I remember as a child wondering how meringues and whipped cream look exactly the same and yet they couldn’t be more different. I hated whipped cream (and wish I still did) and absolutely loved meringues (and still do). Meringues are a dry, sweet, and crumbly cookie, that get sticky once in your mouth. Whipped cream was a tasteless, icky, and mushy blob of fat in my mouth.
Meringues can be enjoyed as a cookie on their own, but more often than not, they are used as an element in a dessert, similarly to mushroom meringues which were and edible decoration to a chocolate buche.
3 large egg whites
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 250F.
Whisk egg whites with the salt in a stand mixer until foamy.
At this stage, while continuing to whisk, slowly add the sugar bit by bit, and finally the vanilla.
Whisk to a stiff peak, and when the mixture will not fall out if you hold the bowl upside down over your head.
Spoon or pipe the meringue mixture in whatever shapes or forms you want on parchment or other non-stick baking sheets.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, after which you turn off the oven, crack open the door, and let them cool completely in the oven.