7 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cup sugar (split in half)
1/2 teaspoon fresh Key Lime Juice
A few drops of food coloring if colored meringues are desired.
Separate one egg at a time making sure the egg whites are yolk free, and place them into a grease free mixing bowl. This step is important as if you have any traces of fat in your egg whites your meringue will not peak properly resulting in a flat runny mixture.
Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until hard peaks form about 10 minutes.
Slowly, add the first portion of sugar, 1 cup. (Do not dump the sugar at once or your egg whites will collapse) this addition needs to be slow until all the first half of the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Add Key lime juice and color if you desire to have colored meringues and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
At this point stop using the electric mixer and by hand with a flat spatula, fold in the remainder 1 cup of sugar into the merengue (Do not over mix)
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan. Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip) Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 1 1/2-inch-diameter cookies to desired shape, spacing them about 1/2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies until dry and crisp throughout, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.