Meringues are incredibly versatile! Experiment with different shapes, colors, and add-ins. Most recipes use vanilla extract (totally fine!), but I love almond extract in its place.
6ouncesegg whites (from ~5 eggs)
1 1/2cupssugar (10.5 ounces)
1/4teaspooncream of tartar
1/4teaspoonfine grain salt
Preheat oven to 225F. Combine all the ingredients in the stainless steel bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water over medium-high heat (you’re basically making a double boiler here). Whisk the mixture continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved, and the mixture reaches 175-180F on a thermometer - very warm-hot to the touch.
Re-attach the bowl to the mixer and whisk on high-speed until very stiff peaks form, and the mixture has cooled - 7 - 10 minutes.
If you’re going to color the meringue divide into multiple bowls and fold in drops of natural coloring. Now, either drop by billowy spoonfuls, or transfer to a pastry bag with desired tip, and pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake for 25 minutes, and then prop the oven door an inch or two open with a wooden spoon, and continue to bake until the meringues form a dry shell and can be lifted easily from the baking sheets - another 20-30 minutes. Take a bit to see if the centers are to your liking. For dryer, less chewy meringues allow them to bake longer. Smaller meringues will bake more quickly than larger ones. It’s really a personal preference here.
I tend to turn off the oven when I feel like mine are just about done, leave the door propped open, and allow them to set as the oven cools. Just set a timer to check-in now and then, removing them when they’re the texture you like. Alternately, you can let them cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few days.
Makes 6-8 extra-large meringues, or a couple dozen smaller ones.