Valentine Meringue Hearts
* 3 Egg whites
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon Cream of tartar
* 1/8 teaspoon Salt
* 1 cup Sugar
* Red food coloring
* 1 quart Vanilla ice cream
* 1 pint Strawberries; sliced
Cut a heart pattern from a 4-1/2 inch square of paper.
Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 6 hearts on the parchment paper using your pattern as a guide.
Beat egg whites with vanilla, cream of tartar and salt until frothy.
Add sugar, a little at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Rub a bit between your figures to feel that no sugar remains undissolved.
Add food coloring, a few drops to make a delicate pink color.
Spread meringue over the heart shapes, 1/4 inch thick. Make into the heart shape using a spoon to push and form into correct shape. Pipe rim 3/4 inch high with pastry tube.
Bake in preheated 275 degree F oven for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let meringues dry in oven for 1 more hour. DO NOT open oven door during this time.
Fill the cooled meringues with scoops of ice cream and top with strawberries. Decorate with mint leaves if desired.