2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cream of tartar
Separate egg whites from yolks. Set yolks aside (until you can figure out something to do with them. I usually end up throwing them away).
At high speed, whip egg whites until foamy and then add the salt, cream of tartar and slowly start adding the sugar. When all the sugar has been incorporated, add the vanilla (and coloring if you want) and beat at the highest speed until you have firm peaks.
For meringue puffs: Drop spoonfuls onto parchment paper (or the dull side of aluminum foil) on a cookie sheet. Be sure to swirl the tops!
For meringue shells (to be filled with ice cream and topped with sweetened strawberries…yum): Drop several spoonfuls and spread them out into a single flat “plate” about 3″ in diameter. You should be able to get about six shells with this recipe. Bake at 250 for about an hour. Bottoms should be slightly brown.
Be sure to loosen the meringues from the foil or parchment paper while they are still warm—otherwise they’ll shatter! Store them in an air-tight container.
These are really pretty simple to make—unless it’s raining. If it’s raining or too humid, don’t even try it because the peaks will never get stiff enough. I made the puffs at Valentine’s Day and added red food coloring (to get pink puffs). With enough practice, you can swirl the puffs to look like hearts!