1) Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (first choice), or lightly grease it.
2) In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a dash of salt.
3) Beat until peaks form, then gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
4) Pipe a base of meringue onto the sheet, using a pastry bag and star tip; place a candied cherry, or a couple of chunks of chocolate, atop the base. Pipe meringue to cover the cherry or chocolate.
5) If you don't want to pipe meringues, simply drop by tablespoonfuls onto the sheet. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. Place cherry or chocolate in the center of each meringue; cover or leave exposed, your choice.
6) Bake the meringues for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off, and leave them in the turned-off oven until they're completely cool, 3 hours or more. This is a good cookie to make in the evening; they can be left in the oven (with the heat turned off) overnight.
Yield: approximately 20 to 24 meringues.