makes about 2 dozen, depending on size
3 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt
1/8 t. cream of tartar
1/4 t. vanilla
3/4 c. powdered sugar
tiny candies or sprinkles for eyes, nose, mouth, and buttons
fondant-formed (and dried) “sticks” for arms–* make arm holes in each snowman before baking, but do not insert arms until meringues are finished baking, as the part stuck into wet meringue becomes soft and “wilty”.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer. Using whisk attachment, whisk at medium- high speed until the whites are frothy and have increased slightly in volume. Leaving mixer on, slowly sprinkle in sugar. The egg white-beating will take about 15 minutes total. When you can lift the whisk and leave a structured peak, the meringue is done.
Carefully fill a pastry bag (or Ziplock bag with a small corner cut off) with meringue. Slowly pipe a small mound, topped my a smaller mound, and then a smallest mound (forming a snowman) onto prepared baking sheet. Press small candies or sprinkles in for the face and buttons, using tweezers if necessary.Using a fondant “arm” poke arm holes in the sides of the middle section of each snowman. The arms will be stuck into these after baking. Place in middle of oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off oven and keep snowmen in oven for another hour and a half (or more) so that they completely dry out and crisp up. Insert arms.
When snowmen are at room temperature, they should be crisp and are ready to eat. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.