Parade of Chicks

by elyn_ryn

We got a little chick once after my daughter incubated an egg and it hatched.  The excitement of the cute little chick actually hatching in the science class overshadowed my better judgment!  So we went home with a chick in a cardboard box and gave it its own bedroom on the back porch.  Click here to jump to the recipe.

It seemed that when you turned your back on that chick for two or three hours, the box shrank and the chick grew!  Every few days, we were searching for a bigger box. To our chagrin, we used all our old and sometimes new, unread newspapers to line the bottom of the boxes so the little chick had a clean floor. I don’t think the newspaper stayed clean for longer than 10 minutes after a change.  I didn’t know chicks had such good digestive systems!

Then one day the little chick was a teenager and soon to be adult that could fly right out of its box!  So we put our not-so-little chick in the car and headed to the country and chicken house of our relatives.  On the way, the enormous chick ran around the car while my daughter alternated between crying at the thought of separation and trying to catch the gangly half-grown chick.  In the end, the little chick, who was not a city dweller, fared much better in the fresh country air with room to roam with the rest of the chickens. But to this day, we all have a soft spot for little spring chicks!

Make your own chicks and place on a cupcake. I guarantee these chicks are way less trouble than changing newspaper in a box a hundred times a day.

These were experimental feet.  None of them are even close to being matched, yet once they are under a chick, they look perfect! Squeeze out a base of white chocolate (colored with yellow and orange food coloring) in a dot on parchment paper and then pull three lines from it.  Once dry, pull a foot off the parchment paper and stick under the chick.  Make several in case you break a few.

These chicks can be made days ahead of time and they keep for a long time.  I even left these out for a couple of weeks or longer because they were so cute.

The amount of chicks this recipe makes depends on the size of chicks you want.  You can easily decorate a dozen cupcakes but should be able to make many more.

Although children love these chicks, I was surprised when adults showed just as much interest.

Try your hand at this treat!

Print Recipe
Meringue Chicks
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Passive Time 5+ hours
Servings
+ chicks
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Passive Time 5+ hours
Servings
+ chicks
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 225°. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Using a mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until they become foamy.
  3. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat.
  4. Add sugar one tablespoon at a time while beating.
  5. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until stiff peaks form. At this point you have two options. 1) Add a few drops of food coloring and beat it into meringue or 2) Divide the meringue into thirds if you want three different colored chicks, or divide into half if you want two colors. Remove divided meringue into bowls. When you are ready to use later, you will need to add a few drops of food coloring of choice and re-beat the meringue to form stiff peaks
  6. Place the colored meringue mixture into a piping bag with a large round tip, and pipe onto parchment paper to make a chicken shape about 2 inches tall. Press down squeezing piping bag to form a large base chick. Pull up slighly to make base the height you want. Stop squeezing when base is large as you want, but do not pull the piping tip from base. Start squeezing again, gently, while raisng tip upwards to form the head. Remember, if you want a wider base, don't pull the tip upwards, but keep low in the meringue until desired size is reached. To make a thinner and smaller head, squeeze with a light touch and pull the tip upwards to make a smaller head.
  7. If you have to start over, scrape up the meringue and place back in mixer to beat again to stiffen.
  8. Bake chicks for about 1 hour. Do not let the tops brown or the chicks will lose their color.
  9. Turn off oven and cool chicks until they turn hard. This can take a few hours.
  10. When cool, make the eyes for each chick. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in a microwaveable bowl in thirty second intervals. Stir between intervals. Put chocolate in piping bag with a small round tip and pipe on two dots of chocolate for eyes.
  11. Make the nose for each chick by melting the white chocolate chips in a microwave using the same procedure as you did for the chocolate chips. When melted, add orange food coloring to the chocolate and mix well. Place in a piping bag with a small round tip. Start where you want top of nose and pull downward to make a long nose.
  12. Using the orange white chocolate, make feet by piping chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper. Anything similar to the ones shown in the photo above will work. Make them about 1/2 inch long.
Recipe Notes

To make the cupcakes shown in the pictures, use shredded coconut that you toast in the oven on 300 degrees. Turn it every 5 minutes to brown evenly.  Keep a check on the oven because coconut can burn quickly.  Use your favorite frosted cupcakes.  For a time-saver, buy frosted vanilla cupcakes from the grocery store.  Add toasted coconut by pressing it into the frosting.  Put cooled and decorated chick on top, pressing down slightly to attach.  Slide a pair of feet under chick into the frosting.

Practice in the meringue bowl until you learn the shapes.  Remember to re-beat the meringue if it is not at stiff peaks.  Stiff peaks mean that the meringue stays stiff when you remove a beater and turn it upside down.  If the meringue falls over, it is not stiff enough and needs more beating.

Meringue chicks are gluten-free.  To make this entire recipe without gluten, use gluten-free cupcakes too.

Meringue recipe adapted from Smart School House.

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