Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of
the oven. Line
a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can form the cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm)
plain tip, or I often just use two spoons to make the cookies.
In the bowl of
your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on
low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat
the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time,
and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the
meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between
your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty
the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between
placing the cookies on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the
underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer
the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) tip. Pipe 2
1/2 inch (6 cm) rounds of meringue in rows on the prepared
Alternatively, spoon mounds of meringue, using two spoons, onto the prepared
sheets. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a few shaved almonds, if desired.
Bake the meringues
for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours,
rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure
even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly
crisp. (The meringues will release easily from the parchment paper.)
Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to
finish drying several hours or overnight.
The meringues can be covered and stored at room
temperature for several days.
Makes about 10 - 2
inch (6 cm) meringues
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