. Repeat until you used all of the meringue.
Bake meringue cookies at 175F, for 2-3 hours. Then turn off the oven and leave the cookies too cool in the oven. This can take 2-4 hours. Take the cookies out of the oven and peel them from the parchment. Immediately store meringue cookie in an airtight container, layered between pieces of parchment. Place small bowl with uncooked rice into the container. Rice helps to keep cookies crisp. Store cookies at room temperature for up to 10 days.
You can freeze meringue cookies in a freezer safe container for up to a month. If freezing, layer meringues between parchment paper sheets. Defrost meringues on the kitchen counter for 3 hours. Don’t open the container while defrosting.
Recipe by Hanielas.com