Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix on low speed until ingredients become foamy, about 2-4 minutes.
4 large egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/8 teaspoon salt
Increase mixture speed to high and add sugar to bowl, 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure sugar has dissolved before adding the next tablespoon. Repeat this step until all sugar has been added and mixture is thick, shiny, and forms stiff peaks. TIP: To test if sugar has dissolved, rub a little of the mixture between your fingers. If it feels gritty, sugar hasn't quite dissolved and needs more mixing.
1 cup granulated sugar
Keeping speed on high, blend in vanilla until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Transfer meringue mixture to a pastry bag with the tip cut off or with a decorative tip of your choice. Pipe meringues onto prepared baking sheet. Meringues will not spread while baking so feel free to pipe them close together but without touching.
Bake for 1 hour. Once baked, turn off oven, but leave meringues inside with oven door closed. Allow oven and meringues to cool completely before removing, about 1-2 hours. You can also leave them overnight.
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