4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar (or put sugar in food processor/blender for 30 seconds until fine)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
miniature chocolate chips for the eyes
2. In your mixing bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until you get very stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla extract. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract. (Note: 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 your fingers.)
3. Before placing the meringue ghosts on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper to prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer the meringue to the pastry bag. Holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe with even pressure, 2-3 inch high mounds of meringue. Carefully press two miniature chocolate chips into each meringue ghost for the eyes, and a third chip for a mouth. (Note- I did not put "eyes" on all the ghosts, leaving some naked. It was just too much for me. I also skipped the mouth on some, leaving them with only eyes).
4. Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours or until they are dry and crisp to the touch and easily separate from the parchment paper. Turn off the oven, slightly open the door, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours, or even overnight. Keeps for several days at room temperature. Note: Makes anywhere from 36-50; maybe more. Mine made more than 50. They just kept coming!!
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