This is one of those desserts that looks like you put a ton of effort into, but is actually pretty easy to put together! The key for any good meringue base: bake LOW and SLOW. As soon as you get your pavlovas piped on the tray, you can basically forget about them in the oven for a little over an hour. This recipe is modified from Natasha's Kitchen, and you can find her original pavlova recipe here:
My pavlovas are filled with cookie butter and topped with whipped cream and berries. You can use whatever fillings you'd like - jams, curds, nut butters, marshmallow creme - and top with any fruit, herbs, or edible flowers you want!
Makes 12-15 mini pavlovas
3 large egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract (regular vanilla extract will give your meringue an off-white color)
Preheat the oven to 225 F and line a baker's half sheet with parchment paper.
Using the whisk attachment to a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they start to become foamy (about 30-45 seconds), and then gradually stream in the granulated sugar. Whisk on high until the mixture is smooth and glossy and forms stiff peaks (you should be able to tip the bowl upside down and not have any meringue fall out).
Fold in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Fold in the corn starch, then mix to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe small nests (3-5 inch diameter) onto the parchment paper, or spoon an equivalent amount onto a baking sheet and make an indent in the center with a spoon.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When finished, LEAVE OVEN DOOR CLOSED and let rest 30 more minutes with the oven off. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before assembling.
Spoon approximately 1 tsp cookie butter into the center of the pavlova and gently spread to the edges using the spoon.
Top with a dollop of whipped cream and arrange with fresh berries.
Enjoy immediately; if baking ahead of time, store pavlova shells in an airtight container for 2-4 days at room temperature and assemble prior to serving.