Crispy Classic Meringues
Technically these drop cookies don’t bake; they just dry out. To keep them as white as possible (though a bit of color doesn’t detract from their deliciousness), a pair of baking sheets are stacked, providing extra insulation for the bottoms.
1. Position rack just below center of oven, and preheat oven to 225°F. Stack two large baking sheets, and line top sheet with parchment paper.
2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with handheld electric mixer at medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat 4 to 5 minutes, or until meringue is very thick, stiff, and shiny, and deep path remains when spoon is drawn through. Beat in vanilla and salt. Sift confectioners’ sugar over meringue, and fold in gently.
3. Drop meringues in rounded 1-Tbs. mounds onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 2 1/4 hours, or until very dry and crisp to touch. Prop open oven door, and cool completely (insides will crisp further). Store in airtight container.