The Paintbrush Trick For Piping Colorful Striped Meringues

If you've ever tried your hand at baking a batch of meringues, you know how stubborn they can be. You spend what seems like forever piping beautiful kisses onto a baking sheet, only to soon open the oven and find flat, lifeless blobs that scream disappointment. Luckily these defects can typically be remedied and once you've mastered your meringue-making skills, there are some really simple tricks to make them look even more fancy and elegant.

If you love the idea of adding life and color to your meringues, there's a very simple technique that involves hardly anything more than the flick of a paintbrush. To do this, you'll want to grab a very thin brush, food coloring (gel and liqua-gel offer more bold and vibrant results), a piping bag, and your meringue mixture. Now, drop a few drops of the food coloring into a dish, and dip the paintbrush in. Along the insides of the piping bag fitted with a star tip, paint three or four thin, evenly spaced lines from the bottom to the top of the bag. Now, simply fill the bag with your meringue mixture and pipe. The result will be bakery-style, aesthetic meringues with colorful swirls and stripes.

Ideas for colorful striped meringues

Since you can use this paintbrush trick with virtually any color or flavor additives, your options are endless as to what you can make. Depending on what time of year you're crafting your batch of meringues, you can theme the confections accordingly. During the holidays, win the cookie exchange by using red food coloring and adding peppermint extract to the meringue recipe for a candy-cane theme. You can even reach for a pine green shade of food coloring to create swirly and snow-capped meringue trees.

In the spring, floral meringues are a great way to welcome the flavors of the season. Purple food coloring with lavender extract or pink food coloring with rose extract both work well with this paintbrush trick. In fact, since there are no rules with this technique, you could even alternate the colors for a two-toned look, or use a different color in every stripe to create a rainbow effect. The only thing to be mindful of is watching out for how much added flavor extract you're putting in, as you don't want stronger varieties to overpower the taste of the cookie.