- Place oven racks on lower and upper thirds, and preheat oven to 250°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Pour sugar into a food processor, and process for 45 seconds. Set aside.
- In a non-plastic bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add in salt and cream of tartar. Beat for one minute more. Gradually add sugar, a little at a time. Continue beating until mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Beat in almond extract, checking for stiff peaks. Rub a bit of meringue between your thumb and forefinger. If it feels grainy, beat some more.
- Fit two piping bags with large round tips. Use a food-only paint brush to brush on three vertical stripes of black food coloring up the sides of the bag. Fill the bags with meringue. Pipe swirls of meringue onto the prepared sheets.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 225°F. Bake for 30 minutes more. Check the meringues to make sure they easily peel from the parchment. If not, bake a few minutes more. Once ready, leave the cookies on the sheets in the warm oven, crack the oven door, and turn off the oven. Cool in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove the meringue cookies from the parchment. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Bridget Edwards @Bake at 350.