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1. In a large mixing bowl allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a cookie sheet; set aside.
2. Add vanilla and cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed just until combined. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes more or until soft peaks form. (Do not continue beating to stiff peaks.) Using a spoon, gently fold in the cashews or mixed nuts.
3. Drop egg white mixture by rounded teaspoon about 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake cookies in a 325 degree F oven about 15 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
4. In a small saucepan combine the caramels and milk. Heat and stir over low heat until the caramels are melted. Place cookies on a wire rack over waxed paper. Drizzle caramel mixture over cookies. If desired, sprinkle with additional chopped cashews or mixed nuts. Let stand until caramel mixture is set. Makes 60 cookies.