½teaspoonpeppermint extract OR 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
6ouncesbittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
Heat your oven to 200 degrees F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together 3 egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and mix until soft peaks form.
With the mixer of high speed, gradually add the sugar, one Tablespoon at a time, making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved before adding the next spoonful. The egg whites will slowly turn glossy, bright white, and they'll develop stiff peaks.
Add extract and GENTLY and quickly mix on LOW speed to incorporate. To test your meringue, rub some batter between your thumb and index finger. You want the sugar to be completely dissolved. If you can still feel the grains of sugar, continue mixing for another minute.
Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (I used Ateco #11) and pipe shapes onto the prepared sheets, approximately 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
Bake for 90 minutes or until the tops are still white but you can easily lift the cookies off of the sheet. Turn off the oven and leave your cookies on the pan, in the oven (or other cool, DRY place) for at least 3 hours to continue drying out.
When cookies have properly dried, melt chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave. Fill mini cupcake liners about half full with melted chocolate. Place a cookie on top of the melted chocolate and refrigerate for 5-10 minutes to allow chocolate to set.
Before attempting to whip egg whites, be sure that your mixing bowl and beaters are clean of any greasy residue such as butter, because it will stop the egg whites from whipping properly.