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1. Let egg whites stand in mixing bowl at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil; set aside.
2. Add cream of tartar to whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition. Beat 6 to 7 minutes on high speed until stiff peaks form and sugar is almost dissolved.
3. Preheat convection or standard oven to 300 degrees F. Spoon mixture into self-sealing plastic bag. Snip off one corner. Pipe 20 to 24 designs 1 1/2 to 2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheet. Bake in convection oven 10 minutes or in standard oven 20 minutes. Turn off oven. Let dry in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes.
4. Remove meringues from cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire rack. Place in covered container and store at room temperature up to 3 days.
5. On serving day, dip cookies. Combine chocolate and shortening in saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Dip one edge or tip of each cookie into chocolate. Place on rack until chocolate is set. Makes 10 to 12 servings (2 cookies each).