These baked meringue cookies are crisp, sweet, & light as a cloud! Plus, lots of tips on how to make meringue that's stiff and fluffy as can be.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Place the egg whites in a large, clean mixing bowl, and add the cream of tartar and salt.
Whip the whites on medium speed until foamy and just beginning to turn white.
While continuing to whip, add in the sugar very slowly (about 1/4 teaspoon at a time).
When all the sugar has been added, turn the mixer up to high speed and whip until the meringue is glossy and very stiff.
Stir in the vanilla extract, then fold in the color (if using).
Transfer the meringue to a clean piping bag fitted with a French star tip, and pipe 1-inch diameter kisses onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake the meringues in the warm oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until light and crisp (do not brown).
*A few drops of lemon juice or white vinegar can be substituted.
**Other types of extracts can be substituted to taste.