Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Resting time: 2 hours-overnight
Serving size: approximately 48 cookies
Keeps for about 1 week in an airtight container
-4 egg whites, at room temperature
-Pinch of salt
-1 cup of superfine white sugar/caster sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla essence
-1/4 tsp cream of tartare
-gel food coloring
Preheat your oven to 100C/210F (forced-fan oven) and 120C/245F (conventional oven). Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer, whisk your egg whites, salt, and cream of tartare together on low speed, gradually increasing the speed until high speed.
Once the egg whites have frothed up, slowly begin sprinkling in the sugar, a teaspoon at a time. By slowly adding your sugar, this allows time for the sugar to dissolve into the mixture and this can make a big difference in the end product of your meringue. After the sugar has been added, beat in the vanilla.
Continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides until your mixture has a nice, thick, marshmallow-like texture and has a stiff peak (Make sure it's stiff peaked, otherwise they'll become flat!)
While this is beating, you will need to paint stripes of color inside your piping bag, fitted with a star piping tip. Paint from the nozzle to the end of the bag using a paintbrush or the tip of a spoon. You can use whichever colors you prefer however gel colors work best.
Now is when you'll spoon your meringue mixture into your piping bag using a spatula. You need to ensure that the mixture does not sit for too long as this will lead to a flat meringue.
Pipe your meringues onto the parchment sheet, allowing for at least 1 inch between each, allowing for airflow. To pipe, hold the piping bag 1/2 inch from the paper. Squeeze the piping bag and lift at the same time until you get your desired height, then stop squeezing the bag and continue to lift. This will create the peak of the meringue (remember, the bigger the meringue, the longer the cooking/drying time).
Place the tray on the center of the rack of the oven to bake for about 1 hour, and then turn the oven off, and keep the door closed for an additional 1-2 hours. For a really crunchy finish, it is best to leave them in the oven overnight once they have cooked in order to fully dry out. They should lift easily from the parchment paper and can be stored in an airtight container. Enjoy!