- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl & discarding the yolk. If there's any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white & start over. If it's yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl.
- Add cream of tartar to the whites & beat with electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff & glossy. Add vanilla & beat for 30 seconds more.
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip) with the meringue. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze. Snip off one corner about 3/4" wide where you'll squeeze the meringue out. Space cookies at 1/2" apart & in 1 1/2" diameter cookies.
- Bake the cookies until dry & crisp throughout, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Tip: To get the most volume from beaten egg whites, it's best to start with whites at room temperature. Submerge them in their shells in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes before using.