These red, white and blue meringues are easy to make and use a clever decorating trick: Paint lines of food coloring gel up the sides of a pastry bag before filling it with meringue, and each cookie comes out striped as you pipe it. You can use this same trick with frosting for cupcakes.
Total: 4 hr 50 min(includes drying and setting times)
a disposable pastry bag; a small paintbrush or wooden skewer
Position oven racks in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Beat together the egg whites and salt, in a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. While beating, add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Put the pastry bag in a large and tall deli or plastic container and fold the top over the container so you can see clearly into the bag and it stands upright. Dip the paintbrush or wooden skewer in to the red food coloring. Starting from the bottom of the bag, brush a thin stroke of food coloring from the tip to the top of the bag. Repeat on the opposite side of the bag with the blue food coloring. Fill the bag with the meringue. Try to spoon it directly into the center so as not to disturb the food coloring. Snip the bottom of the bag with scissors so you have a 3/4- to 1-inch opening. Pipe 1-inch-diameter mounds of meringue spaced 1-inch apart onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the meringues are no longer glossy and feel light and dry when picked up, about 1 hour. Open the oven for a few minutes, then turn it off and shut the door. Leave the meringues in the oven until they are completely dry inside, about 2 hours. The meringues can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
To decorate them, combine the white chocolate chips and coconut oil and in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.
Carefully dip the bottom of each meringue into the melted white chocolate, letting any excess drip off. Dip in sprinkles or sanding sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Let set completely, about 1 hour.
Though you can also use regular water-based food coloring, we prefer gel for this recipe because it paints onto the pastry bag better and the final color is more vibrant.
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