These fun and spooky ghosts are a great treat to bring along to your next Halloween bash. If making up to 1 week ahead, cool the meringue ghosts, and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Be sure to handle them very gently, these ghosts are fragile and easily spooked!
Makes 8 to 12 ghosts
1. Line 2 baking sheets (each 14 by 17 in.) with cooking parchment, or butter sheets and dust with flour.
2. In a deep bowl, with a mixer at high speed, whip egg whites and cream of tartar to a thick foam. Continuing to beat, add sugar, 1 tablespoon every 30 seconds, then whip until meringue holds very stiff peaks.
3. Beat in vanilla. If using cooking parchment, smear a little meringue on the underside of each corner to make it stick to baking sheets.
4. Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (or spoon into a gallon-size heavy plastic food bag, then cut off 1 corner to make a 1/2-inch-wide opening). Pipe meringue onto baking sheets into ghostly shapes about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, 2 to 4 inches wide, and 4 to 6 inches long, spacing about 2 inches apart. To make eyes (noses and mouths, if desired) press chocolate chips lightly into meringue.
5. Bake in a 200° oven until meringues begin to turn pale gold and are firm to touch, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours (1 to 1 1/4 hours in a convection oven); switch pan positions halfway through baking. Turn off heat and leave meringues in closed oven for 1 hour.
6. Slide a spatula under meringues to release.
Nutritional analysis per ghost.