A White Birthday

I have a dear friend who loves white and all its shades and textures. She has a closet full of beautiful white dresses and delicate white shirts. She has an eye for beauty that I admire. And today is her birthday.

I created this little white dessert palette for her with little meringue kisses, coconut cupcakes and lemon meltaways. Distance will not allow us to be together on her birthday but I want to wish her happiness on this special day.

Happy Birthday Nadia!

Update: I have received an overwhelming amount of emails from readers who want the lemon meltaway recipe, so here it is.

Lemon Meltaways

160 grams butter, at room temperature
125 grams powdered sugar
zest of 2 lemons
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs vanilla
260 grams flour
20 grams cornstach
1/2 tsp salt
Powdered sugar for rolling

Cream together butter, sugar, zest and vanilla. Add lemon juice and mix. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Form the dough into a log that is about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap it in parchment and refrigerate it overnight.

Cut the log into 1/2 inch disks and bake at 350F for about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar while they are still warm.

Meringue Cookies

50 grams egg whites
50 grams sugar
50 grams powdered sugar, sifted

In a bowl, whip the egg whites fully until a light meringue forms. Slowly and while whipping, sprinkle in the granulated sugar and let it whip to stiff peaks. Stop whipping and fold in the sifted powdered sugar. be gentle not to deflate the meringue too much.

Place the meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (number 5) and pipe little meringue kisses onto a sheetpan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 175F (or lower if your oven permits it) until dry. You should be able to lift it from the pan without sticking. Store in an airtight container.

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94 Responses to “A White Birthday”

  1. Tartelette says:

    Nadia sure deserved to be spoiled and all these are as precious as she is!Oh you are going to laugh…I made dark chocolate coconut cupcakes and dark chocolate crinkles for a birthday…ahahah! Did you ask your mom about the long lost cousin yet?!!

  2. Y says:

    A lovely and elegant way to celebrate a birthday ! :)

  3. Very beautiful and so thoughtful – like a poem!

  4. La amistad es pura, como el color blanco! Que bonito gesto Aran!

  5. Perhaps your pretties post ever. And that’s saying a lot.

  6. Marianna says:

    wow, this is all really beautiful. lovely what you did for your friend :-) once again i love the idea of ething being white. you are really an inspiration!

  7. Mobula says:

    Preciosas fotos!!! Precioso post!!! Preciosos vestidos y precioso todo!!! en ocasiones pienso que eres mágica porque lo que tocas con tus manos se vuelve, eso, magia, pureza, eres pura sensibilidad, niña!! Me encantan los besos de merengue y de los cupcakes no te voy a decir nada, sobran las palabras… de lo que si te voy a preguntar es de las pastas, de que son???

    Otra cosa, intento buscar por todos lados los moldecitos esos de los cupcakes so american, sabes de algún sitio en internet que los vendan??

    Besos mágicos,


  8. Aran says:

    Mobula- gracias por tus palabras. los papeles para los cupcakes se llaman snack cups aqui se venden en muchos sitios. estan en esta pagina tambien http://www.cakeandcandy.com/cupcake_liners.htm#Nut%20and%20Party%20Cups

  9. nadia says:

    OH Aran this is the loveliest birthday wish ever! it is so beautiful i can not stop staring at it!

    thank you aran for your friendship.

  10. pea & pear says:

    This is the most divine collection of sweets ever. What a delightful person you are tailoring such an exquisite post for your friends. Absolutley beautiful.

  11. karolcia says:

    Your pictures are wonderful!!! Suddenly, I felt as if it was winter. All the little sweet things remind me snowflakes dancing in the wind…so delicate…and so beautiful.

  12. I love the white desserts! They look ethereal, Aran!
    What a sweet gesture to make for a friend.

  13. À défaut, d’en réussir d’aussi belles, j’admire toujours longuement tes photos. La recette des cupcakes à la noix de coco est pour bientôt.

  14. jillian says:

    So beautiful and meringue, lemon and coconut are three of my favorite things!

  15. What a great friend you are…I love the whites. Very delicate & like ‘touch-me-nots’. After having kids, I am terrified of whites…LOL!!!

  16. annies! says:

    What a delicate idea! The minimalism and purity of white are perfectly expressed by your photos and recipes….why not try with other colors?

  17. bricole says:

    They are all so beautiful and inspiring. I especially love the meringues.

  18. idu says:

    Uff, etxerako bidaitik inspiratuta etorri zara Aran. Pilla bat gustatzen zait, presentazioa, argazkiak… dena. Aurrerago idatzi dizutenean, arrazoi dute.. magia sortzen duzu.. hau bai oparia, zorionak emateko modu ezinobea, sentimentuz betea

  19. Beautiful white delicious goodies, what a kind gesture!

  20. cindy* says:

    what a gorgeous palate of white! beautiful aran and happy birthday to nadia (whose blog i love as well…)! it all reminds me of fresh snowfall.

  21. Rachel says:

    This spread is beautiful! There’s something about the elegance of all white desserts that makes my heart go pitter-patter.

  22. josephine says:

    lovely photos! the sweets look absolutely heavenly.

  23. Olá!

    descobri agora o teu blog! é fantásico! ADOREI PARABÉns

  24. tara says:

    So pristinely-beautiful. Honestly, the execution is just flawless; I cannot get over how pretty. Lovely, lovely stuff.

  25. amy says:

    oh Aran!!! these looks so amazing!
    happy birthday Nadia – you are lucky to have such a sweet friend!

  26. This is SOOOO beautiful! Thanks for posting.

  27. I wish I could have such a birthday gift…

    This is beautiful… and the pictures are amazing!!

  28. Joyce says:

    I love birthdays! Your friend is very lucky to have a friend like you to make such fab treats and in her favorite color! I think I almost can smell the coconut cupcakes!!!

  29. i just had an idea. your friends birthday goodies look like a wedding birthday—-so i thought, when i get married, i’m going to force my blogging friends to design the menu. oh yeah. you be team leader. hehe. that way everyone would blog about my wedding, on the same day! i’d be more popular than a daring bakers challenge, or a dorie challenge, or the other ones….hehehehehe.

  30. Wow, I feel like it is my birthday too! This is my favorite color palette. Oh so lovely and inspirational. Your friend is very lucky.


  31. Vera says:

    So beautiful and delicate, dream-like!

  32. stunning lay out and art direction – I’m sure your friend was honoured to see this online Birthday Card!

  33. Jaime says:

    Oh, this is absolute perfection! Thank you, once again!

  34. Ingrid says:

    WOW, that really is beautiful. I peek in often to check out your gorgeous photos but couldn’t leave this time without commenting. I’m awe struck at your creativity.

  35. limonana says:

    what a good friend you are to her…these look exquisite…

  36. now that is white hot–really stunning!

  37. C.L. says:

    Gorgeous as usual. Nadia I am sure is SO pleased.

  38. cookemila says:

    Tambien te digo lo que mobula, eres como una especie de hada con una varita magica.El blanco me ha llevado a recordar los cuentos, dulces y sencillos al calor de la lumbre y una magia afuera por descubrir.Ojala estuvieras mas cerca, aunque con tus fotos ya creas un mundo para soñar con el.Por cierto esos moldes tambien los buscaba yo….se que Leonor los usa asique supongo que Portugal tambien habra…

  39. Foley says:

    This is one of the most beautiful desert i’ve ever seen! Amazing mix of colors range and textures.. Yum it looks so tasty! Your friend is very lucky :)

  40. Angela says:

    What a beautiful birthday gift for your friend. Gorgeous photos, Aran.

  41. Esti says:

    Un regalo para la vista… Me encantan estas fotos, tan blanquitas… en cuanto al merengue… mi amama mataría por comérselo :)

  42. corine says:

    How pure. I bet this kinds of desert makes you float like an angel.

  43. phdkitchen says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. phdkitchen says:

    these are really beautiful! do you have the recipes anywhere on the site? thanks so much for the inspiring photos.

  45. Helene says:

    I love that theme. This is so cute. Your so nice to do this for your friend.

  46. Dianne says:

    Not only are these confections absolutely beautiful in their artistry, they are making my mouth water. I wish I was your friend who likes white and has a closet full of fabulous dresses and gets amazing sweets for her birthday!

  47. This set up is breath-taking! I love the all white! What a gorgeous dessert table spread this would be for a wedding!

  48. wow great photos and nice treats :)

  49. Mrs.French says:

    the perfect birthday post…I need to head over and give her my warm birthday wishes…xo

  50. Ash says:

    love this, love this love this!!!
    I love the look of all white!

  51. Tammy says:

    everything looks just perfect!

  52. I love the different shades of white! Beautiful!

  53. nicisme says:

    She’s very lucky to have such beautiful birthday treats!

  54. oh my mouth is watering over these gorgeous photos. the lemon meltaways sound particularly delicious…

  55. I’m so glad to see that you are back in the kitchen with us. I also love white and this tableau is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a study in calm. Nadia is supremely lucky to have you.

    Welcome back. We missed you!

  56. jbl says:

    Your sense of aesthetic is sublime. One quick question: I didn’t see the recipe for the meltaways, am I missing something?

  57. i love eat and drink everything in white!!!!!!!!!

  58. Kim says:

    Aran, this is my favorite post of yours. I love white and every shade myself. If I didn’t have a messy husband and a dog that jumps up on the chair when I am not looking, I would have a white on white home. Instead I enjoy a white bedroom. Everything about the desserts is just stunning.

  59. Cakespy says:

    Just stunning. A vision in white!

  60. Aran says:

    Thank you everyone for your comments. I have been a bit overwhelmed all week getting into my routine while entertaining the family that we brought back from the basque country.

    Many of you asked me about the recipes. My brain has been a bit scattered so I didn’t post them. I will soon. If anyone needs them please email me.

    Thanks for your support and being patient with my slow response!

  61. Your site truly has the most wonderful aesthetic. Gorgeous photos on this post especially!

  62. giz says:

    So the ultimate of elegance. Pretty exciting to see such a gorgeous monochromatic presentation

  63. miri says:

    What a great friend you are! Everything on your plate looks so gorgeous and noble, loved them all!

  64. morgana says:

    ¡¡ Qué bellísimo conjunto !! Tan elegante… Me encanta. Felicidades para Nadia por su cumple y para ti por la creación. Tengo muchas ganas de hacer las galletitas de limón.

    Un beso.

  65. MEVE says:

    This is a wonderful blog with beautiful pictures! It smells through my screen, really! My boyfriend’s a baker and we work on opening a little bakery in our small town in Quebec, Canada. It it so inspiring, although we won’t have a lot of pastries! Thank you very much!
    I’ll put some photo of yours on my own blog. You’ll can see some picture of our bread and venoiseries, I wish to take a photo course to make mine more luminous.
    toujoursdimanche.blogspot.com (in french)

  66. Inne says:

    Such a gorgeous white palette, Aran! Everything looks absolutely delicious, as usual.

  67. the b-line says:

    This is fabulous! What a thoughtful desert!

  68. pia says:

    this is so super sweet. I wish we could all have had a little tea party for Nadia’s birthday and eat these delectable treats!!

  69. R khooks says:

    I just came across your blog through Pia’s kitchen. And what a jem! The recipes are as beautiful as the pictures. Keep up the hard work.

  70. zorra says:

    What a wonderful birthday post!

    I would like to bake the lemon meltaways, could you share the recipe with us? I would appreciate very much.

  71. Nenis says:

    Simplemente hermosos y elegantes, eres una artista!!

    me encantaria la receta de los besitos de merengue…si no fuera mucha molestia me podrias decir donde encontrarla, desde ya mil gracias y felicidades por tu excelente trabajo!!!

  72. Nenis says:

    Aran, mil gracias por la receta y por contestar tan pronto!! eres un sol!!!
    Espero mis pequeños merengues queden tan lindos como los tuyos!!!

    un abrazo de luz para ti!!

  73. Anonymous says:

    Hi, your bakes are all so pretty. how is the coconut cupcake sponge like? do you mind sharing the recipe please. happy baking.

  74. I am just about to try baking the lemon meltaways. I was inspired by your post and decided to give them a shot for my guests who are coming for dinner tonight. I hope that the cookies do not require a full night of refrigeration. I will do about 6 hours.

  75. Hanami says:

    I’m just in love with these lemon meltaways! I made them 4 times and they always are perfect in their flavour! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  76. hi aran!
    I would just like to ask you how the texture of meltaways should be? i haven never eaten them before but i have made theses from your recipe twice, the taste is great but i think i dont have the right texture? how is it supposed to taste like?

  77. Aran says:

    Chocolatecup- The meltaways are supposed to be similar to mexican wedding cookies or sandies that are usually covered in powdered sugar. very crumbly.

  78. S.R says:

    Hi, i will like to know if the souffle cup u used for the cupcake its oven resistant? and i also will like to know where can i buy it and whats the mesure of the cup.

    Thanks alot

  79. Aran says:

    SR- they are cupcakes baking cups made from paper. they are sold at craft stores and baking supply stores. thanks!

  80. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I would love to make the lemon meltaways, but do not know how to measure in grams! Is there any way you could tell me the measurements for the butter, powdered sugar, flour and cornstarch?


  82. Robin- to convert grams to ounces all you have to do is divide the gram amount by 28.375. That will give you your ounces. Thanks!

  83. Laura says:

    Hi! I have been meaning to write for a couple of weeks. I was directed to your really rather stunning site via a gluten free site. For that reason I just assumed all your recipes were gluten free (oops!). So I made the lemon meltaways with this in mind and misread ‘… grams of flour’ for gram flour. I actually ground down chickpeas to make it!! Low and behold the cookies actually turned out delicious, and a great alternative.

  84. Sini says:

    My mum is totally nuts about the lemon meltaways. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I just made a patch of them for a easter charity bake sale today.

  85. Bonjour! I love your food styling! :) …it stays etched in my brain and today while surfing the web I found this:

    I thought I saw that on your blog and yes… just wondering if you guys are related or something… just looks funny to use other’s work! :)


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