When you need to scare up a clever treat for trick-or-treaters or a Halloween party, these Meringue Ghosts are just the trick. To serve, package them in small, decorated paper sacks so the ghosts peek out from the top. Beware of making meringue ghosts on humid days — the results can be frightfully sticky!
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whip egg whites until they are foamy and add cream of tartar and vanilla. Whip until the whites form soft peaks. Add sugar, a little at a time, and whip until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.
Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip (Ateco #4). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, adding a dab of meringue to each corner of the cookie sheet to secure the paper. Pipe 4-inch ghosts, starting at the head, then arms and the body. Pipe two additional layers until ghosts are 3/4 inch thick. Use mini chocolate chips to form eyes and mouths.
Bake 1 hour, then turn the oven off and allow the ghosts to dry 2 to 3 hours with the oven door closed. Peel them off the parchment paper and cool them completely on a wire rack. Store between layers of parchment paper in airtight containers.
Recipe makes 8 to 10 ghosts.