There are many state cottage food laws that do not allow home-based bakers to use meringue powder. It’s still questionable why the use of this ingredient is not allowed. Dehydrated egg whites are the primary ingredient in meringue powder. Added to the dehydrated egg whites are stabilizers, sweeteners, and flavoring.
Recently I emailed King Arthur Flour, the makers of exceptional meringue powder (in my personal opinion). (This is not an endorsement) I wanted to know if the product was safe. The issue is the product could be potentially hazardous. Is it? Below is the email stream. If your Cottage Food Agency does not allow the use of meringue powder, you may ask King Arthur Flour to send them documentation that the product is safe so it can be added as an approved ingredient for home-based bakers and home food processors.
Meringue Powder Update
Home-based bakers have been looking for alternatives for meringue powder. So, what happens if you want to make royal icing, and meringue powder is not an option. Use garbanzo beans. (Use other beans, but you may need to extend the beating time) I’m not saying this recipe is perfect but it may work for you if you cannot get your Cottage Food Agency onboard with using meringue powder.
Drain a 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) Reserve the liquid.
½ cup granulated sugar ½ tsp cream of tartar or ( xanthan gum optional, but I’ve found it helps the meringue hold its shape and stay shiny)
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp of another flavoring (Optional)
1/8 tsp vanilla bean paste (Enhances the flavor)
Use a flavoring or the meringue will have a bean flavor
Add the bean liquid (you’ll have ½ cup to ¾ cup) and vanilla in a large bowl. Adding the liquid a little at a time.
The meringue will expand, use a bowl. Beat on high speed until the mixture becomes foamy.
Add the cream of tartar or xanthan gum
Add sugar, a little at a time beating continuously.
Allow the sugar time to incorporate each time. Continue beating on high for a total of about 10-15 minutes, until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
Spoon the meringues onto a lined baking sheet (if making meringues) or ice cookies.
When baking meringues, if the baking sheet is not lined you’ll have a sticky mess. If baking the meringue, bake at 200 degrees for an hour. Turn off the oven but leave them inside for at least two hours. This allows them to dry out. Store in an airtight container, especially if you live in a humid area.
I am a bit of a radical and I want to challenge food entrepreneurs to contact their cottage food agencies for a verifiable reason why meringue powder cannot be used? There are commercial bakeries that use the product, why can’t cottage food operators? Share your thoughts and findings in the comment box. We’d love to hear from you.