|Egg whites||4 , at room temperature|
|Cream of tartar||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
Preheat oven to 250°.
Cover a baking sheet with plain ungreased brown paper (you can cut up a heavy brown paper bag, if you like).
Trace eight 3 1/2-inch circles on the brown paper, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Using an electric mixer and a large bowl that holds at least 6 cups below top curve of beaters, combine egg whites and cream of tartar.
Beat at highest speed until mixture is just frothy.
Continue beating while gradually sprinkling about 1 tablespoon sugar a minute over the beaten whites, and scraping bowl frequently with a rubber spatula.
When all sugar is incorporated, add vanilla and beat for 1 more minute.
When beaters are lifted out, whites should hold very stiff, sharp, unbending peaks.
Spoon about 1/2 cup of the beaten egg white mixture onto each circle on prepared pan.
Using the back of the spoon, spread mixture to cover each circle (see Illustration 1), then build up a 1 !/2-inch-high rim, creating a hollow in each Position baking sheet just be low oven center.
Bake for 1 hour; turn off heat and leave in closed oven for 3 to 4 hours to dry.
Remove from oven and cool completely; then carefully peel off paper backing.
If made ahead, store in an airtight container for as long as 5 days.