Wednesday, February 19, 2014


When I was little, I had a nanny that took care of me everyday. Her name is Bina and she became an honorary grandmother to me. Though I do not have many memories of her taking care of me when I was small, her presence in my life, and my family's life still remains. I know my parents are especially thankful for Bina, as she took care of me like I was one of her own grandchildren. Most family gatherings, Bina is there and is known for bringing with her her famous beze. Beze is a big, puffy, crispy, meringue that is the most fickle cookie one could possible make up. But somehow, Bina's beze always turned out perfectly. 

For Valentine's Day, I wanted to make a special treat that would be just the right amount of a small and sweet bite. I called up Bina and asked her for her recipe, and am honored to share it with you, with a few additions of my own! 

 If you want to decorate your beze like this, take some of the raspberry syrup and place little dots of it on the beze before you pop it in the oven. Take a tooth pick and drag the raspberry syrup dots from one to the other and these little hearts will take shape!

Before I begin, I must clarify that my beze came out tasting very good, but the texture still needed some work. They did not turn out to be the perfect beze, but Bina warned me this would happen. This is a cookie that needs a lot of love, time, and practice to perfect so this will certainly be one of the first of many times that I attempt to reach Bina-quality beze. 

Please read the directions VERY carefully, as one tiny misstep can make a completely different cookie!

Bina's Beze (makes about two dozen cookies)
Bina's recipe

3 egg whites, brought to room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
1 tspn. vinegar

1.) Place egg whites in a bowl; whip them with a hand-mixer on high until they begin to foam.
2.) Once the foam has formed, little by little (a few tablespoons at a time), add the sugar and keep whipping the eggs. We add the sugar slowly so that it does not deflate the egg whites.
3.) Add the vinegar
4.) Keep whipping for another minute or so
5.) ** See below for extra steps to add raspberry flavor to the cookies. If you want to keep them plain, read on to step 6.
6.) Keep whipping the egg whites and sugar mixture until glossy peaks form. You should be able to take out the mixer and hold it upside down with the egg white mixture staying stiff and upright. This total process of whipping took about 10 minutes but be sure to keep stopping and checking to make sure that you haven't over-whipped!
7.) Take the mixture and spoon it into a piping bag
8.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
9.) Preheat your oven to 250 degrees
10.) Pipe little 1-2 inch cookies with a circular motion so that there are peaks on the tops of each one onto the sheets of parchment paper
11.) Bake the cookies for about 1 hour, checking on them so they do not brown
12.) The cookies are ready when they have hardened and can easily be removed from the parchment paper
13.) Transfer to a cooling rack; cookies can be kept for 3-4 days in an airtight container

**EXTRA STEPS (not Bina's!) I decided to add raspberry flavor to mine, as it was Valentine's day and I wanted a little pop of red and pink for these cookies!
1.) Take 1 cup of raspberries and puree them with a food processor
2.) Strain the raspberry puree so you are left with a thick syrup. You should have about 1/2 c. of the puree
3.) After you have added the vinegar and have continued whipping the egg whites for another minute or so, SLOWLY fold in the raspberry sauce. The mixture will turn pink to bright red. You can add in as much as you want just be sure to do so SLOWLY so you do not deflate the egg whites. Fold SLOWLY.
4.) Continue whipping the egg whites (egg pink and reds now) until stiff, glossy peaks form. 
5.) Follow steps 7-13 above to finish!


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