Line to bake sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees F.
Combine the sugar, egg whites and tartar in the bowl from your mixer over (making sure your bowl is not touching the water) simmering water. Constantly whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved.
Attach the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or a hand held mixture, slowly beat egg mixture. Add in vanilla extract and any food coloring . Slowly increase the speed and continue to beat mixture until stiff peaks have almost formed.
Mixture is ready when whisk attachment dipped into mixture leaves a curled but stiff peak when removed. Place a medium star piping tip into the pastry bag and fill the bag with the meringue.
Holding your pastry bag about a quarter inch off the sheet pan, pressing out the meringue while swirling your wrist so it makes a tree shape. Pull the bag straight up to create a tip on each cookie.
Bake for 2 hours, then turn off oven and leave the door slightly ajar for meringues to cool down with the oven. Store meringue cookies in an airtight container away from any heat or moisture.